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Sony to split off image sensor business

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Sony has announced a restructuring plan that will see its lucrative image sensor business spinning off on its own.

The company's new-look Devices section will enable all three of its core businesses - semiconductor, battery and storage media - to better adapt to changing market conditions.

It's in the semiconductor part of the business that the real changes are to occur. This is where Sony makes its image sensors, which are extremely popular among both camera and smartphone manufacturers.

Apple, Nikon, and Samsung regularly use Sony image sensors in their products, to name just three.

To this end, Sony has announced that it is establishing Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation to reinforce one of the more successful parts of its overall business. Sony Semiconductor Corporation and Sony LSI Design, which handle manufacturing and design for this portion of the business, will become subsidiaries of this new company-within-a-company.

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Spinning its image sensor business off is by no means an unprecedented move from Sony. It did a similar thing with its Bravia TV division last year.

It's all part of CEO Kaz Hirai's strategy to make Sony's sprawling business more efficient and agile, and for its separate components to become more accountable.

Sony's new stand-alone image sensor company will commence operations on April 1, 2016.

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