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Mark Peters : May 18th 2006 - 12:26 CET

8 Megapixel Image Sensor from Micron Technology

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Micron8 Megapixel Image Sensor from Micron Technology : Micron Builds the World's First 8-Megapixel Image Sensor in the Popular 1/2.5 Optical Format; Company Continues Imaging Innovation, Unveils Pictures Taken With a 1.4-micron Pixel Test Chip. The world of digital cameras just got bigger and smaller at the same time. Using a tiny 1.75-micron pixel design, Micron has built the world's first 8-megapixel image sensor in a 1/2.5-inch optical format, the standard size for mainstream digital cameras. This new sensor comes loaded with functionality that will catapult Micron-equipped cameras into the next generation of digital cameras featuring high-resolution still images, ultra-fast image capture and vibrant high-definition video.
8 Megapixel Image Sensor from Micron TechnologyMicron 8 Megapixel Image Sensor
The company today unveiled a prototype of an 8-megapixel image sensor that packs a punch with incredible capture rates at full resolution and stunning high-definition (HD) video capture. Because of its high resolution, the sensor captures large, crisp pictures (11-inch by 14-inch) or can be used to zoom-in and print just a portion of the image without sacrificing image quality.

Digital Camera Image Sensor
Used in continuous-shot mode for digital still cameras, the sensor is capable of bursting more than 10 pictures a second at full 8-megapixel resolution and more than 30 pictures a second at 2-megapixel resolution. With this high speed capability, it is now possible to capture that perfect moment like a child's first soccer goal. Also given its high-speed, the sensor allows for cameras to have advanced features like image stabilization for reducing the effect of blurred images typically caused by jittery hands and fast auto-focus response, resulting in sharper images that are important for taking those priceless, spontaneous snapshots.

Micron 8 MP Sensor - HD video support
The sensor also enables a digital camera to capture and playback HD video, which equates to shooting video at 30 frames per second (fps) in 720p (progressive) format. As such, it complements Micron's 5-megapixel image sensor that also supports HD video and is currently shipping in volume. "As the world's leading supplier of image sensor solutions, we continue to expand the envelope, bringing new experiences and advanced functionality to digital photography," said Steve Appleton, Micron chairman, CEO and president.

Digital cameras and mobile phones - Image quality
Additionally, continuing its heritage in imaging innovation, Micron announced its work on a 1.4-micron pixel and unveils pictures taken with test chip. By shrinking pixel size, Micron will bring more resolution to consumer devices such as digital cameras and mobile phones without sacrificing image quality, while still maintaining the small form factor required for these applications. "With the 8-megapixel image sensor being designed with our latest 1.75-micron pixel, and the encouraging results we're seeing with the next-generation smaller pixel at 1.4-microns, Micron leads the industry in both smaller and higher performance image sensors, enabling our customers to create new and exciting camera products," said Bob Gove, vice president of Micron Technology's imaging group.

Image Sensors for High-End Camera Phones
Micron Unleashes New Class of Image Sensors for High-End Camera Phones
In camera phones, where space is at a premium and image quality is traditionally negligible, Micron's 8-megapixel image sensor could revolutionize the market. As high-end mobile phones trend larger with more features and functionalities designed into the handset, Micron's new 8-megapixel image sensor becomes an attractive fit. And with the new 1.75-micron pixel design, Micron continues to enable the industrial design of today's popular thin and slim phones while increasing the resolution. For example, given the standard 1/4-inch optical format of today's mobile phones, a sensor built on Micron's 1.75-micron pixel can deliver a 3-megapixel resolution, without changing the handset's form factor.

Micron Sensor - Price & Availability
General customer sampling is planned for the fall of 2006 with mass production expected in the first half of 2007. The 8-megapixel pricing will be determined at the time of customer sampling.

Micron Technology - CMOS image sensor portfolio
Micron's CMOS image sensor portfolio offers designers of virtually every image-capture application the flexibility, speed, resolution, feature set, and innovative thinking to develop high-quality products. Micron's portfolio of CMOS image sensors are used in a variety of applications that span the mobile, consumer, medical, automotive, commercial, industrial and high-speed markets. Additional information about Micron can be found throughout the company's website.

About Micron
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAMs, NAND flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology.

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