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10/7/2010
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Sony Intros CMOS Image Sensors For Mobile Devices

Technology used in digital cameras will deliver advanced photo and video quality to phones.

Sony Lens Modules And Exmor R CMOS Image Sensors
(click image for larger view)
Sony Lens Modules And Exmor R CMOS Image Sensors
Blending the technologies used in digital cameras with mobile devices, Sony has introduced two new back-illuminated CMOS (complimentary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensors along with two new lens modules that can be used in mobile phones, the consumer electronics company said.

The Exmor R sensors achieve high sensitivity and reduced noise features for better photo quality through the back-illuminated structure, Sony said. The IMX081PQ Exmor R image sensor has the first-ever 16.41 megapixel resolution, and uses a unit pixel size of 1.12μm, which is the smallest in the industry, the company said.

The IMX105PQ Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS image sensor achieves an 8.13 effective megapixel resolution for higher sensitivity and has a unit pixel size of 1.4μm. "By embedding these highly sensitive sensors into mobile phones, including those without camera flash, users can capture high-quality photos and videos even in low-light settings,'' the company said in a statement.

Both sensors' columns were designed with Sony's Column Parallel A/D Conversion Technique to give each their own analog to digital (A/D) converter to produce high frame rates of 15 frame/sec and full high-definition video taking capabilities, the company said.

The IU081F and IU105F2 are compact, auto-focus lens modules that contain the new Exmor R back-illuminated image sensors. "These down-sized modules are suitable and efficient for mobile phones with relatively limited space and are equipped with high-performance lens, which maximize the image sensors' respective performances,'' Sony said.

The IU081F lens module is the industry's smallest and thinnest auto-focus lens module and has a CMOS image sensor with 16.41 megapixels, the company said. The IU105F2 has an 8.13 megapixel CMOS image sensor, placing it in the smallest and thinnest size class in the industry, Sony claimed. By combining back-illuminated CMOS image sensors and bright lenses, the lens modules are about twice as sensitive as a standard front-illuminated CMOS image sensor, the company said.

"Sony aims to address customer demand by providing appropriately small lens modules, especially for smartphones with large displays and limited space for components,'' the company said.

Sony plans to start mass producing the Exmor R sensors for use in mobile phones at the end of the year.

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