Imec presents a CMOS image sensor capable of capturing 12-bit 4,000x2,000pixel progressive images at 60 frames per second (fps). Based on a stagger-laced dual exposure, the image sensor developed with Panasonic, was processed using imec’s 130nm CMOS process on 200mm silicon wafers to deliver high-speed and high-quality imaging, at reduced output bit rate.
The number of pixels on image sensors in video and still cameras keeps increasing, along with the frame rate and bit resolution requirements of the images. 4K2K will be the next-generation broadcasting format, offering an increase by a factor of two in both horizontal and vertical resolution compared to current state-of-the-art High Definition TV.
The image sensor chip is a floating diffusion shared 4T pixel imager, with a pitch of 2.5 micron and a conversion gain of 70 μV/e-, which allows for both a classical rolling shutter or stagger-laced scanning mode. The 4K2K 60-fps imaging performance is realized by 12-bit column-based delta-sigma A/D converters. The stagger-laced scanning method improves imaging sensitivity and realizes a 50 percent reduction in output data rate by alternating the readout of two sets of horizontal pixel pairs arranged in two complementary checkerboard patterns. Additionally, the overall power consumption of the imager is less than two Watts.
“This is an important milestone for imec to demonstrate our capability to co-design, prototype and manufacture high performance CMOS image sensors in our 200 mm CMOS fab,” commented Rudi Cartuyvels, Senior Vice President Smart Systems & Energy Technologies at imec.
Imec (imec.be) performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics. Imec leverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of its global partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec delivers industry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-tech environment, its international top talent is committed to providing the building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Belgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Its staff of more than 2,000 people includes more than 650 industrial residents and guest researchers. In 2012, imec's revenue (P&L) totaled 320 million euro.
Imec is a registered trademark for the activities of IMEC International (a legal entity set up under Belgian law as a "stichting van openbaar nut”), imec Belgium (IMEC vzw supported by the Flemish Government), imec the Netherlands (Stichting IMEC Nederland, part of Holst Centre which is supported by the Dutch Government), imec Taiwan (IMEC Taiwan Co.) and imec China (IMEC Microelectronics (Shanghai) Co. Ltd.) and imec India (Imec India Private Limited).
Panasonic Corporation (panasonic.net) is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers.