Friday, April 08, 2016

Image Sensor Precautions

Sony publishes a 2016 edition of its Quality and Reliability Handbook. Its section 5.1 talks about precautions when dealing with image sensors:

  • Do not expose to ultraviolet rays, sunlight or other strong light for long periods. The transmittance and color characteristics of the on-chip lens and color filter may be affected.
  • Avoid storing or using products at a high temperature or high humidity, as this may adversely affect the transmittance or color characteristics.
  • The imaging characteristics may be affected by noise or other factors when strong electromagnetic waves or magnetic fields are approached during operation. Special care should be taken for CMOS image sensors as these are easily affected.
  • Note that the image of CMOS image sensors may be affected by light leaking to the optical black when using an infrared cut filter that has transmittance in the near infrared range while shooting subjects with high luminance.
  • Sony image sensor specifications do not assume use in environments with above-ordinary radiation levels.
  • White pixels occur spontaneously in image sensors over time and due to cosmic radiation. White pixels that occur should be compensated using a white pixel compensation circuit.


  1. Nothing new here, these are good practice rules of camera design companies.

    The degradations of the color filters under UV light, sun light, humidity and temperature has been well caracterized when the first image sensors for automotive use have been developed more than 10-15 years ago.

  2. How about laser light exposure resulting in column defects?!!

  3. Albert TheuwissenApril 9, 2016 at 9:12 AM

    About the white pixels that can occur in image sensors over time, there exist a patent about this effect (also from Sony) : see US 6,516,266 !!!

    1. Interesting patent. But, it claims the smallest dose route. So if a route is small, but not the smallest, there is no infringement. Claim 7 is more complicated but as long as you are not computing radiation on the semiconductor device, you are still ok (e.g. compute it for a human).

  4. Interesting that it seems to make reference to allowable particle sizes even when not talking about bare die...


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