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Thread started 22 Jun 2012 (Friday) 13:12
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Sony investing $1B in stack CMOS sensor tech

 
liupublic
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Jun 22, 2012 13:12 |  #1

Looks like Sony is working on even better CMOS sensors.

Initially they will be mostly for tablet and cell phones, but large sensors can't be far behind.

http://www.pcworld.com …ge_sensor_produ​ction.html (external link)


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rick_reno
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Jun 22, 2012 14:45 |  #2

Possible Nikon needs more.




  
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woos
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Jun 23, 2012 13:12 |  #3

Cell phones are a huge profit center. Also, from the article, this is key: "such as medical tools."...hehe

But for cell phones, think about it. Cell phones are now, imho, approx at the same "stage" as personal computers were in the 90's. What I mean by that is each new generation is bringing some noticeable improvement and many people upgrade their phones every year, two years, three years, or w/e. Things are moving very fast. Just like PC's did in the 90's.

Eventually, around 2005/2006 (at least that's where I'd argue it happened), PC advancement got to the point where for most average user (ie not someone creating content or gaming), they don't have a big incentive to upgrade. You saw a lot of players exit the market, sell off their pc divisions, or focus elsewhere. Cell phones will get to that point, but they have a ways to go yet. Frankly, if I was Canon I'd be trying to team up with, or purchase (or create my own), a cell phone company. Then make an imaging focused "PowerTalk" err...a cell phone "PowerShot" line. Use android and cell phone upgrade plans to push sales of your imaging devices. Stetch some elph cameras out a bit, add a bigger screen, throw in a radio (etc)...hehe (not exactly that simple, but hey).


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EL_PIC
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Jun 23, 2012 13:21 |  #4
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Sony is Canon's real competition.

BSI was first mass introduced by Apple and HTC for phones.
This is why the Apple 4 + is so good for pictures.
See http://asia.cnet.com …rs-explained-62113892.htm (external link)
for a good explanation and examples.
It will be used in next gen DSLR's.


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pwm2
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Jun 23, 2012 13:24 |  #5

EL_PIC wrote in post #14621226 (external link)
Sony is Canon's real competition.

Unless Canon decides to buy Sony sensors, in which case Sony may be Canons most valued supplier.


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rick_reno
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Jun 23, 2012 13:34 |  #6

They're going from 45k to 60k sensors per month, i've seen reports Nikon is pumping out 30k D800's a month and 5k D4's from their plant in Sendai. That's a big chunk of that 45k. I'm assuming the ramp up to handle the coming D600/D400.




  
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liupublic
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Jun 23, 2012 15:19 |  #7

The ramp is most likely for iphone 5.

Most advanced CMOS sensor technology is on the latest cell phone. Not on the typical digital camera sensors. For example, BSI (back-side illumination) sensors are around for ~4 yrs now and it's just came to digital camera in 2011. Each new cell phone/tablet will have two CMOS sensors and that market is in the order of several hundred millions instead of hundred thousands for DSLR.

Best to explain why stack is good:
Stack CMOS sensor allows the signal processing circuit to be directly below the sensor physically and shorten the transmission path. The signal does not need to travel through a long interconnect to processing circuit on the edge of the chip. That will dramatically reduce cross talk and signal loss and thus improve signal to noise ratio.

This new Sony stacked BSI CMOS sensor will increase SN ratio by at ~2x given the same pixel pitch. BSI was able to provide the same margin of improvement.

To put in DSLR photography speak, stacked BSI CMOS sensor will be able to provide 1-stop improvement over current generation of BSI CMOS. Keep in mind, none of Canon's DSLR sensors uses even the BSI yet. The advantage for stacked BSI CMOS is even larger if the sensor is larger.
My guess that it will come to Sony and Nikon DSLR around 2014.


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rick_reno
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Jun 23, 2012 15:35 |  #8

liupublic wrote in post #14621580 (external link)
The ramp is most likely for iphone 5.

Most advanced CMOS sensor technology is on the latest cell phone. Not on the typical digital camera sensors. For example, BSI (back-side illumination) sensors are around for ~4 yrs now and it's just came to digital camera in 2011. Each new cell phone/tablet will have two CMOS sensors and that market is in the order of several hundred millions instead of hundred thousands for DSLR.

