Monday, February 28, 2011

ISSCC 2011 Review, Part 5

Albert Theuwissen concludes his series of ISSCC reviews. The last part talks about the following presentations:

Albert Wang (Cornell University) "An Angle Sensitive CMOS imager for single-sensor 3D photography"

Robert Johansson (Aptina) "A 1/13-inch 30fps VGA SoC CMOS image sensor with shared reset and transfer gate pixel control"

Sangjoo Lee (Samsung) "A 1/2.33-inch 14.6M 1.4 um pixel backside illuminated CMOS imager sensor with floating diffusion boosting"

Dan Pates (Aptina) "An APS-C format 14b digital CMOS image sensor with a dynamic response pixel"

Takayuki Toyama (Sony) "A 17.7 Mpixel 120 fps CMOS image sensor with 34.8 Gb/s readout" - this is probably the same sensor that Sony talked about last week, so I'll quote Albert's impressions from the presentation:

"The sensor reported was on based on the “classical” Sony concept of column parallel ADCs based on up-down counters. But because of the extremely high bitrate of the overall chip, the 14 counters in the column are split into two parts:

  • The lower 5 bit counters, which are driven with 248 columns in parallel, in such a way that the columns do not contain the real counters, but contain memory cells,
  • The upper 9 bit counters, which are based on real counters as before.

This hybrid construction allows to maintain the high accuracy of 14 bits with the extremely high speed of 34.8 Gb/s overall. The device runs at 120 fps at 12 bits and 60 fps at 14 bits. The chip is realized in 90 nm technology, 1P4M and consumes a total power of 3W at 120 fps.


  1. Thanks for your work!

  2. Sounds like this 17.7mp camera might be Sony's new 6K cinema camera (that targets 4K resolution).

  3. My apologies for getting lost in translation, but do the "lower 5 bit counters" keep track of the 5 least-significant bits or the 5 most-significant bits?

  4. On the sony sensor:
    17.7 Mpixels * 120 fps * 12 bit = 25.5 Gbps.

    So where does the 34.8 Gb/s come from? Is there a large overhead in the data output?


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