JANUARY 23--Toshiba Corporation (Tokyo, Japan; www.toshiba.co.jp) has introduced a series of four high-sensitivity devices that reportedly match the performance of charge-coupled devices (CCDs). The new devices incorporate a photodiode double the size of Toshiba's current devices and with double the sensitivity. This supports better performance in low-light conditions. An optimized A/D converter and pixel design also produce less noise and contribute to better image quality, realizing that the new devices match the performance of CCDs with a similar pixel count at minimum scene illumination levels as low as 3 lux.
Personal digital equipment, including portable PCs, PDAs, and cellular phones, are all moving toward built-in video and still-image capabilities. CMOS image sensors are widely used in such products, as they enjoy advantages in size and power consumption. Demand is growing for sensors offering higher levels of performance, a need that Toshiba meets with its new line-up. The new devices raise the benchmark for excellence in CMOS imaging and are expected to achieve widespread application.
Samples of the new devices will be available in February 2002, and mass production is slated to start in June 2002.