Micron unveiled two new CMOS image sensors for mainstream digital cameras and camcorders. With its new sensors, Micron brings exceptional picture quality and ultra-fast burst modes to point-and-shoot digital cameras, features typically found only in high-end digital, single-lens-reflex (D-SLR) cameras. Additionally, the new sensors enable true high-definition (HD) video capture for point-and-shoot cameras, a feature that is typically found only in high-end camcorders.
“Driven by consumers’ growing desire for high-definition TVs, HD video capture is becoming a key differentiating feature in mainstream digital cameras. Our newest sensors support standard HD video capture, leveraging our leadership in high-speed CMOS imaging technology,” said Bob Gove, vice president of Micron’s imaging group. “With our continued innovations in CMOS imaging, such as our highly-integrated, feature-rich 8-megapixel sensor and our new 720p video sensor with image stabilization, we are providing camera manufacturers with technology that brings high-end features to compact, palm-size consumer cameras.”
Micron’s new 5-megapixel HD image sensor (product number MT9P401) is designed specifically for hybrid cameras that offer excellent HD video and still images. The sensor, which fits into a 1/2.5-inch optical format, is capable of capturing HD video at 60 frames per second (fps) in 720p (progressive) format. For burst-mode the sensor snaps 15 still photos in rapid sequence, enabling consumers to capture the exact moment they intended. The new sensor joins Micron’s industry leading 8-megapixel sensor (product number MT9E001) that is now in mass production and its standard definition 5-megapixel sensor (product number MT9P001) that is currently designed into cameras on the market.
Targeted at digital consumer camcorder applications, Micron also introduced a new HD video sensor (product number MT9M002) that captures 60 fps in 720p format and delivers excellent low noise performance. The sensor works with long-range zoom lenses and was built using Micron’s stunning 2.2-micron DigitalClarity(TM) pixel technology. With a 1/4.5-inch optical format, the sensor enables camera manufacturers to design compact high-definition camcorders using smaller and lower cost lenses. The sensor also has additional pixel area for image stabilization, which reduces the effect of shaky and blurred images typically caused by jittery hands or camera-shake.
“Aside from HD capability, CMOS imaging technology brings a host of advantages to video applications, including slow-motion video capture that could be used for reviewing those exciting replay moments like a baseball swing,” continued Gove.
Initially launched as a prototype in May 2006, Micron’s 8-megapixel image sensor is now available for mass production. The 8-megapixel sensor was built using a1.75-micron pixel design and fits into a 1/2.5-inch optical format. Used in continuous-shot mode for digital still cameras, the 8-megapixel sensor is capable of bursting more than 10 pictures a second at full resolution and more than 30 pictures a second at 2-megapixel resolution. Also given its high-speed, the sensor allows for cameras to have advanced features like image stabilization for reducing the effect of blurred images typically caused by jittery hands and fast auto-focus response, resulting in sharper images that are important for taking those priceless, spontaneous snapshots. The sensor also enables a digital camera to capture and playback HD video, which equates to shooting video at 30 frames per second (fps) in 720p (progressive) format.
Micron is working to make a larger footprint in the world of digital photography. With its focus on bringing new experiences to digital still and video cameras, its CMOS market share leadership in camera phones and its recent acquisition of Lexar, Micron is at the forefront of innovation for today’s digital photography enthusiasts.
Micron is sampling the new sensors now with mass production expected in the third quarter of 2007.
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAMs, NAND flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron’s common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol.
Micron, the Micron orbit logo, and DigitalClarity are trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc.