Sony Corporation recently announced the upcoming release of a large format 56.73mm diagonal CMOS image sensor, “IMX661” for industrial equipment with a global shutter function and the industry’s highest effective pixel count of 127.68 megapixels. Now, before you jump for joy or toss out your last camera purchase, know this is just a sensor mainly designed for industrial use. The top fps at 10bit falls around 21.9 fps. The stated frame rate at 10bit is close to 24fps. Awfully close. While this 127.68-megapixel sensor might not make it to a future cinema camera, the development of a sensor, this size, and this large is definitely promising. Remember, the first Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K sensor was originally designed for industrial use.
- 14 bit: 12.9 fps
- 12 bit: 19.6 fps
- 10 bit: 21.8 fps
- 46.2 mm x 32.9 mm (H x V)
- Diagonal 56.73 mm (3.6-type)
- 13,400 x 9,528 (H x V), 127.68 megapixels
This new sensor features an increased pixel count yielding an optical size nearly ten times larger than the standard 1.1-type image sensor corresponded to the C mount for industrial equipment. It also features Sony’s original global shutter pixel technology, “Pregius™”, which enables the capture of motion distortion-free images. Sony’s original device configuration and interface technology employed enable high-speed image readout at a data rate nearly four times faster than conventional products.
Sony expects that the new sensor, when used in industrial equipment cameras for a wide variety of applications, will help solve a variety of complex challenges, thereby contributing to industry development.
Needs for automation, labor-saving, and other digital transformation benefits continue to grow in recent years in various fields of industrial equipment. This has accelerated the adoption of cameras for a wide variety of applications, driving demand for CMOS image sensors with higher imaging performance.
The new sensor couples Sony’s Pregius technology with the 3.6-type (56.73mm diagonal) large optical size, delivering an increased pixel count and motion distortion-free imaging. The original device configuration, which employs a chip-on-wafer process, together with Sony’s original interface technology, enables high-speed readout nearly four times faster than conventional products in full-pixel readout mode.
This design delivers highly efficient imaging that captures a wide viewing angle with no motion distortion in a single imaging operation. It also improves recognition precision thanks to high-resolution imaging and delivers a high level of processing performance. It can contribute to various industrial equipment applications, such as inspection processes for the production of displays and electronic substrates, wide-area monitoring, and aerial photography, where its improved precision and the quicker readout will help meet the need for a high level of productivity.
The industry’s highest effective pixel count of 127.68 megapixels
This product features large optical size of 3.6-type (56.73mm diagonal), nearly ten times larger than the common 1.1-type image sensor corresponded to the C mount lens for industrial equipment with a pixel size of 3.45 μm, resulting in a massive pixel count of 127.68 megapixels, which is the industry’s highest for a CMOS image sensor equipped with a global shutter. It enables a wide viewing angle and high-resolution imaging by increased pixel count, and the motion distortion-free imaging demanded on cameras for industrial equipment, thereby improving imaging efficiency and recognition precision.
High-speed image readout
Generally, increased pixel count means increased signal processing volume, which causes issues such as a drop in frame rate and longer readout times. To realize high-speed readout, it is necessary to improve the processing functionality of the AD converter, which converts the analog signal output from the pixel to digital signals and, at the same time, increases the speed of the output interface.
This product features Sony’s original device configuration employing a chip-on-wafer process where chips with certain functions are stacked on top of the pixel wafer, allowing for optimal positioning of the AD converter. This design improves AD converter processing functionality without increasing the size.
The new sensor also employs the Scalable Low Voltage Signaling with Embedded Clock (SLVS-EC™)*7 high-speed interface standard developed by Sony, in order to make output interface faster. These two original technologies enable 127.68 megapixels,10bits,21.8fps, which is a high-speed output data rate nearly four times faster than conventional models.The dramatic increase in multi-pixel and readout speed greatly contribute to the improvement of productivity in industrial applications.
Equipped with signal processing capabilities needed for a variety of industrial applications
The new product is equipped with a range of signal processing capabilities required for industrial equipment CMOS image sensors to meet diverse applications and needs. These include such as; trigger synchronization for controlling imaging timing during high-speed inspections; Region of Interest (ROI), which reduces post signal processing load by only reading out the required regions; gradation compression, which reduces data volume while outputting required information; multi-exposure, which is capable of detecting the trajectory of moving objects; short exposure time for blur-free imaging of objects moving at high speeds; pixel binning readout, which can enhance sensitivity in low luminance situations.