Industry News: Sony Develops World’s First Stacked CMOS Sensor With 2-Layer Transistor Pixel

Sony

Sony announced the development of a new image sensor with 2-Layer transistor pixels.

Sony press release:

Sony Develops World’s First*1 Stacked CMOS Image Sensor Technology
with 2-Layer Transistor Pixel

Widens Dynamic Range and Reduces Noise by Approximately Doubling*2 Saturation Signal Level*3

*1: As of announcement on December 16, 2021.

*2: Based on comparison, on a one square μm equivalent basis, between existing image sensor and the new technology applied to Sony’s back-illuminated CMOS image sensor; as of announcement on December 16, 2021.

*3: A single pixel’s maximum electron storage capacity.

Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation (“Sony”) has succeeded in developing the world’s first*1 stacked CMOS image sensor technology with 2-Layer Transistor Pixel. Whereas conventional CMOS image sensors’ photodiodes and pixel transistors occupy the same substrate, Sony’s new technology separates photodiodes and pixel transistors on different substrate layers. This new architecture approximately doubles*2 saturation signal level*3 relative to conventional image sensors, widens dynamic range and reduces noise, thereby substantially improving imaging properties. The new technology’s pixel structure will enable pixels to maintain or improve their existing properties at not only current but also smaller pixel sizes.

Sony announced this breakthrough at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting that started on Saturday, December 11, 2021.

Stacked CMOS image sensor architectures

A stacked CMOS image sensor adopts a stacked structure consisting of a pixel chip made up of back-illuminated pixels stacked atop a logic chip where signal processing circuits are formed. Within the pixel chip, photodiodes for converting light to electrical signals, and pixel transistors for controlling the signals are situated alongside each other on the same layer. Increasing saturation signal level within form-factor constraints plays an important role in realizing high image quality with wide dynamic range.

Sony’s new architecture is an advancement in stacked CMOS image sensor technology. Using its proprietary stacking technology, Sony packaged the photodiodes and pixel transistors on separate substrates stacked one atop the other.
In conventional stacked CMOS image sensors, by contrast, the photodiodes and pixel transistors sit alongside each other on the same substrate. The new stacking technology enables adoption of architectures that allow the photodiode and pixel transistor layers to each be optimized, thereby approximately doubling saturation signal level relative to conventional image sensors and, in turn, widening dynamic range.

Additionally, because pixel transistors other than transfer gates (TRG), including reset transistors (RST), select transistors (SEL) and amp transistors (AMP), occupy a photodiode-free layer, the amp transistors can be increased in size. By increasing amp transistor size, Sony succeeded in substantially reducing the noise to which nighttime and other dark-location images are prone.
The widened dynamic range and noise reduction available from this new technology will prevent underexposure and overexposure in settings with a combination of bright and dim illumination (e.g., backlit settings) and enable high-quality, low-noise images even in low-light (e.g., indoor, nighttime) settings.
Sony will contribute to the realization of increasingly high-quality imaging such as smartphone photographs with its 2-Layer Transistor Pixel technology.

[via Sony Alpha Rumors]

Canon Opens A New CMOS Sensor Factory, Increases Production Capacity

Canon Eos R5 Mark Ii Canon EOS R6 Mark Ii Rf Mount Eos R6 Mark Ii Rf 300mm Rf 35mm Canon Eos R100 Rf 24mm F/1.8 Rf-s Canon Eos R7 Eos R100 Canon High Resolution Eos R R10 Eos C5 Canon Eos R1 Eos R5c Canon Rf 16mm Rf 35mm F/1.2L EF Lenses Tilt-shift Lenses Rumor

Canon is set to establish a new CMOS sensor manufacturing factory at Hiratsuka Plant, Japan. The production will fulfill primarily Canon’s own imaging sensor needs but they may also sell to third parties in the future.

