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Thursday, November 13, 2008
Sony Commercializes 12.25 Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor for Mobile Phones

Sony today announced the commercialization of "IMX060PQ", a new type 1/2.5 CMOS image sensor "Exmor" for use in camera enabled mobile phones that features an effective resolution of 12.25 megapixel.

"IMX060PQ" is designed to meet the need for advanced image quality within mobile phone enabled cameras. Sony also announced the launch of "IMX046PQ", a type 1/3.2 CMOS image sensor "Exmor" with 8.11 effective megapixel resolution, and "IMX045PQ", a type 1/4 "Exmor" CMOS image sensor featuring 5.15 effective megapixel resolution.

Furthermore, Sony will also commercialize "IU060F", a type 1/3.2 lens module with 12.25 effective megapixel resolution, and "IU046F", a type 1/3.2 lens module with 8.11 effective megapixels. Equipped with lens and auto focus functions, the two modules are the industry's smallest and thinnest in their class.

As mobile phone designs have become more refined and models become smaller and thinner, the need for further miniaturization in mobile phone camera technology has also increased. To meet these requirements, improvements in both image quality and sensor miniaturization must be achieved, but the more the shrinking process is continued, the more difficult it becomes to gather light into the sensor pixels, leading to the risk of image degradation resulting from reduced sensitivity and S/N levels.

"The newly developed CMOS image sensor "IMX060PQ" leverages Sony's proprietary formation technology to deliver the industry's smallest unit cell size (1.4?m), and the industry's highest pixel count (12.25 effective megapixel resolution). The implementation of a Cu process that achieves extremely fine interconnections, together with the sensor's unique pixel structure and improvements in condensing efficiency have realized high sensitivity levels and a high S/N ratio, despite the very small size unit cell," Sony said in a statement.

Furthermore, Sony's proprietary "Column-Parallel A/D Conversion technique" minimizes image quality degradation cased by noise that arises during analog processing, while also enabling higher pixel count and frame rates (10 frames/s for "IMX060PQ" and 15frames/s for "IMX046PQ").

By enhancing its "Exmor" range of CMOS image sensors, used in product lineups such as digital SLR cameras and high definition digital video cameras as well as mobile phones, Sony will aim to meet customer needs for advanced imaging performance comparable to dedicated compact digital still cameras in slimline, camera enabled mobile phones.

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