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Annual Report 2011

Focus Areas for Growth
-- Competitive Advantages through Differentiated Technologies

  • Exmor R™
We will also strengthen and advance our differentiated technologies and core devices -- sources of our competitive advantages in electronics -- as another focus area of growth going forward.

The HDR-XR520V and HDR-XR500V Handycam® camcorders introduced in 2009 succeeded in setting Sony further apart from other video camera brands. These models were the world's first consumer models mounted with the "Exmor R™" back-illuminated complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor,* which achieves increased sensitivity and reduced picture noise. Subsequent Handycam® video cameras and Cyber-shot™ compact digital cameras also used this image sensor. Sony's digital imaging business contributes substantially to Sony's results and its products, including the NEX-5 and NEX-3 interchangeable lens digital cameras, earned considerable acclaim -- including the Nihon Keizai Shimbun Awards top prize in the Nikkei Superior Products and Services Awards for the past two consecutive years.

We also supply image sensors to other digital camera and cell phone manufacturers around the world. Our quick responses to feedback from these companies allow us to maintain a high level of competitiveness, and help to ensure that we keep our top market share in image sensors. Looking ahead, we are responding to the rapid growth in the market for smartphones by investing decisively in CMOS image sensors to expand our production capacity and revolutionize our technologies, with the aim of further bolstering profits.

Sony is also accelerating the growth and differentiation of our professional-use camera business by developing content creation products and security cameras that integrate our latest proprietary technologies into our image sensor and component businesses.

In addition, Sony's digital cinema projectors, which I mentioned earlier, display 3D images in high quality through the use of SXRD™ (Silicon X-tal Reflective Display), Sony's proprietary high-resolution and high-speed response display technology.

We also intend to leverage these and other technologies to foster new businesses within the growing energy and medical fields.

Professional-Use Master Monitor with Sony's Proprietary OLED Panel

  • 25-inch professional-use OLED master monitor
    25-inch professional-use OLED master monitor
In fiscal year 2011, Sony will launch the BVM series of professional-use OLED master monitors, combining its TRIMASTER technology -- which ensures accurate color reproduction, precise images and outstanding reliability -- with its proprietary OLED panels. Delivering the deep, pure blacks and superb contrast only possible with a self-lit OLED, as well as a quick response time and minimal motion blur, the BVM series sets a new standard for master monitors, for which top picture quality is paramount. These monitors were exhibited to considerable acclaim at the 2011 NAB Show, one of the world's largest digital media industry events for video, audio, film and communications professionals.

Energy Storage: A New Pillar of Sony's Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery Business

  • Energy storage module using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries made with olivine-type lithium-ion ir
    Energy storage module using rechargeable lithium-ion batteries made with olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate.
Sony was the first company to succeed in mass producing lithium-ion batteries. Building on decades of accumulated know-how, in April 2011 Sony commenced mass production and shipment of an exclusive energy storage module comprising rechargeable lithium-ion batteries made with olivine-type lithium-ion iron phosphate as the cathode material. Key features of the module include long-life performance (with projected longevity of 10 years or more), enhanced safety, high recharging speed and high expandability. Sony plans to supply these modules to corporations and other organizations as a backup power source or for load-leveling during peak electricity periods.

Sony Expands Its Digital Cinema Business from Selling Vertically Integrated Products to Providing Solutions Services

Sony -- which is in the unique position of being able to capitalize on upstream expertise gained from one of its worldwide entertainment operations, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), and to propose new ideas -- has signed agreements to digitize major theater chains in a number of countries, including Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Entertainment Inc., two of North America's largest theater chains.
Sony's Digital Cinema Projection System comprises a projector that can project ultra-high-resolution 4K video (8.85 million pixels, more than four times that of full HD) and a cinema server that can store and transfer video content to the projector. In March 2011, it was accredited by the industry standards body as the world's first "Integrated Projection System." This uniquely enables Sony to expand its total solutions business, of which the core is the "Integrated Projection System," to theaters worldwide.

Focus Areas for Growth

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