Sony, one of the biggest image sensor manufacturers for the photographic industry, has announced its sensor plant in the earthquake-hit Kumamoto region will be ready to begin production again by the end of this month.
The company says it has been able to resume back-end processes like testing sensors and camera modules, and that assembly lines for new units should begin working again any day now. Wafer manufacture, it says, should begin on 21st May, though not all lines will start on that date.
Damage caused by the earthquake forced the Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation to halt production at the Kumamoto Technology Center where it produces imaging sensors for digital cameras. According to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review, the damage and lost business caused by the series of earthquakes and aftershocks has cost the Japanese economy $4.6 billion. Sony itself says it is still evaluating the cost of the disaster, and it is due to publish forecast figures for the current financial year on 24 May.
For reports on Sony’s recovery process see the company’s investor relations website.