Sony intends to buy back its stake in the Nagasaki Technology Center from Toshiba. The fab was originally a joint-venture between Sony and Toshiba but the latter one bought out Sony for about 90 billion yen in 2008. According to news reports, Sony will buy it back for 50 billion yen (about $597 million) to manufacture CMOS chips for high-end digital cameras.
Acquiring the plant will double Sony's CMOS image sensor output capacity to the equivalent of about 40 thousand 300m silicon wafers a month, according to the report. This is projected to allow the company to reduce manufacturing costs of sensors and better compete against companies like Micron Technology, Samsung Electronics and others.
When Sony sold off its plant two years ago, the factory produced Cell processors that the company installs into its PlayStation 3 game console. Back then 65nm production technology was used for manufacturing and Toshiba promised to transit fabrication to 45nm process eventually. It is unclear which other sources Sony has for Cell processors, but theoretically it may outsource them to IBM, Globalfoundries and some other big players.