Best to explain why stack is good:
Stack CMOS sensor allows the signal processing circuit to be directly below the sensor physically and shorten the transmission path. The signal does not need to travel through a long interconnect to processing circuit on the edge of the chip. That will dramatically reduce cross talk and signal loss and thus improve signal to noise ratio.

This new Sony stacked BSI CMOS sensor will increase SN ratio by at ~2x given the same pixel pitch. BSI was able to provide the same margin of improvement.

To put in DSLR photography speak, stacked BSI CMOS sensor will be able to provide 1-stop improvement over current generation of BSI CMOS. Keep in mind, none of Canon's DSLR sensors uses even the BSI yet. The advantage for stacked BSI CMOS is even larger if the sensor is larger.
My guess that it will come to Sony and Nikon DSLR around 2014.

Fascinating! thanks for posting that, makes sense.




  
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Shadowblade
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Jun 24, 2012 02:29 |  #9

liupublic wrote in post #14621580 (external link)
The ramp is most likely for iphone 5.

Most advanced CMOS sensor technology is on the latest cell phone. Not on the typical digital camera sensors. For example, BSI (back-side illumination) sensors are around for ~4 yrs now and it's just came to digital camera in 2011. Each new cell phone/tablet will have two CMOS sensors and that market is in the order of several hundred millions instead of hundred thousands for DSLR.

Best to explain why stack is good:
Stack CMOS sensor allows the signal processing circuit to be directly below the sensor physically and shorten the transmission path. The signal does not need to travel through a long interconnect to processing circuit on the edge of the chip. That will dramatically reduce cross talk and signal loss and thus improve signal to noise ratio.

This new Sony stacked BSI CMOS sensor will increase SN ratio by at ~2x given the same pixel pitch. BSI was able to provide the same margin of improvement.

To put in DSLR photography speak, stacked BSI CMOS sensor will be able to provide 1-stop improvement over current generation of BSI CMOS. Keep in mind, none of Canon's DSLR sensors uses even the BSI yet. The advantage for stacked BSI CMOS is even larger if the sensor is larger.
My guess that it will come to Sony and Nikon DSLR around 2014.

It's around a 1-stop improvement in dynamic range provided all photosites are read at the same ISO. But a stacked sensor, with individual readouts behind each photosite, has the potential to read each photosite at a different ISO, dramatically increasing DR.




  
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MrAl
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Jul 04, 2012 10:34 |  #10

rick_reno wrote in post #14621254 (external link)
They're going from 45k to 60k sensors per month, i've seen reports Nikon is pumping out 30k D800's a month and 5k D4's from their plant in Sendai. That's a big chunk of that 45k. I'm assuming the ramp up to handle the coming D600/D400.

Must have misread, it's 45k to 60 k wafers at a size of 300mm each and many sensors can be had from 1 wafer depending on the size of the sensor itself.




  
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pwm2
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Jul 04, 2012 10:38 |  #11

MrAl wrote in post #14669579 (external link)
Must have misread, it's 45k to 60 k wafers at a size of 300mm each and many sensors can be had from 1 wafer depending on the size of the sensor itself.

Which was a reason why I made my post that maybe Canon also wants to buy some Sony sensors. A Sony sensor in a Canon body would be great - in the end it really doesn't matter who makes the individual components as long as the end result is a great camera (at an acceptable price).


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liupublic
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Jul 04, 2012 12:40 |  #12

Not sure if Sony is running 200mm or 300 mm fab for these sensor. Based on 45-60k wfrs, most likely 200mm.


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pwm2
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Jul 04, 2012 19:27 |  #13

liupublic wrote in post #14670022 (external link)
Not sure if Sony is running 200mm or 300 mm fab for these sensor. Based on 45-60k wfrs, most likely 200mm.

Sometimes, links are good. The link in the original post contains the following text:

The investment will increase the company's production capacity to 60,000 wafers per month from the current 45,000, based on calculations for a 300 millimeter wafer size.


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RichSoansPhotos
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Jul 06, 2012 06:46 |  #14
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Ugh, if Canon buy Sony sensors they will end up like Noinks

You might as well call them Noink if that happened, lol




  
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pwm2
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Jul 06, 2012 07:28 |  #15

RichSoansPhotos wrote in post #14677796 (external link)
Ugh, if Canon buy Sony sensors they will end up like Noinks

You might as well call them Noink if that happened, lol

Please feel free to invest a tiny bit more of your time and supply one or more arguments for your view.


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Sony investing $1B in stack CMOS sensor tech
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