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Micron CMOS sensors support HD video capture

Posted: 12 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CMOS? image sensor? camera? HD video? Micron?

Micron Technology Inc. has introduced a pair of new CMOS images sensors for mainstream digital cameras and camcorders. The sensors support high-definition (HD) video capture and ultrafast burst mode for point-and-shoot cameras.

MT9P401, a 5Mpixel HD image sensor, is designed specifically for hybrid cameras that offer HD video and still images. The sensor, which fits into a 1/2.5-inch optical format, is capable of capturing HD video at 60fps in 720p (progressive) format. For burst-mode, the MT9P401 snaps 15 still photos in rapid sequence.

60fps in 720p
Micron's MT9M002, targeted specifically at HD camcorders, captures 60fps in 720p format and delivers low noise performance. The sensor works with long-range zoom lenses and was built using Micron's 2.2?m DigitalClarity pixel technology. The MT9M002 uses a 1/4.5-inch optical format and offers additional pixel area for image stabilization.

According to Suresh Venkatraman, director of marketing for Micron's imaging group, the new product introductions are part of push by Micron to bring HD video and high-speed photography to the CE space. He noted that HD camcorders are currently priced out of the reach of average consumers.

"It's slowly picking up," Venkatraman said. "The HD camcorders available today are very expensiveover $1,000 dollars. That's because a lot of the technologies being used there have been developed from the ground up."

Consumer experience
With HD and high-resolutions proliferating, consumers will naturally want to experience their own video recordings in HD, Venkatraman said. "The video scalers in these TVs can only do so much. Putting a standard image on an HDTV does not look very good," he said. "We feel that market is poised to take off in the next couple of years."

Micron's MT9E001 sensor

Micron also said its 8Mpixel sensor, the MT9E001, is now in mass production. Initially launched as a prototype last May, the 8Mpixel image sensor uses a1.75?m pixel design and fits into a 1/2.5-inch optical format. Used in continuous-shot mode for digital still cameras, it is capable of bursting more than 10 pictures a second at full resolution and more than 30 pictures a second at 2Mpixel resolution, according to Micron.

Micron is sampling the new MT9P401 and MT9M002 sensors today. Mass production expected in Q3, according to the company.

- Dylan McGrath
EE Times

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