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Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Canon develops the world's largest CMOS image sensor

Canon has developed the world's largest CMOS image sensor, with a chip size measuring 202 x 205 mm. Because its expanded size enables greater light-gathering capability, the sensor is capable of capturing images in one one-hundredth the amount of light required by a professional-model digital SLR camera.

At 202 x 205 mm, the sensor is among the largest chips that can be produced from a 12-inch (300 mm) wafer and is approximately 40 times the size of Canon's largest commercial CMOS sensor.

In the past, enlarging the size of the sensor resulted in an increase in the amount of time required between the receiving and transmission of data signals, which posed a challenge to achieving high-speed readout. Canon has solved this problem through an innovative circuit design, making possible the realization of a massive video-compatible CMOS sensor. Additionally, by ensuring the cleanest of cleanroom environments during the production process, the sensor minimizes image imperfections and dust.

Potential applications for the high-sensitivity CMOS sensor include the video recording of stars in the night sky and nocturnal animal behaviour.

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