The report comes from Newswitch and as spotted by Digital Camera Info, which summarizes what it is about (emphasis mine):

Canon will utilize part of the site of the Hiratsuka Plant (Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture) to build a new CMOS image sensor manufacturing building. The investment amount is over 21 billion yen. Scheduled to start operation in July 2023. In addition to increasing the production capacity of CMOS image sensors installed in its own products such as cameras, it will also respond to growing demand for external sales.

Originally, Canon produced CMOS image sensors for the purpose of in-house production for its own cameras, but started selling them outside a few years ago. It is used in applications such as surveillance cameras and inspection equipment.

I wonder if this plant will also produce imaging sensors for consumer cameras. Guess it will, given the global supply chain issues.

Canon Offers CMOS Sensor Evaluation Kits For Third Party Application Development

Cmos Sensor Evaluation

If you are developing gear build around Canon’s super specialised image sensors then you have a new tool for your craft. We featured Canon’s specialised sensors a lot.

Canon press release:

Canon’s new CMOS Sensor Evaluation Kits Are Now Available Through Authorized Distributors

MELVILLE, NY, November 14, 2019 – Expanding the company’s CMOS sensor business offerings, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce the availability of the first Canon CMOS Sensor Evaluation Kits starting November 15, 2019. These high-quality, easy to use evaluation kits are a key tool to be able to test sensor performance firsthand and kick start product development. The evaluation kits will be available through authorized distributors: Phase 1 Technology Corp, Macnica Americas Inc. and Digi-Key Electronics.

Canon’s pixel-level innovations offer sensor options for ultra-high resolution, ultra-high sensitivity, low noise and global shutter, as well as a specialized RGB-NIR color filter array. The advanced components of the kit will help developers test sensor features and performance to help ensure a fit with their application across a variety of industries, including biomedical, medical imaging, machine vision, robotics, aerial mapping, astronomy, satellite technology, pathological phenotyping and other demanding imaging applications.

“Understanding that image sensors are an important driving force behind the competitive digital imaging industry, Canon is excited to add these CMOS Sensor Evaluation Kits to our portfolio,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Continuing with the mission to develop technology which can ultimately help end-users increase efficiency and productivity that potentially results in a higher ROI, Canon’s Evaluation Kits allow OEMs, solutions providers, authorized distributors, integrators and others in search of advanced components to test and build unique vision systems.”

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Canon Develops A New CMOS Sensor With High Dynamic Range and Able To Shoot Images In Harsh Settings

Ibis Canon Rumors Canon Full Frame Mirrorless Canon PowerShot G7 X Canon Eos 90d Coronavirus

Canon press release:

Canon Announces Development of New CMOS Sensor with High Dynamic Range and Ability to Capture Images Under Harsh Conditions

MELVILLE, NY, June 20, 2019 – The high demands of complex lighting and harsh environments require sensors capable of delivering high-dynamic range (HDR) and high-image quality in adverse temperature conditions. To answer this application need, Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is pleased to announce that its parent company Canon Inc. is pursuing development of the 3U3MRXSAAC, a 2.8-megapixel, 1/2.32-inch CMOS sensor ideal for HDR imaging.

“As Canon evolves in the sensor market, we are dedicated to utilizing our expertise to develop products built to meet current growing market trends,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “The 3U3MRXSAAC CMOS sensor under development reflects the continuation of our business strategy that leverages the high-quality imaging technology Canon is able to achieve.”

The 3U3MRXSAAC CMOS sensor being developed will be equipped with an HDR drive function that can achieve a wide range of 120 dB at low noise levels. This HDR function will reflect a greater ability to extract usable information even when there is a substantial difference between the lightest and darkest parts of an image. Even during normal drive operation, the sensor can achieve a dynamic range of 75 dB—greater than the sensors on many conventional digital cameras. 

Additionally, the 3U3MRXSAAC CMOS sensor will also be capable of operating in environments with extreme temperatures ranging from -40 degrees Celsius to 105 degrees Celsius. Typically, in high-temperature conditions, the increase in dark current noise (noise that occurs due to heat, even when no light reaches the sensor) can affect the quality of the image. However, the 3U3MRXSAAC CMOS sensor will be equipped with functionality that helps correct black levels (the luminance level of the darkest portion of an image) in real-time to help maintain high image quality. 

