Business Wire: Aptina made few big announcements today explaining its A-Pixel technology, FSI and BSI pixel plans and also launched two new sensors. I was given a media kit accompanying these announcements. The pictures below are from this kit.
The corporate presentation says that Aptina has achieved $547M sales in 2009 and the company has about 700 employees. Aptina's historical milestones are shown on the slide below:
The most interesting part here is an acquisition of GG&C in 2007. I do not recall any official announcements about that. A quick search on Linked-In shows that GG&C developed a telescope with extended depth of field.
Market share slide is rarely seen chart based on revenue, rather than units. It shows quite different picture from the unit market shares:
Next slide shows conflicting requirements of stills photography and video, with video mostly demanding low light:
This results in Aptina FSI vs BSI approach:
Here comes the explanation of Aptina A-Pix advantages - combination of deep photodiode with lightguide results in improved light sensitivity:
Next slide says that BSI is not really necessary at 1.4um pixel node, if one has 65nm process instead. First BSI products will be announced in the second half on this year at 1.1um node:
3rd generation A-Pix features better fill factor dues to thinner metals in 65nm process:
Aptina FSI vs BSI whitepaper says about BSI problems:
"For 1.4 micron BSI pixels, QE is typically in the 50-60 percent range with crosstalk in the 15-20 percent range. The combination of BSI’s high QE and somewhat degraded crosstalk at 1.4 micron results in a net overall image quality that is comparable to FSI for 1.4 micron pixels.
Today, 1.1 micron BSI pixels are still in the early stages of development, but when they are production-ready, they would be expected to have a QE approaching 50-60 percent with crosstalk in the 10-30 percent range. These 1.1 micron BSI pixels should be outperforming 1.1 micron FSI pixels at that point due to the fabrication challenges in shrinking FSI pixels to 1.1 micron.
A tipping point for BSI will be the 1.1 micron pixel node where FSI will likely be unable to achieve the market-required performance – necessitating a transition to BSI for applications that require this smaller pixel."
Additionally, Aptina announced two new sensors based on 3rd generation 1.4um A-Pix technology: the 3MP SOC MT9T113 and the 5MP MT9P017. Both sensors have small die size suited for integration into 6.5 x 6.5 mm modules, parallel and MIPI interfaces and integrated AF VCM driver.
The 1/5-inch MT9T113 SOC features JPEG thumbnail support, Scalado SpeedTags and 720p/30fps HD video. The 1/4-inch MT9P017 has adaptive noise reduction, 2D dynamic defect correction, and supports 1080p/30fps or 720p/30fps HD video.
Update: There is Youtube video with A-Pix explanations by Gennadiy Agranov, Aptina's VP of Imaging Technology:
Update #2: EETimes published an article on the new Aptina announcements.