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Thursday, May 12, 2011
Panasonic Develops New Ultra-sensitive MOS Image Sensor

Panasonic has successfully developed high sensitivity and high picture quality technologies for new MOS image sensors by improving the sensitivity of the company's νMaicovicon MOS image sensor and suppressing uneven color and brightness, which may be an issue for low-profile cameras.

The new MOS image sensors are expected to address issues related to unevenness in brightness of currently available high-sensitivity MOS image sensors. Panasonic claims that the new image sensor offers high sensitivity and a uniform picture quality. The new device will enable digital cameras and camcorders as well as cameras incorporated in smartphones and other mobile terminals to be slimmer with higher sensitivity and improved picture quality.

The new MOS image sensor has provide a sensitivity of 3050 el/lx/sec/μm2, which the industry's highest as a MOS image sensor. Its new light-focusing structure significantly expands the incident light angle, ensuring uniform and high picture quality, and allows for production of slimmer cameras. The MOS image sensor can be also easily manufactured since it is based on the company's current MOS image sensor structure, ensuring a stable supply.

The new MOS image sensors have been created using the 32 and 45 nm (nanometers) semiconductor process technologies. This means that their wiring layer profile is lower, they have an expanded opening area and also offer enough space for an increase in the volume of the photo diode.

The low color-mixing characteristics are also enhanced by light-focusing structure design technologies that use a three-dimensional wave optics design to minimize light leakage at the structural boundaries.

Panasonic plans to start mass production of a new MOS image sensor (MN34110) for digital cameras, a diagonal 7.7 mm (1/2.33-inch type) sensor with 14 megapixel effective resolution, in December 2011.

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