With a diagonal size of 1/2.32 inches (7.75 mm), the 3U3MRXSAAC CMOS sensor will feature approximately 2.8 million effective pixels (1936 x 1456), a pixel size of 3.2 μm x 3.2 μm and a frame rate of up to 60 fps (30 fps during HDR drive operation). The sensor will be compatible with the MIPI CSI-2 interface used by consumer-oriented cameras for a wide variety of purposes.

For more information on Canon sensors, please visit canon-cmos-sensors.com.

Macnica Americas to Distribute Canon’s Super Specialised CMOS Image Sensors

35MMFHDXSCA Image Sensors

Canon’s super specialised sensors are now available for industrial applications. Macnica will be the distributor.

Press release:

Macnica Americas to Distribute Canon CMOS Image Sensors

Advanced CMOS Technology Ideal for High Performance Industrial Cameras Up to 120 MP

MELVILLE, N.Y., November 7, 2018 – Canon U.S.A., a leader in digital imaging solutions, and Macnica Americas, Inc., the North American subsidiary of Macnica, Inc., a $5B global leader in technology product distribution, today announced that Macnica Americas has been appointed an authorized distributor of Canon’s advanced CMOS sensors for the United States and Canada.

“Canon’s sensors offer incredible performance that Macnica Americas is excited to make available to our camera manufacturer customers,” said Akinobu Miyoshi, CEO of Macnica Americas.

“Imaging expertise is the core of Canon’s heritage and the success of the CMOS sensors in our product line is an example of that expertise,” said Kazuto Ogawa, president and chief operating officer, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Appointing Macnica Americas as an authorized distributor will expand our reach by offering this state-of-the-art technology to industrial camera manufacturers looking to innovate their solutions now and in the future.”

Canon offers the following high performance CMOS sensors targeted at industrial, medical and scientific applications:

  • 3U5MGXS – A 5 Megapixel, 2/3-inch global shutter image sensor, that offers 120 frames per second (fps) readout at low power, targeted at machine vision applications.
  • 35MMFHDXSCA – Larger than full frame, this 2.76 Megapixel low-light sensor with 19 mm pixel pitch is ideal for ultra low-light cameras used in defense, surveillance or astronomy applications.
  • 120MXS – A stunning 120 megapixel ultra high-resolution sensor (approx. 60x the resolution of HD), in an APS-H format, enables high resolution imaging at 9.4 fps. Target camera applications for this sensor include inspection, aerial mapping, life sciences, digital archiving and transportation industries.

Canon’s CMOS image sensors are available in a range of options including color (RGB) and monochrome. For more details, please click on the link.


About Macnica Americas

Macnica Americas is the North American Division of Macnica, Inc. a $5B global leader in technology product distribution, high-touch support and complex design services, with global headquarters in Yokohama, Japan. Macnica Americas serves OEM companies, particularly those specializing in creating innovative video, imaging, networking and storage products. Macnica Americas’ headquarters are located in San Diego, with offices in San Jose, Dallas, Chicago, and Boston, and representatives throughout the United States and Canada.

Canon video shows Exciting Prospects for CMOS Sensors

Canon

CanonUSA promotional video highlights the capabilities of Canon’s specialised CMOS sensors.

The video below showcases Canon’s variety of sensors. For several decades Canon has been developing and manufacturing advanced CMOS sensors with state-of-the-art technologies for exclusive use in Canon products. These sensors are a critical driving force behind many of our successful product lines, ranging from consumer products all the way up to high-end business and industrial solutions. These Canon sensors are of the kind featured on the Canon ME20F-SH, a specialised, multipurpose camera system. If you’re curious to learn more about these Canon sensors click here.

Canon’s sensors are so good you can capture a rainbow under moonlight. Watch to see.