Global Sources
EE Times-Asia
Stay in touch with EE Times Asia
EE Times-Asia > Optoelectronics/Displays

Mobile image sensors support parallel, MIPI interfaces

Posted: 20 May 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CMOS? image sensor? frontside illumination? MIPI interface?

Aptina Inc. has launched a line of CMOS image sensors, based on a 1.4? pixel scheme and its third-generation frontside illumination (FSI) technology.

The company also announced its plans to introduce backside illumination (BSI) image sensor technology in 2H 10, which will address applications requiring 1.1? pixels and below.

"Our goal is to push FSI as long as possible," said Bob Gove, president and chief technology officer at the company. "FSI in larger pixels enables optimal video. BSI will enable the push to higher megapixels in the future."

FSI is the principal technology used in image sensors today. For high-quality HD video, 1.4- and 1.75? FSI pixels are expected to have a long life, according to Aptina.

BSI technology is finding use in higher-end consumer cameras where paying a premium for the sensor is less of a concern for the manufacturer. As future applications require 1.1? sensors, BSI is expected to be required as FSI may be unable to achieve the required performance, according to the firm.

At Micron Technology Inc., the company plans to devise BSI-based products using both chip-scale packaging (CSP) and through-silicon vias, Gove said.

Aptina, which has 700 employees, continues to advance its technology after being spun-off from Micron. In 2008, Micron spun-off its CMOS image sensor unit, thereby forming Aptina.

Privately-held Aptina has several investors, including Riverwood Capital, TPG Capital and Micron Technology. Aptina claims to be the leader in the CMOS image sensor market with 18.7 percent share in 2009, based on sales.

Targeting mobile market
In its latest announcement, Aptina rolled out two products3Mpixel MT9T113 and 5Mpixel MT9P017 image sensor solutions based on the company's third-generation A-Pix technology.

The third-generation A-Pix FSI image sensor technology enables improvements in quantum efficiency and crosstalk. It provides a 25 percent improvement in light level for the same signal-to-noise ratio performance over second generation technology, according to the company.

The pixel itself is based on 65nm technology and copper interconnects, Gove said. The previous generation was based on 90nm design rules, he said.

The MT9T113 provides the mobile market with a cost-effective, SoC 3Mpixel solution. The MT9P017 sensor with its 5Mpixel scheme extends Aptina's range of advanced solutions targeting performance-oriented mobile manufacturers.

The MT9T113 includes JPEG thumbnail support, parallel and MIPI interfaces for ISP connection flexibility. It has a die size that enables a 6.5mm x 6.5mm module size. It also has advanced functionality like Scalado SpeedTags for image management. Additionally, the SoC provides HD video at 720p at 30fps.

The MT9P017 is a 5Mpixel mobile image sensor. Its one-quarter-inch optical format and small die size are suited for integration into 6.5mm x 6.5mm modules. It supplies parallel and MIPI interfaces as well as features such as adaptive noise reduction, integrated autofocus VCM driver, 2D dynamic defect correction and resampled binning for smoother video.

Both the MT9T113 and MT9P017 are currently sampling with mass product scheduled for Q3 10. Aptina's products are currently made at Micron. Fabless Aptina is also looking at other foundries beyond Micron.

- Mark LaPedus
EE Times

Article Comments - Mobile image sensors support paralle...
*? You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.

Back to Top