Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sony 10MP CCD with 2.03um Pixels

Sony Cx-News Vol. 57 announces a new 10MP CCD with improved DR and low-light performance. It appears to be designed for the recently launched Canon G11 camera. The 1/1.7-inch ICX685CQZ CCD has 2.03um pixels and is said to have 2x better sensitivity and 1.7x better saturation signal comparing with ICX665/675 CCDs with 1.68um pixels.

Sony also announces LAMINATE substrate used for its SiP (system in package) devices, including camera phone modules, packages for DSCs, camcorders and other products.


  1. The ICX685CQZ has 1.5X more total area than the ICX665. That involves trade-offs such as the cost and weight of the optics (for the same f-number, angle of view, etc.).

    Aside from the difference in total size, I wonder if any of the improvement in "sensitivity" is due to improved QE or if it's all just from higher conversion gain. The SNR graph hints at significantly improved read noise. (Would it kill them to put a few hard numbers in their marketing docs? Sheesh.)

    If the performance of this sensor is as good as they make out, it might explain why Canon was willing to step backwards from a 15 MP sensor in the G10 to a 10 MP sensor in the G11.

  2. Initial numbers are in from raw file analysis of the G11 (ICX685):

    2.15 e-/ADU gain
    8500 e- FWC
    3.6 e- read noise

    Looks like a pretty big improvement over the G10:

    1.28 e-/ADU gain
    5080 e- FWC
    8.3 e- read noise.

    Now it is up to the level of the LX3 (and even surpasses it in read noise).

  3. Daniel,

    Very interesting. I was surprised to learn that Sony small pixel has that much higher noise. Something went wrong in their design.


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