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13MP image sensor boasts remarkable sensitivity

Posted: 09 Jan 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ON Semiconductor? image sensor? mobile device? smartphone? camera?

ON Semiconductor's has unleashed its next-generation 13MP image sensor based on 1.1um pixel technology that claims to set a benchmark in sensitivity along with increases in quantum efficiency (QE) and linear full well capacity. Intended for smartphone camera applications, the AR1335 promises to deliver near-digital-still-camera quality with power consumption and footprint optimised for mobile devices.

ON Semiconductor has developed its 1.1um pixel technology for performance smartphone sensors with pixel and colour filter array (CFA) processing advancements, which has increased the sensitivity by nearly 20 per cent compared to the previous generation. Image quality is significantly improved, especially in low light. 13MP resolution supports high-quality zoom, and sharp reproduction of scene details. Professional quality video is supported thorough 4K Ultra-High Definition (UHD) and cinema formats at 30fps and Full HD 1080P at 60fps. The high 32-degree chief ray angle (CRA) supports low z-height applications.


The AR1335 is in mass production in die format and has been designed into several smartphone models with availability in leading phones expected by 2Q15.

Die-stacked sensors

In a related field, ON has disclosed advances in high efficiency 3D sensor stacking technology, which it said can deliver improved power, performance and size efficiency for future sensors for mobile and consumer applications.

The company has characterised and demonstrated its first fully-functional stacked CMOS imaging sensor featuring a smaller die footprint, higher pixel performance and better power consumption compared to traditional monolithic non-stacked designs. The technology has been successfully implemented and characterised on a test chip with 1.1um pixels and will be introduced in a product later this year.

Conventional sensor designs in a monolithic substrate process require separate die area to support both the pixel array and supporting circuitry. With 3D stacking technology, the pixel array and the supporting circuitry are manufactured on separate substrates and then stacked with connections between the two made with through silicon vias (TSVs). This allows the pixel array to overlay the underlying circuitry and result in a more efficient die floorplan. With this approach, design engineers can optimise each part of the sensor for imaging performance, cost, power and die size. With the optimisation of the pixel array, sensors can have improved pixel performance with lower noise levels and enhanced pixel response. The underlying circuitry can use more aggressive design rules to lower power consumption. The smaller overall footprint supports todays advanced camera modules that integrate optical image stabilisation (OIS) and additional data storage in the same module footprint.

- Graham Prophet
??EE Times Europe

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