TOKYO Jan 28 (Reuters) - Sony Corp will buy a factory from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics Corp for 7 billion to 8 billion yen ($68 million to $78 million) to ramp up production of imaging sensors, sources told Reuters on Tuesday, as demand for smartphones grows.
Sony, which claims around a third of the market for CMOS imaging sensors used in cameras and smartphones, will spend a further 20 billion to 30 billion yen on equipment to install in the factory, according to one of the sources.
Last October, the firm said it hoped to extend CMOS capacity by 20 percent in the next few years, with the bulk of this business year's 60 billion yen budget for investment in semiconductors going into the image sensors.
Renesas, which previously announced it would close the factory in a restructuring move after making massive losses, was reported by other Japanese media to be cutting a further 5,400 staff on Jan. 22.
The sources said the companies would release a formal statement on the factory purchase on Wednesday. ($1=102.4350 Japanese yen) (Reporting by Reiji Murai; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)