Panasonic Plans New Image Sensor Factory

Demand for digital cameras and medical goods spurs decision.

Japan's Panasonic Corp. said Tuesday it planned to build a new factory at a cost of more than $900 million to produce image sensors to meet growing demand for digital cameras and medical goods. Image sensors turn pictures into electrical form, making them a key component for cameras, scanners and other devices. Panasonic said it would build the new factory next to its existing plant for image sensors in central-western Toyama prefecture. The company will spend 94 billion yen (US$922 million) on the new 11,000 square-meter (118,400 square-foot) facility. It did not specify when it would be operational. Panasonic, one of Japan's leading companies with 300,000 employees worldwide, officially took the name last week in a bid to boost its global profile. The Osaka-based company was previously known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Ltd., taking the name of the company's founder, even though it marketed goods under Panasonic, National and other labels. Panasonic said Tuesday it had just achieved a feat of selling a record 300 million television sets around the world since 1952. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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