Friday, February 26, 2010

Sony Does Not See BSI Tech in DSLRs

Imaging Resource publishes an interview with two Sony executives on the status and plans of Sony digital imaging business. Few questions were asked about image sensors:

IR: Can the back-illuminated technology be scaled up to larger chip sizes, like SLR size chips?

Masashi "Tiger" Imamura, SVP and President of the Personal Imaging & Sound Business Unit: That's a pretty detailed technical question, but as you may know, back-illuminated technology was developed because of the very small pixel sizes. It's because on the surface of the sensor, a lot of the area is occupied by the interconnect, so the [light-sensitive] area gets very small. This made the engineers think: "How can we make it different, so we can get more area?" In the case of the APS-C or larger imaging sensor, the ratio between the area of the sensor and the peripheral circuits; the light-sensitive part already has a bigger area. So if we made it back-illuminated, there wouldn't be as much advantage as with a smaller sensor.

IR: [if we see that feature in other manufacturers' cameras, does that mean that it's a Sony sensor, or do other companies make back-illuminated sensor chips?]

Imamura: Other manufacturers have already announced back-illuminated technology, like Fuji, Casio. We can't describe the details of the competitors; even if we knew which camera was using which kind of sensor, but as far as a general comment about the sensor industry, Sony is not the only company to provide a back-illuminated sensor.

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