Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sony Announces New Sensors

Sony announces 4 new image sensors.

IMX290LQR and IMX291LQR are 1/2.8-inch, 2.3MP 2.9um BSI pixel CMOS sensors featuring an improved IR sensitivity and WDR modes. The new 2.9 ┬Ám BSI pixel is said to provide two or more times the sensitivity in the visible-light region and three or more times the sensitivity in the NIR region than that of the existing Sony product (IMX236LQJ). In addition, two types of WDR are provided: IMX290LQR has multiple exposure and DOL (Digital Overlap) -WDR function, while IMX291LQR has only multiple exposure WDR.

The multiple exposure-type WDR outputs one set of two or four frames with different exposure times. The gain can also be set separately for each frame in addition to the exposure time.

The DOL-type WDR function outputs the data for up to three frames with different storage times line by line. By performing special signal processing with an ISP or other device at the image sensor rear-end, this is said to improve the picture quality under low illumination compared to the multiple exposure-type WDR function.

Sony publishes quarter-resolution low-light images comparing the new sensors with the older IMX236LQJ, both shot at 0.08 lux, F1.4 lens 1080p30 mode (click to expand):

Older IMX236LQJ, gain 48dB
New IMX290LQR, gain 63dB

2.35MP IMX302LQJ is yet another member of 5.86um pixel-based global shutter sensor (Pregius) aimed to industrial and machine vision market. The sensor's speed is 64.1fps with 12b ADC.

Update: Talking about Sony global shutter sensors, IMV Europe quotes Thad Smith, director of business for image sensor products at ON Semiconductor: "IMX174 can indeed be considered a disruptive technology. The technology demonstrates the possibilities of the new charge-based pixel approach and sets a new benchmark for image quality. However, while IMX174 is a single part in the portfolio, On Semiconductor’s image sensors offer a larger range of solutions for the industrial market. This is a key differentiator." In recent months, Sony appears to release quite a few IMX174 derivatives featuring the same 5.86um global shutter pixels. And there is a 2nd generation of its global shutter pixel coming.

The 6.84MP ICX816AQG 1/1.1-inch CCD targets traffic monitoring cameras and features 3.69um pixels with high sensitivity and low smear:

Update: For some reason, as of Feb. 21, 2015, Sony has withdrawn the ICX816AQG CCD announcement. The links to it are broken.


  1. In case you didn't know, the last two links are broken.

    1. True. For some strange reason, Sony has withdrawn the ICX816 CCD announcement. If you google for icx816aqg, you still see it, but it's not on Sony site anymore.

  2. Today, we know why the link is brocken. They discontinue ALL CCD sensors....

  3. Where do you buy these? Seems like they haven't gotten to the typical american distributors yet.


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