Sony develops world's first stacked CMOS image sensor for smartphones
Sony Corp on Monday announced the commercialization of Exmor RS, the world’s first CMOS image sensor, incorporating a unique, newly-developed stacked structure.
Sony is introducing three models for use in smartphones and tablets, which combine superior image quality and advanced functionality with compact size. Sony will also launch three corresponding imaging modules incorporating these sensors.
The stacked structure layers the pixel section, containing formations of back-illuminated pixels over the chip affixed with mounted circuits for signal processing, in place of conventional supporting substrates used for back-illuminated CMOS image sensors.
Two of the three Exmor RS models Sony is launching are the IMX135, a type 1/3.06 model with 13.13 effective megapixels and the IMX134, a type 1/4 model with 8.08 effective megapixels, which feature RGBW coding function and HDR (High Dynamic Range) movie function. The RGBW coding function can capture sharp, clear images even when filmed or photographed in low light conditions, such as a dark room or at night by featuring W (white) pixels in addition to conventional RGB (red-green-blue) pixels, and leveraging Sony’s proprietary device technology and signal processing to heighten sensitivity without compromising its high resolution.
HDR (High Dynamic Range) movie function enables two different exposure conditions to be configured within a single screen when shooting, and seamlessly performs appropriate image processing to generate optimal images with a wide dynamic range and brilliant colors, even when pictures are taken against bright light.
The other Exmor RS model is the ISX014, a type 1/4 model with 8.08 effective megapixels, which has a built-in camera signal processing function.
In addition to the higher image quality and superior functionality, the use of a stacked structure has helped Sony to achieve a more compact size.
Sony will also bring to market three compact auto-focus imaging modules equipped with lens units and featuring auto-focus mechanisms that incorporate these image sensors: the IU135F3-Z, IU134F9-Z and IUS014F-Z. These three imaging modules adopt a newly-designed lens which has been optimized for the industry’s smallest 1.12μm unit pixel size to achieve higher resolution.