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Sony ultra high speed CMOS image sensor
Ralf Jurrien : May 13th 2007 - 21:45 CET
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SonySony ultra high speed CMOS image sensor : Sony announced a high-speed / high-resolution CMOS sensor that can output 6.4-megapixel images at 60 frames-per-second. This sensor can also capture 6.4-megapixel high-resolution still images while recording video without interrupting the video recording. This sensor allows seemless imaging of both stills and video without the user needing to be aware of the boundary. This same sensor also supports even higher-speed capture - 300 frames-per-second - allowing users to capture moving images without missing any of the decisive moments that were previously impossible to capture. The IMX017CQE includes many of its peripheral circuits, including the horizontal and vertical drive circuits.
Sony ultra high speed CMOS image sensorSony CMOS sensor
In the IMX017CQE image sensor, Sony has achieved fast image acquisition and reproduction of high picture quality still images and moving images by skillfully combining the speed and integration characteristics of the CMOS sensor technology in the readout and other peripheral circuits. The IMX017CQE image sensor integrates a separate A/D converter for each column, and performs A/D conversions in a column-parallel manner. This makes it possible to read out 6.4M pixels at the high speed of 60 frame/s. The column-parallel A/D conversion method allows a much longer time to be spent on each conversion compared to the earlier pixel-at-a-time conversion, and thus is a structure that is effective at reducing random noise in the system.

Sony IMX017CQE - Ultra high speed CMOS image sensor
To achieve high resolution and high sensitivity, Sony optimized the pixel process technology and the pixel layout and achieved a sensitivity of 4200e- (at 3200K, 706 cd/m2, and 1/30 s accumulation) in a 2.5 µm unit pixel size. The Sony IMX017CQE image sensor provides three basic readout modes: a 6.4M-pixel, 60 frame/s mode that outputs 10-bit data at a pixel rate of 432 MHz, a 2×2 addition mode that supports high picture quality moving images, and a 3×3 addition mode that supports the conventional SD mode. In addition, it also provides a 12-bit output mode and is capable of producing 6.4M pixels 12-bit high-resolution images at 15 frame/s.

Sony 6.4 megapixel CMOS image sensor
The IMX017CQE image sensor also features a vertical 1/5-line readout mode in which it is capable of 300 frame/s moving imaging, and makes it possible to see instants that could not be captured previously. Invalid frames (i.e., drop frames) do not occur when switching from high picture quality moving image mode to still image mode, or in the reverse transition. Thus the Sony IMX017CQE image sensor can capture 6.4M pixels high-resolution still images during moving image capture without interrupting the moving image capture.

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