According to reports, Sony will build a CMOS image sensor factory for smartphones in Nagasaki, Japan. The new factory is located near Sony’s existing production facility and covers an area of more than 70,000 square meters. The project is expected to invest 100 billion yen ($918 million) and will be put into operation as early as 2021.

Due to the popularity of photo and video sharing social media, mid-range smartphones are now beginning to install high-performance cameras, which has driven the market demand for image sensors. Sony believes that with the high functionality of smartphone cameras and the popularity of 5G, the sensor business will continue to grow.

At present, Sony is the world’s leading manufacturer of mobile image sensor, ranking first in the world in terms of market share. Last year its market share was 50%. Sony hopes to increase its investment and production capacity through new factory and increase its market share to 60% in 2025.

Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida said that Sony’s image sensor is expected to have a wider range of applications, including the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, games and advanced medical technology. These applications are bound to drive the development of the image sensor market. As demand continues to increase, Sony believes that it is necessary to build a new factory to increase production.