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Giant CMOS sensor heads for SLRs

06 Sep 2007

Sony develops a 12.47 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor for use in digital SLR cameras.

Sony has developed a CMOS image sensor with a 12.47 effective megapixel resolution. What's more, the company claims that the device provides high-speed, enhanced image quality and noise reduction due to its unique circuit structure.

The IMX021 measures 28x22.3 mm and has 4312x2880 active pixels. It delivers a signal conversion speed (in all-pixel scan mode) of 10.39 frame/s (12bit). The device offers 12 channel parallel LVDS output with all-pixel scan or window readout modes available. The sample price is quoted as 40,000 yen ($344.40 US).

In a statement announcing the IMX021, Sony describes the noise canceling technology that allows the sensor to transfer signals directly to the image processing circuits of the camera. This is said to make the IMX021 ideal for digital SLR cameras.

"Our Column-Parallel Analog/Digital (A/D) Conversion Technique provides each column within the sensor with its own A/D converter," explained Sony. "This enables analog signals transferred from the sensor's vertical signal to be A/D converted directly, over the shortest possible distance."

Sony adds that this minimizes image degradation caused by the noise that arises during analog processing. "Since processing is performed in parallel for each column, A/D conversion can be performed at significantly lower frequencies compared with conventional non-parallel circuit structures," commented Sony.

IMX021 production will be carried out at Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation's Kumamoto Technology Center.

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