Friday, January 17, 2014

Fairchild Imaging to Unveil sCMOS 2.0 Sensors

BAE Fairchild Imaging sends email invitations to its Photonics West booth on Feb 2-6, 2014, saying:

"We will be launching our next generation of sCMOS high performance CMOS image sensors: sCMOS 2.0. With the launch of sCMOS 2.0, we will bring the best of image sensor technologies that are ideally suited for the scientific camera market."

Thanks to BP for the info!


  1. Does that mean sCMOS 1.0 will go cheaper ? :)

  2. sCMOS 2.0 is cheaper and better. the rumor says that this version is made by TSMC instead of Towers, so the DC and 1/f noise is much lower.

    1. What do you mean by DC noise?

    2. Is cheaper while still unannounced? Will a small mono sCMOS2 camera fit under 1000 EUR/USD instead of 10 000 ? :)

    3. You buy a black magic camera at 999$. So the sensor used inside should be very cheap.

  3. Presumably, "DC" refers to "Dark Current".

  4. I thought SCMOS was always made in TSMC

  5. * To my knowledge, all sCMOS sensors are made by TSMC.
    * the black magic camera for 999$ has just HD resolution, meaning it is the small chip, nevertheless to achieve that price tag, they must have ordered more than a couple of 1000 pcs.
    * I doubt that sCMOS 2.0 will be cheaper, better it should be
    * sensorwise you can be sure that sCMOS 2.0 will be more expensive than sCMOS 1.0 (and it'll be only the RS version with the square resolution

    1. How is having only a rolling shutter better? Isn't a global-shutter capability a major selling point (and virtually essential) for a scientific/industrial sensor?

  6. Fairchild announced the first in a series of sCMOS 2.0 devices the first of which is the CIS 2020, a 2048 x 2048, 4/3in device at Photonics West 2014.

    In this PDF Andor says:

    ‘Gen I’ vs ‘Gen II’ sCMOS ?

    It has been noted with interest that another prominent player in the
    sCMOS field has opted to apply the term ‘Gen II’ to a 4T (4 transistor)
    variant of the low noise pixel architecture. This particular sensor
    is utilized also in the Zyla 4.2 model. While a 4T design can be
    considered beneficial in affording an improved Quantum Efficiency
    response, it does so at the expense of Global shutter capability, thus
    limiting application flexibility and synchronization performance.

    In the author’s opinion, it is misleading to apply an aggressive ‘Gen
    II’ marketing label to such a sensor variant, when both 4T (Rolling
    shutter) and 5T (Global shutter) CMOS concepts have been around
    for some time and are extremely well documented. The two sensor
    types are no more than design variations, offering distinct pros and
    cons that must be considered from an application context.
    " .

    The Marketing Term, "sCMOS 2.0", is being discounted (by Andor) as it implies a newer generation; the so-called "sCMOS 2.0" is an improvement to 4T (which is not new).

    The improvements offered by sCMOS are:

    • Extremely low noise
    • Rapid frame rates
    • Wide dynamic range
    • High resolution
    • Large field of view
    • High Quantum Efficiency (QE)
    • Rolling and Global (Snapshot) exposure modes

    sCMOS (Zyla 4.2) has a Quantum Efficiency of up to 72 % (@ 580nm). and a Read Noise of 0.9 e- @ 30 fps and 1.1 e- @ 100 fps, which is better than "sCMOS 1.0", such as the Fairchild HWK1910 or CIS2051, with a Read Noise of 1.2 e- @ 100 fps, along with a 20% lower DR.

    Going 4T, rather than 5T, lead to these improvements; at the cost of "True Global Shutter". Andor's Zyla 4.2 does allow synchronization with a pulsed light source to simulate GS using the ‘Global Clear’ function of the Sensor


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