Panasonic Develops High-Sensitivity MOS Sensor

May 19, 2011 | Zoltan Arva-Toth | Accessories | 3 Comments | |
News image

Panasonic has developed a new-generation 1/2.33” type 14-megapixel MOS image sensor boasting best-in-class sensitivity for low noise. Intended for use in digicams, camcorders and camera phones, the new sensor provides a sensitivity of 3050 el/lx/sec/?m2, while the new light-focusing structure employed “significantly expands the incident light angle, ensuring uniform and high picture quality” and enables the production of slimmer cameras, the company says. Mass production is scheduled to start in December.

Panasonic Press Release

Panasonic Develops New High Picture Quality MOS Image Sensor with Industry’s Highest Sensitivity*1

Panasonic’s new MOS image sensor technologies enable to make digital cameras, camcorders as well as cameras incorporated in smartphones and other mobile terminals slimmer with higher sensitivity and improved picture quality.

Osaka, Japan - Panasonic Corporation has successfully developed high sensitivity and high picture quality technologies for new MOS image sensors by improving the sensitivity of the company’s ?Maicovicon┬«*2 MOS image sensor and suppressing uneven color and brightness, which may be an issue for low-profile cameras, thereby ensuring more uniform image quality. Using these technologies, Panasonic will 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 and continues to develop various types.

Current high-sensitivity MOS image sensors suppress unevenness in brightness. CCDs have low color-mixing characteristics that suppress color unevenness. The rapidly expanding market for digital cameras with higher image quality and a slimmer body has resulted in greater demand for a stable supply of image sensors that offer both high sensitivity and uniform picture quality.

Panasonic has achieved both MOS image sensor’s high sensitivity and uniform picture quality using the new MOS image sensor technologies, enabling 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 the following features:
The fine process technologies provide a sensitivity of 3050 el/lx/sec/?m2, the industry’s highest*1 as a MOS image sensor.
The new light-focusing structure significantly expands the incident light angle, ensuring uniform and high picture quality, as well as produces a slimmer camera.
The simple manufacturing process is based on the current MOS image sensor structure, ensuring a stable supply.
The new MOS image sensor has been created using the following Panasonic technologies:
The 32 and 45 nm (nanometers) leading-edge semiconductor process technologies lower the wiring layer profile, expand the opening area, and increase the photo diode volume.
The low color-mixing characteristics are enhanced by light-focusing structure design technologies that use a three-dimensional wave optics design to minimize light leakage at the structural boundaries.
Image sensor mass-production technologies allow stable production of MOS image sensors with high picture-quality.

*1: Based on Panasonic’s data as of May 12, 2011
*2: ?Maicovicon is a registered trademark of Panasonic Corporation.

Your Comments

3 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 wantanewbridgecam

Exciting news! I hope this new sensor will be used in the FZ100's replacement along with a BIGGER VIEWFINDER :D

5:03 pm - Thursday, May 19, 2011

#2 John

I think the 1/2.3" CCD have finally reached its limit at 10MP and thus now all the camera makers need to make better and improved sensor (for digicam market).

The current mega pixel race within the compact digicam sector eventually produced lots of disappointing results. Most "16MP" compact digicam produced less stellar image quality if compared to the previous generation of 10MP compact digicam - that was about 2 years ago (which of coz not greater but somehow decent).

I personally feel that instead of keep on aiming for higher Mega Pixels (within the P&S compact digicam market), the camera makers and their associates, should focus on improving the image quality and lens on certain level of mega pixels numbers (say between 10MP to 12MP) intended for consumer in the compact digicam market.

Who the hell need 16MP or maybe 20MP (very soon in the future) from almost the same ingredients of compact digicam of 2 years ago with probably just some new software and minor external controls/buttons add on here and there (including touch screen). Oh yeah, those novice 1st time camera buyers maybe.

Using Panasonic products for example, if they can tone down the LX3 spec and features while retaining some of the important aspect (including that larger 10MP sensor) and focus the price for the low or mid-range segment.

Imagine something like LX3 but maybe using plastic body, using the Lumix lense (instead of Leica) but still have the F/2.0 aperture, the slightly "bigger" 1/1.63" CCD sensor type, made in their China factory (for lower cost purpose) and "ALL AUTO" settings only (typical for this segment). Lastly, maybe they can consider to add those touch screen thingy for the "touch craze" people.

The main attraction is = better image quality package within lower price bracket.

I'm sure consumer will be happy to grab such product.

However, the problem for such approach is those marketing and sales wizards within the company who seems to prefer bigger numbers (especially in mega pixels).

Don't be surprised that we will see 18MP or 20MP jump by early next year within the P&S compact digicam market but the image quality are no better than it was as in 2 or 3 years ago...

At the end... what's the point?

I sincerely hope that this latest MOS sensor by Panasonic can produce good result. Good luck to them.

4:44 am - Friday, May 20, 2011

#3 dana

Too small, when will camera makes realized that there is no replacement for sensor size? What will be exciting is when someone releases a BSI 1/1.6, or atleast a 1/2 with a faster lens than the super slow zoom Fuji uses on the F550.

5:53 am - Friday, May 20, 2011