Sony recently announced two new miniature “Exmor R” back-illuminated CMOS image sensors with dramatically improved photographic performance including significantly high sensitivity and low noise. This is the first time that “Exmor R” technology has been commercialized for the use in mobile phones, and is an important step in solving the long-standing problem of those devices not being able to take great photos in low light.
The IMX081PQ, seen left, is a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with 16.4 megapixel resolution, and has been a hot topic lately in the gadget world. The sensor is very powerful with its high resolution (4672×3512), but it can also shoot 1080p (30fps) and 720p (60fps) video. One would assume that a module as powerful as this will appear in future mobile devices most likely in late 2011 or early 2012. The IMX081PQ also has the industry’s smallest unit pixel size of 1.12μm, which was achieved by fine pixel fabrication process technology. In theory, when a unit pixel size is made smaller, there are also some issues such as color mixture among smaller unit pixels. Sony solved this problem by implementing a unique formation of photo diodes optimally designed for fine pixel structure.
Sony also announced the IMX105PQ, seen right in the image above, which is a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with 8.13 megapixel resolution and 1080p (30fps) and 720p (60fps) video capabilities. Interestingly enough, the IMX105PQ could very well be the exact Sony 8MP sensor that was rumored to be implemented in the next Apple iPhone, which means that the iPhone 5 could have incredible low light performance (without flash) and 1080p video recording.