Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors (CIS) provide integrated functions and reduced power consumption compared to charge-coupled device (CCD) sensors. Many of the newest units target portable applications such as camera phones, digital still cameras (DSCs), and digital camcorders. As part of the push for higher resolution and image quality, the resolution has already exceeded that of comparable CCD sensors making CIS units an ideal source for DSC and Video Graphics Array (VGA) applications. The following products have been introduced within the last seven months.
7.2-Megapixel CMOS IMAGE SENSOR
Delivering high signal to noise ratio, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s recently announced its new 7.2-megapixel CIS has a 1/2-inch lens aperture and a 2.25-µm pixel. The proprietary pixel structure enhances the fill factor over 55 percent. Using copper technology for interconnects provides a reduced pixel height with high focusing efficiency and sensitivity. Boasting the same performance level as CCD units, the CIS operates at a 90 percent lower power level. For more information on Samsung Electronics' 7.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4417-537.
5-MEGAPIXEL CMOS IMAGE SENSOR
Designed for high-volume consumer market, Eastman Kodak Company's PIXELUX 5-megapixel CMOS image sensors target camera phone and digital video applications. Manufactured at IBM's Burlington, VT wafer fab through a technology agreement between the two companies, the units use IBM's 0.18-µm CMOS copper manufacturing process. The 5-million pixel, 1/1.8-inch optical format KAC-5000 has a 2.7-µm pixel. Technology innovations in the design include the use of low dark current pinned photodiodes, four-transistor (4T) pixels, and shared pixel architectures. The shared pixel architecture allows charge-domain binning of multiple pixels on the imaging array, which provides operating modes with increased sensitivity for low light image and video capture. For more information on Kodak's KAC-5000 Image Sensors, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4417-535.
2-MEGAPIXEL 1.27-INCH IMAGE SENSOR
Targeting high-end camera-enabled mobile handset applications, Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. ET8EA3-AS 2-megapixel resolution CIS also addresses image sensing in Smartphones. The new chip has a 3.3 x 3.3-µm pixel size in a 1632 horizontal by 1216 vertical array with a 1/2.7-inch optical format. Capable of up to 15 frame-per-second (fps) operation for full-resolution output, the unit integrates an analog-to-digital (A/D) converter. For more information on Toshiba's 2-megapixel CMOS image sensor, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/ 4417-538.
3-Megapixel 1/3-INCH CMOS IMAGER
Sony reduced the size of the transistors in the pixel matrix of its 1/3-inch, 3-megapixel CIS. This provides a larger photo-sensitive area in the pixel and enables the unit to process more light than a conventional CMOS sensor. In addition, the unit integrates Correlated Double Sampling circuits to achieve extremely low-noise image quality. For more information on Sony's 3-megapixel CMOS sensor, go to http:// rbi.ims.ca/4417-536.