News Releases

Toshiba Corporation launches highly sensitive CMOS image sensor with Back Side Illumination

Develops 1.12 micrometer products for smartphones
7 Jul, 2011
1.12 micrometer pixel CMOS image sensor 

TOKYO— Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO: 6502) today announced the launch of a new 1.12 micrometer pixel CMOS image sensor, the latest addition to its CMOS image sensor line-up, that offers the industry's smallest level pixel size with enhanced sensitivity and improved imaging performance of back-side illumination technology (BSI). Sampling of the new sensor will begin at the end of this month and mass production will follow from the end of 2011.

As smartphones get smaller and their image sensors continue to offer higher resolutions, now in a range from 5M pixels to 8M pixels, the challenge here is of smaller pixels, where miniaturization can result in a fall off in performance. BSI overcomes this and brings a new level of responsiveness to CMOS imaging. BSI sensors deploy lenses on the rear of the sensor, on its silicon substrate, not on the front, where wiring limits light absorption. This positioning boosts light sensitivity and absorption, and allows formation of finer image pixels in smaller CMOS image sensors, bringing it more suitable for motion pictures applications as well.

Toshiba has made full use of the advantages of BSI to realize image pixels with a pitch of 1.12 micrometers, and to pack 8.08 million of them into a 1/4-inch sensor. The new sensor achieves high level imaging and processing that will bring a new level of image quality to smartphones.

Toshiba expects BSI CMOS image sensors to become the mainstream technology in portable digital technology, with applications expanding from mobile phones and digital cameras to smartphones and tablets.

CMOS image sensors are a focus product of Toshiba's Analog and Imaging Systems business. The latest addition to and enhancement of its BSI CMOS sensor line-up will reinforce the sensor business and the company's ability to meet the dual market requirements of smaller products and higher resolutions.

Key features

Optical format: 1/ 4 inch
Number of pixels: 8.08 megapixels
Size of pixels: 1.12 micrometers
Frame rate: 30 frame per sec. (8M pixel), 60 frames per sec. (Supports 1080p, 720p)