Sony Looks for Image Sensor Designers in Europe and USA

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Nikkei reports that Sony intends to open more development centers in the U.S. and Europe "in an effort to make up for a scarcity of engineering talent in Japan."

Sony has a development center in the U.S. with dozens of engineers adapting designs to customer specifications. The company is contemplating to open a similar R&D center in Europe in two to three years. Sony also plans to add technical support stuff in China to work with the local customers.

The image sensor market is growing 9% a year to reach $19b in 2022, according to IC Insights. 80% of Sony's image sensor business depends on smartphones. The company aims to lower the smartphone exposure to 70% by 2025 by expanding into automotive and industrial applications.

In spite of controlling 50% of the image sensor market, an unnamed Sony executive says that the company "cannot secure enough talent by looking in Japan alone." Job openings in Japan are sometimes over four times the number of applicants. Design centers in USA and Europe might solve Sony talent hiring problems.

An earlier Nikkei article portrays the hiring problem as industry-wide in Japan: "There are 256 open positions for every 100 job seekers in the semiconductor industry in Japan, up from 52 per 100 in January 2014, according to staffing agency Recruit Career. That is higher than the average for all industries."

Sony image sensor fab in Japan

Thanks to TG and PK for the pointer!

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