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NHK tests HDTV image sensor prototype

Posted: 24 May 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:HDTV video image acquisition systems?

Japan Broadcasting Corp. (NHK) has demonstrated the Super Hi-Vision image sensor at its Science & Technical Research Laboratories. The 33-million (7,680 x 4,320) pixel CMOS image sensor promises to deliver "8K by 4K" video resolution, according to NHK.

Japan's largest public broadcaster currently uses Super Hi-Vision cameras that employ four 8-megapixel CMOS sensors jointly developed with Micron Technology Inc. to produce 8K by 4K video, but a full-HD resolution image sensor was the first priority.

NHK researchers worked with a U.S. joint venture company to develop the image sensor and fabricate a prototype. During the demonstration, they used the image sensor to capture monochrome moving images with a 12-bit gray scale and progressive scanning.

"Pixel size was kept as large as possible for requirements such as sensitivity and dynamic range," a laboratory spokesman said, adding that the 3.8?2 pixel was almost the same size as the 8-megapixel image sensor.

Twelve-bit image data was divided into 16 fragments for read out. The prototype currently operates at 30fps at 125MHz. "If the image sensor operates fast enough, we will not need to use 16-channel parallel reading out," the spokesman added.

NHK revealed that next on its researchers' drawing board is a Super H-Vision color camera using multiple image sensors for use in the study of full-specification Super Hi-Vision picture quality.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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