Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Omnivision Joins 1.75um Pixel Club

Yahoo: Omnivision announced the introduction of its new OmniPixel3 1.75um pixel technology. With this announcement Omnivision joins 1.75um pixel technology club, sort of. Other members of the club differ in the technology maturity: Micron and Samsung are in mass production, while ST is at the stage of technology declarations. Omnivision expects to launch its first product based on its OmniPixel3 architecture in Q3 2007.

The technical side of Omnivision's announcement is quite slim: The new pixel is based on 0.11um process. Omnivision improves the efficiency of the photodiode and optimizes the pixel design for high full-well capacity - just general statements, with no numbers supplied. Also the company is using a new low-noise pixel and column sense readout. OmniPixel3 architecture optimizes pixel symmetry to avoid color distortion. The up to 20% improvement in fill factor is reported.

The pixel DR is stated as 65db. Assuming the full well capacity be similar to Micron 7-8Ke, this translated to 4-5e of pixel noise. This is better than Samsung's 10e, but worse than Micron's 2.8e.

The dark currem is claimed to be 30e/s at unspecified temperature - useless number. Also Omnivision uses a new transfer gate design process and contact technologies that achieve lag-free operation and new color filter technology and zero-gap micro-lens technology.

Omnivision also announced that "the development of an even smaller 1.4 micron architecture already well underway."

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