TOKYO A Fuji Film group company has purchased an 8-inch wafer line from a Motorola Inc. subsidiary here as it seeks to ramp up production quickly to cope with a CCD shortage.
Fujifilm Microdevices Co. Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fuji Photo Film Corp., and Tohoku Semiconductor Corp., Motorola's subsidiary in Japan, have agreed to the transfer of Tohoku's 8-inch fab to the Fuji unit. The plant terminated operations last December. Both companies are based in Miyagi Prefecture.
"CCDs are really short to satisfy demand," a Fuji spokesman said. "Fujifilm Microdevices was considering expanding its production capacity. TSC's fab was close to the company and the existing fab will enable us to quickly modify and prepare production."
Tohoku operated a 6- and 8-inch wafer lines. Production using the 8-inch wafer line was shifted to Tianjin, China, where Motorola has a large chip operation.
Fujifilm Microdevices produces proprietary CCD devices called Super CCD. The devices use octagonal photodiodes arranged in a honeycomb pattern. The structure enables Fuji to make each pixel area larger, resulting in high sensitivity, wider dynamic range, higher signal-to-noise ratio and higher resolution, the company said.
Fuji Film thus far has been using Super CCD devices internally for its own digital cameras, but it has recently sold the device for use in mobile phones with cameras. The company will modify the 8-inch line to a CCD-dedicated production line as soon as possible, said the spokesman. Details on fab capacity and when operations would begin were not disclosed.
Tohoku Semiconductor will continue fabricating devices on 6-inch line for automotive applications.