Industry News: Sony Set To Release a 128MP Imaging Sensor With Global Shutter

Global Shutter

Sony is set to release another innovative imaging sensor, with 128MP resolution and global shutter.

Canon is also rumored to work on an entirely new sensor. Sony, so it seems, will release its imaging sensor before Canon..

Sony press release:

Sony to Release Large Format CMOS Image Sensor with Global Shutter Function and Industry’s Highest Effective Pixel Count of 127.68 Megapixels

Delivering Increased Pixel Count, High-Speed Imaging Performance, and Contributing to Solutions in the Field of Advanced, Diversified Industrial Equipment

Tokyo, Japan — Sony Corporation announced today the upcoming release of a large format 56.73mm diagonal CMOS image sensor “IMX661” for industrial equipment with a global shutter function and the industry’s highest*1 effective pixel count of 127.68 megapixels.*2

This product features an increased pixel count that yields an optical size nearly 10 times larger than the common 1.1-type image sensor corresponded to the C mount*3 for industrial equipment. It also features Sony’s original global shutter pixel technology “Pregius™”, which enables capture of motion distortion-free images. Furthermore, the Sony’s original device configuration and interface technology employed enable high-speed image readout at a data rate nearly four times faster*4 than conventional products.

Sony expects that the new sensor, when used in industrial equipment cameras for a wide variety of applications, will help to solve a variety of complex challenges, thereby contributing to the development of industry.

  • *1Among CMOS image sensors equipped with a global shutter. According to Sony research (as of announcement on March 9, 2021).
  • *2Based on image sensor effective pixel specification method.
  • *3The joining mechanism between lens and the camera body.
  • *4Compared to Sony’s “IMX253” 1.1 type, 12.37 effective megapixels CMOS image sensor equipped with a global shutter function.

Model name Sample: IMX661 3.6 type (56.73 mm diagonal) 127.68-effective-megapixel CMOS image sensor
Shipment date (planned)*5: April 2021(*5 The dates given for sample shipment date (planned) are for the color model. Black and white model samples will be available for shipment approximately one month later.

Needs for automation, labor-saving and other benefits of digital transformation continue to grow in recent years in various fields of industrial equipment. This has accelerated the adoption of cameras for a wide variety of applications, driving demand for CMOS image sensors with higher imaging performance.

The new product couples Sony’s Pregius technology with the 3.6-type (56.73mm diagonal) large optical size, delivering an increased pixel count and motion distortion-free imaging. The original device configuration, which employs a chip-on-wafer process, together with Sony’s original interface technology, enables high-speed readout nearly four times faster than conventional products*4 in full-pixel readout mode. This design delivers highly efficient imaging that captures a wide viewing angle with no motion distortion in a single imaging operation. It also improves recognition precision thanks to the high-resolution imaging and delivers a high level of processing performance. It can contribute to solutions for a variety of industrial equipment applications, for example, inspection processes for production of displays and electronic substrates, wide-area monitoring, and aerial photography, where its improved precision and quicker readout will help meet the need for a high level of productivity.

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Canon Patent: Quad Pixel Autofocus Imaging Sensor

Quad Pixel

Dual Pixel AF was true innovation when first launched by Canon on the EOS 70D. It’s just common sense to assume Canon will develop it further. Welcome Quad Pixel AF.

Here is a Canon patent for a Quad Pixel AF imaging sensor, and it is not the first we spotted. Canon patent application 2020-171060 (Japan) discusses the technology. It’s hard to say when we will see the first commercial Quad Pixel AF sensor. But we know it is coming.

More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Announces The Release Of A New 250MP APS-H Sensor

250mp Aps-h Imaging Sensors

A new super-specialised 250MP APS-H sensor from Canon is coming soon. Canon itself announced the release.

Canon Japan confirmed the market launch of this new sensor in late October 2020. The 250MP APS-H sensor will be available in both color and monochrome versions. The new sensors are named LI8020SAC (color) and LI8020SAM (monochrome). Typically, this kind of sensors are employed in scientific applications.

Canon has a long history in making multi-purpose or otherwise highly specialized cameras. It seems two more are going to be added. A few days ago two Canon multi-purpose cameras showed up at a Russian certification agency: the ML-100 and the ML-105. I wonder if this sensor will be featured on the ML-100 and the ML-105. Chances are good, in our opinion.

