Friday, January 09, 2009

Sony BSI Sensor in Products

It looks like Sony leads the race to get BSI sensors into production. Just announced Sony 2009 camcorder lineup features Back-illuminated Exmor-R sensor. Sonystyle also has a video on the new sensors.

Sony says that its BSI sensor provides approximately 2x increase in sensitivity compared with conventional models. However, InfoSync observed just 50% improvement in brightness and exposure comparing BSI-based HDR-XR520V with conventional HDR-SR12.

It's hard to say what is the pixel size in the new sensor. HDR-XR520V camcorder featuring 1/3.15" Exmor-R sensor has 12.1MP stills resolution, which corresponds to 1.1um pixels, if no tricks are used. Most probably, Sony interpolates the its 45-deg angled ClearVid sensor by a factor of 2, meaning that the physical pixel size is close to 1.6-1.7um or so.

The HDR-XR520V and HDR-XR500V camcorders with BSI sensor will begin shipping in March 2009.

Update: Camcorderinfo.com reports that the actual pixel count of HDR-XR520V sensor is 6.6MP, which means that my pixel size estimations of 1.6-1.7um are correct.

4 comments:

  1. Sony first to production not important because Sony and Omnivision (the other big BSI guy) are trying different things.

    Sony is the high end with a part that sells for $15 - $25. Omnivision's BSI target $3-5 market.

    Sony is niche but Omnivision is mass market. They can both make some money.

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  2. Yes, you are probably right. Still, it's quite exciting that BSI sensors become the mass market reality in March.

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  3. Actually, Omnivision's BSI announcements are towards the 8MP segment, which I expect to be priced higher than $3-$5 range.

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  4. Not only 8MP. Omnivision also announced 5MP BSI SoC:

    http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com/2008/09/omnivision-rolls-out-14um-bsi-based-5mp.html

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