SAN FRANCISCO Micron Technology Inc. Thursday (March 8) introduced a pair of new CMOS images sensors for mainstream digital cameras and camcorders. The sensors support high-definition (HD) video capture and ultra-fast burst mode for point-and-shoot cameras.
MT9P401, a 5-megapixel HD image sensor, is designed specifically for hybrid cameras that offer HD video and still images, according to Micron. The sensor, which fits into a 1/2.5-inch optical format, is capable of capturing HD video at 60 frames per second (fps) in 720p (progressive) format, the company said. For burst-mode, the MT9P401 snaps 15 still photos in rapid sequence, according to Micron (Boise, Idaho).
Micron's MT9M002, targeted specifically at HD camcorders, captures 60 fps in 720p format and delivers low noise performance, the company said. The sensor works with long-range zoom lenses and was built using Micron's 2.2-micron DigitalClarity pixel technology, the company said. The MT9M002 uses a 1/4.5-inch optical format and offers additional pixel area for image stabilization, the company said.
According to Suresh Venkatraman, director of marketing for Micron's imaging group, the new product introductions are part of push by Micron to bring HD video and high-speed photography to the consumer electronics space. He noted that HD camcorders are currently priced out of the reach of average consumers.
"It's slowly picking up," Venkatraman said. "The HD camcorders available today are very expensive over $1000 dollars. That's because a lot of the technologies being used there have been developed from the ground up."
With HD and high-resolutions proliferating, consumers will naturally want to experience their own video recordings in HD, Venkatraman said. "The video scalers in these TVs can only do so much. Putting a standard image on an HDTV does not look very good," he said. "We feel that market is poised to take off in the next couple of years."
Also Thursday, Micron said its 8-megapixel sensor (MT9E001) is now in mass production. Initially launched as a prototype last May, the 8-megapixel image sensor uses a1.75-micron pixel design and fits into a 1/2.5-inch optical format. Used in continuous-shot mode for digital still cameras, it is capable of bursting more than 10 pictures a second at full resolution and more than 30 pictures a second at 2-megapixel resolution, according to Micron.
Micron is sampling the new MT9P401 and MT9M002 sensors now. Mass production expected in the third quarter, according to the company.