Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sony Announces Fast CCD, HD Video Sensor and 1.12um BSI Sensors Family

Sony CX-News vol. 65 announces few new imagers: 1-inch 6MP CCD providing full HD video,1/2.8-inch 1080p/30 video CMOS sensor and smartphone-oriented 1.12um BSI sensors.

Industrial applications targeted ICX694 15.99mm-diagonal CCD has 6.09MP resolution and is based on 4.54um pixel. The ICX694's four outputs allow it to operate at 25fps speed at full resolution of 46fps in 1092-line cropping mode. So far diagonal 11 mm (Type 2/3) were the upper optical limit of Sony lineup of image sensors for industrial cameras. Sony used the same "EXviewHAD CCD II" pixels in 1-inch format to increase sensor's resolution while maintaining high IR sensitivity. The CCD is available in B&W and color versions.

The industrial-oriented 1/2.8-inch 2.43MP IMX122LQJ CMOS sensor uses 2.8um pixel arranged in a diagonal fashion. The sensor is said to have improved low light sensitivity by 6db and SNR by 8db as compared to the older Sony 1/3-inch sensors. The claim is supported by pictures (looks like zoom-able to full resolution in the pdf doc):

The 1.12um BSI family consists of 16.41MP/15fps IMX081PQ, 13.25MP/15fps IMX091PQ, and 8.17MP/22.5fps IMX111PQ imagers. Sony says it managed to increase the sensitivity of the new sensor, as measured per unit pixel by about 1.35 times compared to the current 1.4 µm front-illuminated sensors. The saturation signal level is increased by 1.15 times, as converted to value per unit area.

All sensors in the family deliver 1080p/60fps video by addition/averaging processing of up to four pixels of the same color in vertical and horizontal direction. The interface is MIPI (SCI-2) 1,2 or 4 lanes (up to 2 lanes in 8MP sensor).

The sensors integrate some image processing circuitry. Sony says: "substituting high-speed CPUs to process images for dedicated image processors is a strong ongoing trend. The IMX081PQ, IMX091PQ and IMX111PQ have a function for correcting image quality to optimum image data built into the sensor. This function easily provides high picture quality even without processing by an dedicated image processor (See figure 2):"


  1. When is Sony going to publish absolute responsivity or QE curves, instead of nearly useless normalized curves?

  2. any comparison to CMOS counterparts?

  3. At least they publish something, and some companies publish their absolute QE measurements for Sony CCDs.

    In some excent you can get estimated absole QE using the "typ. Sensitivity 1" value from the Sony sheet - divide that by pixel area and compare with such value of a CCD of known absolute QE. It seems to be quite accurate for progressive scan CCDs.

    ICX694ALG - "1000 mV (F8.0)" and comparing vs ICX618 with ~62% QE it gives 78,6% QE max (to much?) 62% if I use "min. Saturation signal" at. 800mV.

    Astroimagers will be happy :)

  4. Most of the Sony curves are converted to absolute on the Applied Vision Technologies website.

  5. Dave,

    Could you post a link? Google search on "Applied Vision Technologies" points to a company located in Sydney, Australia and having no website.

  6. Sorry, Allied Vision, not Applied Vision.

    Just use their search box - enter the chip type, like icx285.


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