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9Mpixel CMOS image sensor enables low-cost, high-end DSCs

Posted: 11 Nov 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cypress semiconductor? cmos image sensor? cyihdsc9000a? cyihdsn9000aa?

cost-effective image sensor

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. announced commercial sampling of its new 9Megapixel (Mpixel) CMOS image sensors for high-end digital still cameras (DSCs). These cost-effective new image sensors offer low dark current and low noise, on par with that of more expensive charge coupled devices (CCDs), said the company.

The CYIHDSC9000AA (color) and CYIHDSM9000AA (monochrome) are the first image sensors manufactured on Cypress' high-volume, low-cost 0.13?m CMOS process designed for image sensors. These sensors take advantage of the company's proprietary, high fill-factor pixel architecture, eliminating the need for microlenses. With a maximum resolution of 3,710 x 2,434 pixels, the new sensors promise to deliver superior image quality, color rendition and dynamic range. They are suitable for camera-makers targeting advanced amateurs, photo enthusiasts and professional photographers.

"Low dark current and low noise are essential for today's high-end DSC market," said Cliff Drowley, VP and GM of Cypress's image sensor business unit. "Our patented pixel architecture, proven in Kodak's DCS Pro SLR line of cameras, is the only CMOS architecture capable of achieving the noise and dark current targets demanded by high-end DSC manufacturers. What is equally attractive to camera makers is this high-end solution does not come with a high-end price."

The new devices are Cypress's first non-proprietary image sensor targeted at high-end DSCs and build on a foundation established by the 13.85Mpixel image sensor developed for Kodak. These image sensors feature a pixel pitch of 6.4?m and an image array of 3,710-by-2,434 pixels. The array format is 23.3mm-by-15.5mm? with a diagonal dimension of 28mm, resulting in an effective focal length multiplier of 1.5 compared to a full frame 35mm camera. The aspect ratio is 3:2. In addition, the devices are capable of delivering 5fps at full resolution and 20fps at VGA resolution.

Cypress is currently sampling the CYIHDSC9000AA and CYIHDSM9000AA with production volumes expected to be available in February 2006. Pricing is expected to be approximately $90 each, depending on quantities.

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