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Sony to beef up chip business with new engineers

The Sony logo is seen on a building in the borough of Manhattan of New York City, New York, USA, 16 January 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

TOKYO (Reuters) – Sony Corp said on Thursday it will allocate 40 per cent of new engineer hires in Japan for the next two years, the chip business in which imaging sensors, as it will be there for the growth of new applications in everything from cars to phones.

The allocation is in line with the company’s plans to invest 600 billion yen ($5.4 billion) in the image sensors in the three years to March 2021, or the half of the group, the planned investments.

Sony more than the half of the image sensor market for smartphones, and the sensor of the company was one of the most important drivers of change for the conglomerate, which in the heyday of the led, the world of consumer gadgets.

Investors are looking to the next earnings pillar as Sony’s gaming business is showing signs of slowing down, with its popular PlayStation 4 (PS4) console is nearing the end of its life cycle.

But the company lowering of the annual profit outlook for the imaging sensors this month to 130 billion yen, accounting for only 15 percent of the group in the total profit, by weakening the global demand for smartphones.

Sony plans to hire 320 new engineers annually in Japan this year and the next is increased from 250 in 2018. The figures do not include those hired by foreign units.

Chipmakers have usually maintained their long-term investment plans as they look for new technologies, such as the fifth-generation (5G) communication networks and artificial intelligence to fuel growth in the industry.

SK Hynix Inc. on Thursday said it would spend $107 billion building four memory chip factories in South Korea, beginning 2022.

Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Stephen Coates

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