Wednesday, May 23, 2007

NHK Demos 8K by 4K HDTV Sensor

EETimes: Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) has developed a 33-million pixel CMOS image sensor to deliver "8K by 4K" video resolution, which Japan's largest broadcaster is promoting as Super Hi-Vision.

Super Hi-Vision images consists of about 33 million (7,680 by 4,320) pixels. NHK currently uses Super Hi-Vision cameras that employ four 8-megapixel CMOS sensors jointly developed with Micron Technology Inc. to produce 8K by 4K video, but a full-HD resolution image sensor was the first priority.

NHK researchers worked with an unnamed U.S. joint venture company to develop the image sensor and fabricate a prototype. During the demonstration, they used the image sensor to capture monochrome moving images with a 12-bit gray scale and progressive scanning.

"Pixel size was kept as large as possible for requirements such as sensitivity and dynamic range," a laboratory spokesman said, adding that the 3.8 sq. um pixel was almost the same size as the 8-megapixel image sensor.

12-bit image data was divided into 16 fragments for read out. The prototype currently operates at 30fps at 125 MHz. "If the image sensor operates fast enough, we will not need to use 16-channel parallel reading out," the spokesman added.

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