Presentation of the new sensor:

Here is the machine translated text from Canon Japan:

Main features

The new product is an ultra-high resolution CMOS sensor with approximately 250 million pixels, which enables you to capture detailed information in an image while shooting a wide range. In addition, by setting the pitch of one pixel to 1.5 μm (micrometer), we have achieved approximately 250 million pixels in APS-H size, making it possible to use it for various purposes. It can be used for various purposes such as FPD (flat panel display) inspection, which has become higher definition due to the development of 4K / 8K video technology, industrial inspection, video production, digital archive, wide area surveillance, microscope, etc. Meet the needs of users.

Get detailed information even in a wide range of shooting with ultra-high resolution of about 250 million pixels

The new product is capable of imaging at ultra-high resolution of about 250 million pixels, which is about 125 times that of full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) and about 30 times that of 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), and can be taken in any shooting range. Sufficient resolution can be obtained by trimming the area and enlarging it with an electronic zoom.

Achieves ultra-high-speed signal reading of approximately 1.25 billion pixels / second

With CMOS sensors, the amount of signal increases as the number of pixels increases, causing signal delays and slight timing deviations. The new product has an ultra-multi-pixel structure of approximately 250 million pixels, but by refining the circuit and advancing signal processing technology, it has achieved an ultra-high-speed signal readout of approximately 1.25 billion pixels per second. This enables ultra-high resolution imaging at a speed of approximately 5 frames / sec even when all pixels are read out.

Supports data output according to user needs with “ROI read function” etc.

The new product is equipped with a “ROI (Region of Interest) read function” that selectively reads only an arbitrary area. If you want to read only a specific area at high speed, you can use the “ROI read function” at 24 fps for 8K (7,680 x 4,320 pixels), 30 fps for 4K (3,840 x 2,160), and 60 fps for full HD (1,920 x 1,080). Video recording is possible. It also has a “thinning out reading function * ” that thins out the entire image area in the vertical direction to read out, so you can select the data output method that suits your needs.

  • *4 patterns of thinning are possible. 1/3 is about 15fps, 1/5 is about 25fps, 1/7 is about 35fps, and 1/9 is about 45fps.

Canon Develops Another Image Sensor That Can See In The Dark (0.08 lux!)

Canon

Canon’ research labs are continuously pushing the technological evolution of image sensors. Here is another one.

Spotted by Image Sensors World, and none else despite what it might seem, the Canon LI7050 is a new high-sensitivity CMOS sensor for network and industrial cameras that enables full-HD color video capture in 0.08 lux environments. Not bad, eh?

The Canon LI7050 is a specialized image sensor for industrial and other scientific applications. Another Canon sensor that can see in the dark, According to the experts at Image Sensors World:

Despite a compact pixel array of 1/1.8 inches and pixel size of 4.1 µm, Canon’s newly developed LI7050 sensor makes possible color video recording in low-light environments as dark as 0.08 lux.

Security cameras equipped with the LI7050 can capture video at night in such locations as public facilities, roads or transport networks, thereby helping to identify details including the color of vehicles or subjects’ clothing. What’s more, this compact, high-sensitivity sensor can be installed in cameras for such use cases as underwater drones, microscopes and wearable cameras for security personnel.

Canon’s new sensor is also equipped with an HDR drive function that realizes a wide DR of 120 dB. When recording in an environment with illumination levels between, for example, 0.08 lux and 80,000 lux, the sensor’s wide dynamic range enables video capture without blown-out whites and crushed blacks. During normal drive operation, the sensor realizes a noise level of 75 dB and captures video without blown-out whites and crushed blacks in environments with illumination levels between, for example, 0.08 lux and 500 lux.

Is there already someone claiming the sensor is overheating? If not, here is a video showing of the capabilities of this sensor. We think it’s impressing.

If you want to learn more about these highly specialized image sensors have a look at this listing.

Canon press release:

SINGAPORE, 3 August 2020 — Canon announced today the launch in Japan of the LI7050, a new 1/1.8-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing color images in full-HD even in low-illumination environments as dark as 0.08 lux1.

