Panasonic develops a next-generation robust image sensor

May 14, 2007
Panasonic develops a next-generation robust image sensor

Panasonic today announced the development of a robust and lightfast image sensor for the next generation.

Panasonic's technological breakthrough allows a robust MOS image sensor for use under harsh sunlight for more than 20 years. Unlike traditional image sensors with polymer onchip microlenses and dyed color filters, the revolutionary MOS image sensor has digital-microlenses and photonic color filters, both made of inorganic materials that are inherently fade-resistant and quite robust.

"We can make a significant contribution to our customers by creating new applications with this new sensor. We can also propose various market solutions like automobile and outdoor usages by making the most of its outstanding robustness," said Taku Gobara, Director of Corporate Application Specific Standard Products Division, Semiconductor Company, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.

Conventional MOS image sensors require polymer onchip microlenses and dyed RGB color filters, which are fragile and extremely susceptible to sunlight exposure and a change in temperature. As a result, color images captured by a camera used under direct sunlight, including the ultra-violet (UV) portion, and higher temperature conditions will fade faster.

The cutting-edge semiconductor process technology can realize the pattering of an array of digital-microlenses made of an inorganic material in subwavelength dimensions. A digital-microlens can be formed by patterning digitally the inorganic material in concentric rings, which works out as a conventional onchip microlens to gather more light onto the photo diode area. The light path of each digital-microlens can therefore readily be designed according to its relative position on the image area. As a result, a uniform sensitivity can be achieved across the image area in any camera module in use.

Furthermore, photonic color filters made of inorganic materials have been implemented for the first time by the photonic crystal technology, which allows the photonic color filters to select any colors form UV to infrared spectral regions. The photonic color filters can also provide a variety of camera modules with lightfastness that is essential for an increasing number of tough end uses such as security cameras and automotive cameras.

Source: Panasonic

Explore further: High-end 'upstream' Linux laptop plans to ship in April

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Peat fire emissions may shed light on climate change

Jan 16, 2015

Wildfires, which send hot flames and smoke high into the air, create black carbon emissions associated with climate change and risk to human health. Carbon emissions from wildfires in the contiguous U.S. ...

Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in living color

Dec 12, 2014

Rosetta's OSIRIS team have produced a color image of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it would be seen by the human eye. As anticipated, the comet turns out to be very grey indeed, with only slight, subtle ...

Recommended for you

Aircraft set for minute-by-minute tracking

4 hours ago

All commercial flights worldwide could soon send out an automated signal every minute in times of distress to help rescuers find downed aircraft more easily.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.