Photokina 2010: Sensor developer Aptina has launched a 16Mp APS-C CMOS sensor capable of full 1080p HD video at 30fps. The MT9H004 sensor uses the company's latest DR-Pix technology increasing signal-to-noise ratio under low-light conditions, delivering better image quality in high ISO photographs. The sensor can produce full resolution images at 10fps and is intended for use in DSLRs. The company has also announced a 14Mp CMOS sensor with full 1080p HD video recording capabilities for compact and hybrid cameras. Both sensors are scheduled to enter mass production in the first quarter of 2011.

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Press Release:

APTINA TAKES A BOLD NEW STEP INTO DSLR MARKET WITH NEW APS-C FORMAT 16MP IMAGE SENSOR


New Imaging Sensor Delivers Maximum SNR across Scene Lighting and ISO Speed Conditions (MT9H004)

San Jose, CA, 21 September 2010 — Aptina, the leading innovator of CMOS imaging technology, today introduced its high-performance, feature-rich APS-C format 16 megapixel (MP) MT9H004 image sensor. Engineered specifically to enable the high image quality demanded by professional photographers, the new MT9H004 sensor offers high sensitivity, low dark current, and low readout noise in addition to 16MP still image capture at 10fps. Leveraging the company's latest dynamic response (DR) pixel technology innovation, called Aptina™ DR-Pix™ technology, the new APS-C format imaging solution delivers a 5dB increase in signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) under low-light conditions without sacrificing the performance in high-light environments, where it can achieve a max SNR of 47dB. Aptina's new solution also offers advanced features, such as live view video support, and stunning 1080p/30fps high-definition (HD) video recording.

Until recently, the performance and image quality requirements for DSLR camera applications have been a barrier to entry for most standard CMOS image sensors. With its unique pixel technology innovations, the new Aptina MT9H004 is an attractive alternative for applications in this growing marketplace. In fact, analyst firm TSR estimates CMOS image sensor shipments for the DSLR market to be 12.5 million in 2013, up from 4 million in 2007, with much of this growth coming from the emerging compact mirrorless segment of the market.

"Designed by our Japan design center to provide the highest image quality possible, our new APS-C format sensor delivers the maximum signal-to-noise ratio across all scene lighting and ISO speed conditions," said Junichi Nakamura, Aptina’s Japan Design Center Director. "The positive reception our sensor has received from DSLR camera makers underscores the SNR and inter-scene dynamic range performance we’ve been able to achieve."

"For our new high-performance APS-C format 16 Megapixel CMOS image sensor, the DSLR camera opportunity over the next few years is tremendous," said Sandor Barna, General Manager of Aptina's Camera Business Unit. "Our new sensor is only the first step in our effort to secure a prominent position in this exciting market."

Aptina DR-Pix Technology
Aptina's innovative approach to improving low light performance without compromising image quality utilizes a dynamic response pixel, called Aptina DR-Pix technology. Aptina DR-Pix technology combines two modes of operation in one pixel design – low conversion gain mode for large charge handling capacity in bright scenes and a high conversion gain mode with increased sensitivity and low read noise for low-light scenes. The result is a sensor, like the company's 16MP MT9H004, that offers the best possible noise performance over all ISO speed conditions. For more information, visit Aptina's website at www.aptina.com/products/technology/aptina_dr-pix.jsp

Availability
Sampling now, Aptina's new 16MP MT9H004 image sensor is available in a 116-pin CLCC package. Mass production is scheduled for CYQ1 2011.

Press Release:

APTINA™ A-PIX™ TECHNOLOGY DRIVES IMPROVED PERFORMANCE FOR 14MP IMAGE SENSOR

High Speed Solution for Digital Still Cameras with Full High-Definition 1080p/60fps Capability

San Jose, CA, 21 September 2010 — Aptina, the leading innovator of CMOS imaging technology, today announced the newest addition to the company's growing portfolio of high-performance image sensors. The 14 Megapixel (MP) MT9F002 image sensor integrates the company’s latest Aptina™ A-Pix™ pixel technology, resulting in an increase of nearly 25% in low-light sensitivity (CCD-equivalent), and providing greatly enhanced, high-quality still image capture over the company’s previous 14MP image sensor.

The high-speed MT9F002 sensor combines an enhanced 1.4-micron pixel with advanced features, such as electronic image stabilization (EIS), and digital re-sampling. The new sensor also has full HD (1080p/60fps) video capability, and flexible, high-speed interface options, including four-lane HiSPi™ (high-speed serial pixel interface) and parallel or four-lane MIPI®. With these features and capabilities, the MT9F002 solution enables a new generation of hybrid and digital still camera (DSC) products and differentiated mainstream solutions.  Aptina’s announcement comes as the Photokina 2010 international tradeshow in Cologne, Germany begins.

Aptina's newly improved MT9F002 builds on the success of the company's MT9F001, the industry's first CMOS 14MP specifically for point-and-shoot and hybrid cameras. Improvements to both the sensor's original design and the company's 1.4-micron pixel demonstrate Aptina's commitment to rapidly deliver innovations from the lab into customer products.

"The level of performance achieved by this sensor has exceeded our expectations and that of our customers," says Sandor Barna, Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer Camera group at Aptina. "With the enhancements that we've integrated into this sensor with our innovative pixel technology, we are providing the performance our customers demand."

Availability
Aptina's MT9F002 begins sampling in October in limited quantities. The sensor is available in a 48-pin iLCC package for HiSPi and parallel or bare die for MIPI. Mass production is scheduled for CYQ1 2011.