Friday, July 06, 2012

Chipworks Shows Phase AF Pixels in Canon DSLR

Chipworks published a teardown report of the new Canon EOS 650D – Rebel T4i DSLR. Its LC1270 sensor uses phase detection for quick auto-focusing.

Phase detection is where there are pairs of sensors that are blocked left and right (or top and bottom) and from the differences, the camera has the information needed to bring the image into focus:

IR image of the pixel array

Chipworks first analyzed this type of technology in the Nikon V1 with an Aptina sensor MT9J007. Aptina used a set of 9 regular lines of phase AF pixels, while Canon is using a somewhat irregular pixel pattern for phase detection:

Canon patent US 2010/0165176 has a fairly detailed description of their approach.


  1. Does it mean that these AF pixels are removed by image processing???

  2. Correct, removing few pixel out of the array is hardly noticeable.

  3. Does Aptina have IP on AF pixels used in Nikon V1 camera??

  4. No, Aptina does not own that IP. I remember reading some article in Nikonrumors site that IP was owned by Nikon.


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