Corporate Information

History of Sony’s Semiconductors

  • History of Sony's Semiconductor

  • History of SSS Group's sites

1950 1959 open

1953

  • History of SSS Group's sitesSemiconductor project launched by Sony.

1954

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorSuccessfully prototyped Japan's first transistor.

1957

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorInvented the tunnel (Esaki) diode.

1958

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped silicon power transistors.

1960 1969 open

1960

  • History of SSS Group's sitesAtsugi plant construction completed by Sony.

1966

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's first monolithic IC for small radios.

1968

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the Sony Magnetodiode (SMD), a new semiconductor device.

1969

  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Shiroishi Semiconductor established.

1970 1979 open

1970

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDevelopment of CCD image sensors begins.

1972

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorSucceeded in 8x8 pixels imaging

1973

  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Kokubu Semiconductor established.

1977

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorMass production begins on variable capacitance diodes (varicaps) for electronic UHF/VHF tuners.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized highly reliable MNOS nonvolatile memory for TV tuners.

1978

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a 110,000-pixel CCD imager.

1980 1989 open

1980

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the first CCD image sensor.CCD color camera "XC1" adopted by jumbo jet.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the MCZ method of silicon crystal growth.

1982

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped LSI circuits enabling production of consumer CD players.

1984

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized two models of laser diodes produced using MOCVD, a world first.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Oita established.

1986

    History of Sony's Semiconductor
  • Developed LSIs for digital audio tape recorders(DAT).
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Technical Soft established.

1987

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's first ultra-high-power laser with optical power output of 1 W.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Nagasaki established.

1989

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a 1/2-inch, 250,000-pixel CCD image sensor for passport-sized Handycam.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorSuccessfully developed the world's first high-speed 4 Mb SRAM.

1990 1999 open

1990

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the world's first 1-inch, 2-megapixel FIT CCD sensor for HDTVs.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesCompany name changed from Sony Technical Soft to Sony LSI Design.

1991

  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Kokubu Semiconductor renamed Sony Kokubu.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony LSI Design Head office relocated to YBP East Town, 11F (until 2012).

1992

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a MUSE decoder LSI for HD broadcasts.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a 2/3-inch, 2-megapixel FIT CCD sensor for HDTVs.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a dedicated LSI for MiniDisc system.

1993

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the world's fastest 16 Mb SRAM.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's smallest color TFT LCD (0.55 inches, 113,000 dots) and a 0.7-inch color LCD with the world's highest pixel count (180,000 dots).

1994

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a 1/4-inch, 410,000-pixel color CCD image sensor.

1995

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized an LSI conforming to the IEEE 1394 high-speed serial bus specification.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony LSI Design Head office relocated, Atsugi operations integrated (YBP research building).

1996

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorEstablished a low-temperature polysilicon TFT molding technique.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized an LSI with embedded DRAM for MiniDisc applications.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDevelopment of CMOS Image Sensors begins.

1997

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a single-chip MPEG-2 video encoder LSI.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a 2.5-inch, 180,000-dot low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD and a 1/3-inch, 680,000-pixel CCD (340,000 effective pixels).

1998

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the EXview HAD CCD, with high-sensitivity sensing also in the near-infrared spectrum.

1999

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a single-chip, two-wavelength laser diode for CD recording/playback and DVD playback.

2000 2009 open

2000

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the first CMOS image sensor "IMX001". Incorporated into AIBO.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony LSI Design Kyushu Branch opened. (Later designated as head office.)

2001

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped two system LSIs with low power consumption for Network Handycam.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a high-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD panel (0.9-inch XGA, aperture ratio: 66.1%) using an ultra-wide-aperture process.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesThree Kyushu sites (Sony Kokubu, Sony Oita, and Sony Nagasaki) integrated; Sony Semiconductor Kyushu established. Sites renamed Kokubu Technology Center , Oita Technology Center , and Nagasaki Technology Center, respectively.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Semiconductor Kyushu Kumamoto Technology Center established.

2002

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized an ultra-small TV tuner module 1.5 ml in volume.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped Virtual Mobile Engine reconfigurable circuit technology.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony LSI Design Atsugi office opened.

2003

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the world's first monolithic high-output two-wavelength laser diode.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the world's first single-chip LSI for GPS applications.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a four-color filter CCD that halves color reproduction errors, as well as a supporting image processor.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a 220 mW laser diode (highest level of output in the industry) enabling 16× DVD recording.

2004

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the first consumer 1080i-compatible HD CCD, supporting high-definition 1080i recording at a 16:9 aspect ratio.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a single-chip MPEG codec LSI (CXD4702GB) for high-quality recording/playback.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDecision making of shifting focus from CCD to CMOS image sensors.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Computer Entertainment fab integrated (incorporated into Nagasaki Technology Center).

2005

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the first CMOS sensor (1/3-inch type, 2.97 megapixels) for consumer HD digital video cameras.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a new SXRD: world's smallest (0.61-inch type) full HD reflective liquid crystal display device.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a compact digital tuner module enabling 1 seg digital terrestrial TV broadcast reception on mobile devices.

2006

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized ClearVid CMOS sensors with a new structure enabling both high resolution and high sensitivity.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a 10.2-megapixel APS-C CCD image sensor for consumer digital still cameras.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCell Broadband Engine™ mass production begins.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Semiconductor Kyushu Kokubu Technology Center renamed Kagoshima Technology Center.

