Friday, November 04, 2011

Chipworks: Aptina Sensor in Nikon V1 Camera

Chipworks found Aptina sensor inside Nikon N1 V1 mirrorless camera. The new CX-format sensor is sized in between DSC and a micro 4/3 formats. Aptina's 12MP sensor with 2.4um 3.4um pixels has die marking (Aptina Logo)/APTINA/IMAGING/(M)C1CC©/2010.


Thanks to ESG for sending me the link!

29 comments:

  1. Note that the teardown article has updated the pixel size to 3.4 µm.

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  2. Glad to see Aptina finally getting somewhere..:)

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  3. @ "Note that the teardown article has updated the pixel size to 3.4 µm."

    Thanks - I updated it in my post as well.

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  4. found Nikon V1 or J1, but no N1? Is this brandly new?

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  5. Looks like it should be Nikon V1/J1 and 10MP sensor.

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  6. Congratulation Aptina!

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  7. And the picture quality reviews are awesome! Aptina never had a problem with Engineering, the problem all along was with the lack of aggressive marketing strategy, but it seems the tide is turning for them now.

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  8. I wonder who made the Image processors???

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  9. @ "found Nikon V1 or J1, but no N1?"

    Sorry for the typo. Chipworks talks about V1 but the same sensor is supposed to be in J1. I'm fixing it.

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  10. @ "Looks like it should be Nikon V1/J1 and 10MP sensor."

    Chipworks report talks about 12MP total pixels. Nikon spec too says 12MP total, 10.1MP effective:

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/NIKONV1/NIKONV1DAT.HTM

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  11. According the Imaging Resource interview with Masahiro Suzuki, General Manager R&D, Nikon Imaging Company, Nikon has designed the sensor and Aptina is providing manufacturing.

    Also the Nikon V1/J1 uses a 1" (CX) format which is smaller than both micro-4/3 and the DX format. DPReview has a nice comparison of the sizes.

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  12. Satya, I do not see Imaging Resource interview mentioning Aptina anywhere. And the die photo on Chipworks site clearly shows Aptina logo. It means that Aptina at least did a layout of this chip - like Omnivision's sensors have Omnivision logo and not TSMC's. I can not imaging that Nikon engineers would draw Aptina logo on their sensor.

    Indeed, Nikon's Masahiro Suzuki says that sensor was designed by Nikon, but to me Chipworks logo proves that Aptina took quite central role in its design.

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  13. More likely Nikon did the specifications and overall "design", and Aptina did all the detailed work. Just a guess.

    We can only hope that Aptina is not badly injured from recently shooting itself in the foot.

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  14. Since Nikon is obviously an Aptina customer now, Nikon might as well be a customer for Aptina's dual-gain DSLR sensor, MT9H004:

    http://www.aptina.com/solutions/dslr.jsp

    Aptina announced the MT9H004 sensor last year.
    It even got an innovation award and yet, there's still no DLSR using it.

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  15. How did Aptina should themselves in the foot???

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  16. Having a bloody foot is not good when there are sharIVks in the water.

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  17. What does it mean by the "shooting itself in the foot" thing?

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  18. Too late Eric
    Both were shot. Twice.
    Now bleeding profusely.
    You might see a limp or two.

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  19. To "shoot yourself in the foot" means that you mishandled a valuable weapon, like an old six-shooter and instead of shooting the enemy, you fumble and shoot yourself in the foot, not only causing injury to yourself but diminishing your ultimate chance of success.

    In this particular metaphor, Aptina also dropped the gun and let its opponent pick it up. One can only hope that they had a strategy better than trimming costs for possible IPO in mind (assuming that might be the reason).

    I started two international design centers at Photobit. One in Tokyo Japan under Junichi Nakamura and one in Oslo Norway under Johannes Solhusvik. I am very happy about the Tokyo center's apparent success (assuming they were involved with Nikon) and not so happy about the disposition of the very talented Oslo group.

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  20. Well said Eric, but going public is not the only way a company can become profitable. Also, i believe in life, its ok to make mistakes as long as you learn from them. The only issue is, some mistakes can be fatal!

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  21. It is somewhat safe to say that the success of a high-tech acompany is not only in its engineering prowess but its management also. It seems Aptina has serious issues with it's management and product strategy. Unfortunately, the engineers always suffer for the consequences.

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  22. Thats strange because the marketing and apps group believe its the ENG, especially design and PE who are slow and not efficient causing same mistakes over and over again. Especially some of the design managers

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  23. Hahaha...I once said here that one Aptina engineer does the work of 5 people with the pay of half a person if possible :). Someone or something is gotta give right??? Until there is nothing else to give.

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  24. looks like lot of people here from aptina

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  25. Sure looks like that.

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  26. Or impostors from competitors!

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  27. @ Aptina folks

    It's really cool that you get to design image sensors for a living. Whatever corporate unpleasantry goes with that, well, it's everywhere, so don't let it get you down.

    Disclaimer: I do not work for Aptina or a competitor. However, I will deal with stuff today ranging from real stuff in diapers to vapid yoga mom social posturing. It's not going to be pretty.

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  28. Who is this 'Anonymous'? Seems to speak so authoritatively, yet hides behind the cloak of anonymity. That makes one suspect from the start. I say bravo to both Aptina and Nikon. the V1 is a great camera. How many here have even tried one?

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