FILE PHOTO: Sony Corp’s brand is seen at its information convention in Tokyo, Japan November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon
May 14, 2020
TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp on Thursday stated it will make its cash-cow image sensors smarter to broaden their utility, because the Japanese electronics maker seeks to cut back reliance on a saturated smartphone market.
The firm stated it has developed the world’s first image sensor with an built-in synthetic intelligence (AI) processor, which may carry out duties equivalent to figuring out the dimensions of a crowd, scanning bar codes and monitoring a driver’s drowsiness – all in a single chip.
As an AI processor is stacked on an image-sensing chip, the whole package deal can extract and course of information with out sending it to the cloud or elsewhere, eliminating transmission latency and lowering energy consumption, Sony stated.
The transfer underscores how the Japanese big, whose once-dominant place in shopper electronics has been eroded by Asian rivals, nonetheless has a powerful arsenal of refined expertise in areas like sensors and robotics.
Sony’s chip enterprise earns roughly 90% of income from image sensors for smartphone cameras, capitalising on smartphone makers’ latest deal with digital camera options as their largest differentiator.
On Wednesday, Sony stated profitability of the enterprise may deteriorate this yr because the coronavirus outbreak has clouded the outlook of the already saturated smartphone market.
The firm due to this fact aims to enhance the proportion of its sensing options enterprise, together with the most recent AI-embedded chip, to 30% of the chip division from 4% by the yr ending March 2026.
(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Christopher Cushing)