2007

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized BrightEra 0.79-inch type transmissive microdisplays employing inorganic alignment film, with the world's highest brightness.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a high-power blue-violet laser diode for Blu-ray discs compatible with dual layer, 2×–4× recording.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized an APS-C size CMOS image sensor for DSLRs offering an industry-leading resolution of 12.47 effective megapixels.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a 0.61-inch type full HD SXRD for projectors that supports high frame rates.

2008

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a 35mm full-frame CMOS image sensor for DSLRs offering a resolution of 24.81 effective megapixels and high-speed readout.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with high image quality from low noise and nearly double the sensitivity of conventional sensors.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a CMOS image sensor for mobile phones with the industry's highest resolution of 12.25 effective megapixels, a world first.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesNagasaki Semiconductor Manufacturing (NSM) established jointly by Toshiba, Sony Corporation, and Sony Computer Entertainment for wafer production.

2009

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized World’s first back-illuminated CMOS image sensor. Installed into 2 digital high vision Handycams.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's first TransferJet-compatible LSIs.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's first demodulator LSI for DVB-T2 digital terrestrial broadcasts.

2010 2019 open

2010

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorLaunched the industry's first high-power (400 mW class) blue-violet laser diode for BDXL™-compatible Blu-ray discs.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor for mobile phones with a resolution of 16.41 effective megapixels, a world first.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorNewly developed Super 35 mm-equivalent CMOS image sensor for digital cinema camcorder.

2011

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorNewly developed SXRD: world's smallest (0.74-inch type) 4K reflective liquid crystal display device.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony Shiroishi Semiconductor absorbed into Sony Semiconductor Kyushu. Company name changed to Sony Semiconductor. Sony Shiroishi Semiconductor renamed Shiroishi-Zao Technology Center.

2012

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped next-generation Crystal LED Display technology, ideally suited to large screens and high picture quality.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped stacked CMOS image sensors, which have enabled the ongoing evolution of cameras. These models introduced RGBW coding and HDR movie functions.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped next-generation back-illuminated CMOS image sensors, again supporting ongoing evolution of cameras.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorJointly developed low-power LSIs for wideband millimeter-wave wireless communication offering the world's fastest transfer rate of 6.3 Gb/s.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the world's first true-green laser diode with optical power output surpassing 100 mW at a wavelength of 530 nm.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's first stacked CMOS image sensors and accompanying imaging modules.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony LSI Design Kyushu head office renamed as Fukuoka Branch.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesHigashiura Satellite established in the Higashiura Plant of Japan Display West in Chita, Aichi.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesTook over laminate substrate production of Sony Chemical & Information Device after this business was split off. Neagari Site established.

2013

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized mobile device global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receiver LSIs with the industry's lowest power consumption of 10 mW.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesHead office relocated to Kikuchi-gun, Kikuyo-machi, Kumamoto Prefecture.

2014

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorStart of external sales of highly durable and heat-resistant SoRPlas™ flame-retardant recycled plastic with up to 99% recycled content.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the world's highest-sensitivity CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the industry's first stacked CMOS image sensor with an image plane phase detection signal processing function for high-speed AF.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesNeagari Site closed due to termination of laminate substrate business.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesTsuruoka Factory of Renesas acquired, Yamagata Technology Center established.

2015

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorWorld’s first Cu-Cu (Copper-Copper) connection technology enters mass production.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesAcquired Softkinetic Systems S.A., a Belgian company specializing in ToF sensor technology.

2016

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the industry's first stacked CMOS image sensor with built-in hybrid autofocus and 3-axis electronic image stabilization.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the industry's first ISDB-S3 compatible demodulator LSI and tuner modules for 4K/8K digital satellite broadcasts.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesAcquired Altair Semiconductor, an Israeli company specializing in LTE modem chip technology.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony semiconductor business spun off from Sony Corporation as a subsidiary, starting business as Sony Semiconductor Solutions.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesCompany name changed to Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing. Oita Technology Center established in the city of Oita. Plant in Kunisaki renamed as Oita Technology Center Kunisaki Satellite.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesSony LSI Design Head office relocated (Atsugi).

2017

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped the industry's first 3-layer stacked CMOS image sensor with DRAM for smartphones.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the industry's first CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras that both mitigates LED flicker and enables HDR shooting.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped original low-power wide-area (LPWA) network technology.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a high-speed vision sensor enabling object detection and tracking at 1,000 fps.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorDeveloped a back-illuminated ToF image sensor with the industry's smallest pixel size.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized the industry's highest resolution 7.42 effective megapixel stacked CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a back-illuminated ToF sensor.

2018

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized SPRESENSE™, a low-power board equipped with a smart-sensing processor for IoT applications.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a 0.5- type OLED microdisplay withtop-of-class UXGA resolution.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a new SXRD™: the world's smallest (0.37-type) full HD reflective liquid crystal display device, and a dedicated signal processing drive LSI.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphones with the industry's highest 48 effective megapixels.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras that mitigates LED flicker and enables HDR shooting with the industry's highest 5.4 effective megapixels.

2019

  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized a communication module compatible with proprietary ELTRES™ low-power wide area (LPWA) wireless communication standard.
  • History of Sony's SemiconductorCommercialized two types of 4K-Resolution CMOS image sensors for security Cameras: world's Smallest type 1/2.8 and enhanced low-light performance type.
  • History of SSS Group's sitesAcquired Mido Holdings, a network virtualization technology developer.
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