Sony expects to supply 15 of the world’s 20 largest automakers with imaging sensors by 2025.
This underscores the company’s ambitions in electric cars and autonomous driving as it tries to diversify beyond mobile phones.
The Japanese conglomerate announced its intention to accelerate its drive into the auto industry in 2020 when it unveiled a prototype electric vehicle called the Vision-S.
This year, the company also launched its electric vehicle division, and announced a joint venture with car maker Honda.
Sony said it now aims to provide the necessary sensors for electric and autonomous vehicles. It wants to enter new areas other than making parts for smartphone cameras for Apple, Google and Samsung.
Head of Sony’s Imaging and Sensing business said: “We expect to do business in automotive imaging sensors with 75% of the world’s 20 largest auto manufacturers by fiscal year 2025.”
He added that the 20 car manufacturers may manufacture about 80% of the cars sold worldwide within three years.
Sony plans to spend about $7 billion developing imaging sensors between 2021 and 2023, nearly three times what it spent between 2015 and 2017.
One challenge is securing the chips, as the pandemic has shrunk supply chains and sharply reduced companies’ inventories.
The Japanese company has invested in a joint venture with Taiwan semiconductor maker TSMC to build a $7 billion chip factory in Japan.
It wanted to deepen its cooperation to secure a stable supply of logic semiconductors, which are used to control the operation of electronic devices.
The company is making progress after a faltering start. Sony struggled with the car business initially, but they are catching up now. There were production capacity issues, but they were resolved thanks to the partnership with TSMC.
Sony wants to provide sensors for electric vehicles
Sony also told investors that it is increasing the production of the PlayStation 5 platform as well as diversifying into mobile and computer games.
The PlayStation 5 platform was launched in late 2020. The company sold fewer units in its second year due to parts shortages caused by the pandemic.
Analysts expect the company to fill the gap in the third year and surpass PlayStation 4 platform sales in 2024.
Jim Ryan, President of Sony Games, said: “We plan to significantly increase production of the PlayStation 5 this year, which will allow us to close the gap with the PlayStation 4.
He added that the company had planned further significant increases in the platform’s production, which would take it to production levels it had not previously achieved.
But Ryan said supply problems were his top priority. He noted the risks posed by the coronavirus lockdowns in China and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The company is still betting on an economic increase from China, hoping that PlayStation 5 sales will be driven in part by unprecedented demand in the world’s second largest economy.
“Platform games are expected to make up more than two-thirds of releases this year,” Ryan said. But Sony plans to release nearly half of its new games on mobile devices or PCs by 2025.
Sony’s move into mobile and PC games is a big step, given the company’s low profile across those platforms.