| Toshiba Introduces World's Highest Pixel Count CCD Area Sensor--First 1.66-Million-Pixel CCD for Digital Still Cameras in Mass Production
23 July, 1998
Tokyo--Toshiba Corporation today announced the world's most pixel-packed CCD area-image sensor for digital still cameras. The TCD5603D surpasses other commercialized products with a 1.66-million pixel count that achieves higher levels of resolution and enhances image quality. The new CCD will enter mass production this August, and samples are now available at US$230.
Digital still cameras boomed in these few years and were an immediate hit in 1996. Annual sales reached 2.7 million units in 1997 and Toshiba's forecasts for this year show global sales of five million. The demand reflects their versatility. Digitally-recorded images from these film-free cameras can be easily and quickly viewed on LCDs integrated into the cameras, or on TVs or computer screens. Once in a computer, images can be printed, e-mailed, used in desktop publishing or posted on the internet, and manipulated for special effects with a vast array of software.
While early models offered only VGA-level resolution, recent "mega-pixel" cameras complement high-quality color ink-jet printers and large, high-resolution monitors, and offer pictures fast approaching the quality levels of conventional photography. TCD5603D supports even higher resolution levels than the CCDs in cameras already on the market, and advances the trend to higher pixel counts.
TCD5603D is a 1/2-inch interline CCD area image sensor with approximately 1.66 million pixels. Each individual pixel has an RGB primary filter, organized in a cross-striped array so that pixels with a green filter are always diagonally adjacent to one another. Four-field interlace scanning combines data from four pixels in forming individual fields, at a maximum of 8.8 frames a second. The image aspect ratio is 3:2, but the huge pixel count supports viewing on 16:9 wide-screen TVs, and 3:1 panoramic views.
The TCD5603D interfaces with a range of data storage systems, including SmartMedia. Fast emerging as the de facto image storage system for digital still cameras, SmartMedia cards are a reliable, inexpensive storage solution that combine versatility with high capacity. Two, four, eight and 16 megabyte cards are already in mass production, and 32M cards will become available from the end of 1998.
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