The recent growth of IoT technologies has in turn generated increasing demand for network and industrial-use cameras—in particular, cameras capable of image capture in full-HD as well as nighttime color recording. Despite a compact body size of 1/1.8 inches and pixel size of 4.1 µm (micrometers), Canon’s newly developed LI7050 sensor makes possible color video recording in full-HD, even under low-light conditions.

The LI7050, while achieving a compact size, features a pixel architecture that enables high sensitivity, thereby making possible low-noise, full-HD color video recording in low-light environments as dark as 0.08 lux. Conventional nighttime monitoring employs infrared cameras and records video in monochrome. However, network cameras equipped with the LI7050 can capture video at night in such locations as public facilities, roads or transport networks, thereby helping to identify details including the color of vehicles or subjects’ clothing. What’s more, this compact, high-sensitivity sensor can be installed in cameras for such use cases as underwater drones, microscopes and wearable cameras for security personnel.

Canon’s new sensor is also equipped with an HDR drive function that realizes a wide dynamic range of 120 dB. When recording in an environment with illumination levels between, for example, 0.08 lux and 80,000 lux, the sensor’s wide dynamic range enables video capture without blown-out whites and crushed blacks. Thanks to this capability, the sensor enables cameras to record high-quality video, even when positioned at building entrances and other locations where there are significant variations in illumination levels. During normal drive operation, the sensor realizes a noise level of 75 dB and captures video without blown-out whites and crushed blacks in environments with illumination levels between, for example, 0.08 lux and 500 lux.
​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​The LI7050 supports the MIPI CSI-2 interface utilized by a wide range of consumer and industrial-use cameras, thereby greatly expanding the number of possible equipment combinations. The sensor also meets a variety of industrial needs through such features as a Region of Interest (ROI) function that enables users to select regions to read from the sensor, reducing the amount of read information and allowing for image capture at an increased framerate, and the ability to configure horizontal and vertical inversion directly from the sensor for easy viewing of footage from cameras installed on ceilings and other inverted positions.
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​​​​​​​Canon has begun sample shipments of the LI7050 from today, and is scheduled to officially commence sales in late October 2020.

Does Sensor Size Matter And Can You Tell The Difference? (sensor size comparison)

Sensor Size

Does sensor size matter that much and can you even tell the difference?. A sensor size comparison from medium format to Micro 4/3 Sensors.

The people at The Slanted Lens wants to know and compares four sensor sizes:

We compare 4 sensor sizes to see how they compare in print image quality: Hasselblad X1D II 50C, Sony a7R IV, Sony a6600 and Panasonic GH5. See how much difference there is in the Medium, Full-frame, APS-C and Micro 4/3 Sensors.

More posts talking sensor size and formats are listed here.

This Canon Patent Puts A Vacuum Cleaner Into A Lens To Keep The Sensor Clean

Canon Patent

Sounds weird? Well, it’s an actual Canon patent application.

Canon patent application 2019-191432 (Japan) discusses a lens design that incorporates the basic principle of a standard vacuum cleaner.

The specially designed lens has a an air flow circuit, as you can easily see in the image on top. Air is pulled in from the outside, hits the sensor, gets sucked away and flows out. Basically, this lens creates a negative pressure around the image sensor, so that dust and other particles don’t stick to the sensor. Quoting the patent literature:

An air intake channel for sucking air from the outside into the interior of the imaging device (200) by the pressure difference generated by the air flow generating means.

canon patent

Sound pretty awesome, and complicated too. From the patent abstract:

[Problem] To provide a dust removing device capable of easily removing dust adhering to an imaging element inside a camera body while confirming an actual influence degree.

[Means for solving] An outer housing having an engaging part for engaging with a lens mount detachably holding an imaging lens, and an inner side of the outer housing ;A communication unit for electrically connecting an inner housing and an imaging device to be arranged, a 1 passage penetrating into the body of the imaging device formed between the outer housing and the inner housing, a 2 passage penetrating into the body of the imaging device formed inside the inner case, and an engaging portion ;The device is provided with at least one optical member arranged on a photographing optical axis when engaged with an imaging device and on the inside of the inner case, an aperture mechanism, and an empty flow generating means arranged at a position not to erode a photographing light flux of the optical member in the 1 passage. A part of the 2 flow path is formed by the periphery of the optical member and an opening of the throttle mechanism

Don’t expect this invention to g to production anytime soon, if ever.

More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

[via Canon News]