Boise, Idaho Micron Technology, Inc., a worldwide provider of advanced memory and image sensor solutions, today reached a significant milestone with the introduction of a 5-megapixel complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor and 3.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor, bringing high resolution and high quality images into mainstream image capture applications. The new high resolution CMOS image sensors are equipped with Micron's proprietary low-noise, high-sensitivity DigitalClarity technology, outputting sharp, clear and vibrant images while extending a device's battery life. The 5-megapixel sensor (Micron part number MT9P001) is designed for use in either digital still camera (DSC) or camera phone applications, while the 3.1-megapixel (Micron part number MT9T012) sensor is specifically developed for camera phones.
"Micron's new 5-megapixel and 3.1-megapixel image sensors really take CMOS imagers to the next level," stated Hisayuki Suzuki, senior director of marketing for Micron. "The image quality and resolution of these new sensors will challenge the dominance of CCD technology in the high-volume, point-and-shoot segment of the DSC market and will also bring DSC-class images to the lucrative camera phone market."
The image quality of Micron's new sensors now allows mainstream point-and-shoot DSC manufacturers to reap the benefits of CMOS imaging technology which was not previously available to them. These advantages include ease of integration, reduced chip count and simplified board layout, faster frame rates at full resolution and lower overall system costs versus CCD.
In contrast to DSC manufacturers who are just now utilizing CMOS imaging technology, camera phone manufacturers have historically used CMOS imaging technology for its established benefits. The 5-megapixel and 3.1-megapixel sensor now provide the ability to deliver DSC-class images on a handset platform. "The ability for consumers to have a high-quality camera that is readily accessible to capture those spur-of-the-moment events is a key selling point for mobile phone manufacturers. Camera phones incorporating Micron’s new sensors will enable users to take pictures they want to keep for a lifetime," continued Suzuki.
The 5-megapixel and 3.1-megapixel sensors were developed using a pixel size of 2.2 microns square. By shrinking the pixel size, Micron is creating a smaller sensor form factor allowing the camera module to be designed into ever-smaller, high-resolution DSCs and camera phones, while preserving picture quality. Additionally, both sensors feature pixel binning for an enhanced viewing experience, simplified mechanical shutter support and support for multiple interface standards including parallel and serial interfaces. The following are additional key features of Micron’s new CMOS image sensors:
MT9P001 5-megapixel, 1/2.5-inch optical format (target applications: DSCs, camera phones and PDAs):
- Shoots 12 frames per second (fps) at full resolution enabling high speed DSC performance, and up to 30 fps in preview mode
- On-chip, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) delivering high quality raw image output required for DSC
MT9T012 3.1-megapixel, 1/3.2-inch optical format (target applications: camera phones and PDAs):
- Shoots 15 fps at full resolution and up to 30 fps in preview mode
- On-chip scaling function that allows selection of an arbitrary image size
General customer sampling is now available for the 3.1-megapixel image sensor, with mass production expected in the fourth quarter of 2005. Samples for the 5-megapixel image sensor are expected to be available in November and production is planned in the first quarter of 2006.