Sony expects operating profit for the fiscal year to March next March to double to 630 billion yen ($ 5.6 billion) from the same period in the previous year. The chip division, which includes the imaging sensor business, is expected to be the company's biggest driver of growth.
Sony made a series of breakthroughs in sensor technology, such as the rearrangement of sensor layouts and the development of back-illuminated sensors, which led Sony to occupy nearly 50% of the market for image sensors. However, Sony is also facing more and more intense competition in the sensor market. Samsung Electronics, Howe technology opponents are improving image sensor technology.
Sony is currently developing new sensor technology for robots and autonomous vehicles. Investors believe that Sony still occupy technical advantages, which is the need for other opponents spend time to catch up. "Sony has been trying to stay ahead, but may face a turning point in one or two years," said Kun Soo Lee, senior research analyst at market research firm IHS Markit in Tokyo.
Sony said the sensor technology being developed by the company enables rapid measurement and detection of distances for autonomous driving, factory automation and robots, invisible light. For example, a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor can calculate the distance by measuring the time that light reflects back from an object, and is expected to be used for gesture operations and face recognition by a drone or a robot.
"Obviously, we are now relying on the smartphone market," said Terushi Shimizu, head of Sony's chip business. "The smart phone market is going to benefit us from single-lens to dual-lens cameras, but as the overall smartphone shipments How long will this trend last for only a 1% or 2% increase?