Micron Technology, Inc., today announced the availability of its 2 megapixel and 3 megapixel DigitalClarity CMOS products, designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality image sensors in digital still cameras (DSCs), digital video cameras and converged DSC/camcorders. Micron’s 2 megapixel (MT9D001) and 3 megapixel (MT9T001) sensors are the latest additions to the company’s DigitalClarity product line. These 2 and 3 megapixel sensors are optimized on Micron’s advanced low-leakage 0.15 and 0.18µm DRAM processes (respectively) to achieve superior image-quality while maintaining the inherent design-in simplicity, cost and manufacturing advantages of CMOS technology. To expedite the camera design cycle, these products are backward compatible with the 1.3 megapixel sensor (MT9M001) introduced in March 2003.
Micron’s new DigitalClarity brand further establishes the company’s breakthrough CMOS technology, now capable of achieving CCD image quality (based on signal-to-noise ratio and low-light sensitivity). DigitalClarity image sensors feature several outstanding characteristics that separate them from the competition, most notably very low dark current, minimal cross-talk, high sensitivity and low noise; all contributing to the sensors’ best-in-class image quality.
“Micron continues to leverage our state-of-the-art process technology to raise the bar for CMOS image sensor performance, providing our customers with sensors producing high resolution images with brilliant colors and superior low-noise performance,” said Shawn Maloney, Senior Director of Marketing for Micron Imaging. “According to overwhelming customer response, Micron sensors are the highest quality CMOS image sensors on the market. Our 30 plus design wins for DigitalClarity megapixel sensors stand as proof.”
The MT9D001 (2 megapixel) DigitalClarity image sensor is a UXGA-format ½-inch CMOS digital image sensor utilizing 4.2µm pixels in a Bayer RGB pattern. It incorporates sophisticated camera-on-chip functions such as windowing, column and row skip features, and snapshot mode. This 2 megapixel image sensor outputs a UXGA-size image at a full 20 frames per second (fps). Through advance process and circuit techniques this sensor is capable of capturing vibrant images at 1 lux.
The MT9T001 (3 megapixel) DigitalClarity CMOS progressive scan active pixel sensor is also designed to meet the demands of digital still and video cameras and converged DSC/camcorders. The sensor utilizes 3.2µm pixels in a Bayer RGB pattern resulting in a ½-inch optical format. The device has a video binning mode that combines the signals across the entire 3 megapixel array to produce XGA or VGA video at 30fps. This binning of pixels maintains field of view (FOV) while reducing aliasing artifacts and improving low-light video performance. The sensor has global pixel reset capability to initiate an image exposure which can be synchronized with a mechanical shutter to end the exposure – an operation which is commonly found in consumer DSCs today.
The MT9T001’s high-speed readout and fast autoexposure/autofocus/viewfinder mode will allow camera designers to eliminate two common consumer complaints about DSCs: the delay between capturing successive images (shot-to-shot delay) and the delay between the time the image capture button is pressed and when the image is actually captured (button-lag). The sensor output is 10 bits RGB at 12 fps and is backward compatible with the Micron 1.3 megapixel and 2 megapixel sensors allowing existing customers to rapidly upgrade or new customers to introduce a range of higher-performance cameras utilizing the same platform.