Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Sony Announces New Products

It appears that Sony stopped publishing its quarterly magazines Cx-News and Cx-PAL with new product announcements. The last issue is dated by Feb. 2013. Now the new products are announced in Japanese.

The products announced in Aug. 2013 are 9 CMOS sensors and 2 CCDs. The CMOS sensors are:

The most interesting announcement is IMX178LQJ sensor which adapts 2.4um-large BSI pixel to security, surveillance and industrial applications. The 5MP 1/2-inch sensor is called "security camera ideal" and features 14b ADC. Its low-light sensitivity is said to be equivalent of that of 2.8um FSI pixel, while its DR is improved to be the same as the previous generation 3.75um pixel. The sensor's speed is 60fps in 12b mode, or 30fps in 14b mode. Sony publishes the low resolution sample images:

1 Lux illumination, F1.4, exposure unknown

The second interesting announcement is that RGB-W sensors are back, but in a different application. This time RGB-W CFA is used for industrial applications with 2.8um pixels and said to improve the sensitivity by 3.5dB over the same sensors with the regular Bayer patterns (IMX136LAJ over IMX136LQJ and IMX140LQJ over IMX140LAJ). Both sensors have 2.1MP resolution and mainly differ by the interface: IMX136 has CMOS and LVDS outputs, while IMX140 uses MIPI. Sony publishes nice RGB vs RGB-W image quality comparisons at 1000 lux, F5.6, 12b/60fps:

IMX136LQJ RGB version, Gain 14dB
IMX136LAJ RGB-W version, Gain 10dB

and at 1 lux, F1.4, 12b/60fps:

IMX136LQJ RGB version, Gain 42dB
IMX136LAJ RGB-W version, Gain 42dB

Another announcement is that Sony starts to target 1.4um pixel to industrial and security markets. The 13.19MP/13.5fps 1/2.45-inch IMX169CQK and 5.15MP/22.5fps 1/4-inch IMX168CQK taught higher resolution for these applications:

  • Features improved low-light and IR sensitivity
  • 2.43MP 1/2.8-inch
  • Frame rate 40fps in 10b mode, 20fps in 12b mode
  • Pixel size 2.8μm

  • Features improved low-light and IR sensitivity
  • 2.38MP 1/2.8-inch
  • Frame rate 108fps in 10b mode, 54fps in 12b mode
  • Pixel size 2.8μm

  • Features improved low-light and IR sensitivity
  • 1.37MP 1/3-inch
  • Frame rate 120fps in 10b mode, 60fps in 12b mode
  • Pixel size 3.75μm

  • 2.38MP 1/2-inch
  • 3.75um pixel
  • IR sensitivity improved by 1.8x over the previous generation
  • 120fps @ 10b, 60fps @ 12b

There are also two new CCDs:

20.1MP 1/2.3-inch ICX801SQW CCD is integrated in the same package with AFE (CDS / ADC / Driver / Timing Generator), based on 1.2um pixel and able to deliver 720p30 video. Sony calls it Digital Output CCD, DOC:

That same CCD is available as a stand-alone product, with no AFE integration, under p/n ICX801SQW.


  1. "1 Lux illumination, F1.4, exposure unknown"

    Doesn't the header on the photo pair (#2 in Japanese) on the Sony web site say 12 bit at 60 frame/s. So the integration time would be 1/60s?

    Not much use showing less than video rate for a security camera (though that wouldn't stop some :-)

    All may come clear when they publish the English version of the datasheet/PR later in the year.

  2. The RGB-W still shows lot of color aliasing

  3. Any idea on the QE at 850nm and 940nm for these parts (2.8u and 3.75u)?


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