Image sensors are found to be essential to many modern-day technologies. CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) is one popular type of image sensor that converts light into electronic signals to help the camera create a digital image. These CMOS chips are currently dominating the digital image sensor industry.
There are two common image sensors: the CCD sensor and the CMOS sensor. CCD sensors are typically found in older types of digital cameras and are now fading as CMOS sensors are becoming the most chosen option. As compared to CCD chips, CMOS chips are mostly less costly in price. The CMOS sensor can be manufactured on any standard silicon production line while CCD sensors require special manufacturing. The cheap assembly of the chip is one of the main reasons why digital camera prices have decreased. CMOS also consumes little power therefore creating a longer battery life for the camera.
CMOS can perform multiple tasks on the chip itself such as auto-focusing, noise reduction and analog to digital conversions. These tasks performed on the CMOS chip make for faster performance on any device.
As technology continues to advance, the CMOS image sensor market is anticipated to grow over the next few years. According to a press release provided by Markets and Markets, this market growth will be primarily driven from the consumer electronics sector, the automotive sector and the security and surveillance sectors. The CMOS sensor market is expected to reach USD 17.1 Billion by 2020.
CMOS sensors are found in multiple devices within different industries. As with most hand-held digital cameras, CMOS sensors are commonly found in the security, automotive, medical and factory industries. Security and traffic cameras, smartphones and automobiles are continually improving their functionality. CMOS is one reason why these products are continually becoming faster and higher in quality. In the medical field, CMOS is being utilized when analyzing cell cultures as well as within many lab automation systems. One example of CMOS being used in the factory industry is when bottles are being analyzed for fill levels and to determine if any foreign product is prevalent. CMOS sensors are also being used in space for earth observations as well as star tracking.
As the new CMOS development continues, on July 23rd, 2018, Sony announced their new CMOS image sensor that is created for smartphones. This new sensor, the IMX586, will feature what Sony claims as the world’s first ultra-compact pixel size of 0.8 μm. The CMOS sensor is reported to be able to hold 48 effective megapixels onto a small ½ type (8.00 diagonal) unit, claiming to be the industry’s highest pixel count. This sensor will make for a perfect fit within smartphones with its high capacity and physical small size. The new CMOS chip is said to improve light collection and photoelectric efficiency with high sensitivity and high saturation signal level.
Some popular CMOS sensors include Sony’s IMX123LQT-C, IMX290LQR-C and IMX172LQT-C as well as ONS’s MT9V022IA7ATM-DP, MT9V128IA3XTC-DR and MT9V128IA3XTC-TR.