Chipworks analyzes FF sensors

Started Oct 25, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Chipworks analyzes FF sensors
Oct 25, 2012

For those interested, Chipworks has published an interesting analysis of FF sensors.

It confirms what has been said many times on this forum:
The 5DIII and 1DX sensors use the same basic technology as the 5Dc from 2005 (or earlier?).

While this tech has surely been refined, it's still an ancient 500nm CMOS process.
Sony is on 180nm with the D800 sensor, which is relatively modern for image sensors.
For comparison, CPU and memory makers are currently on 22-45nm.

Chipworks is also making the following interesting comment:

  • Canon does have a 0.18 ┬Ám generation CIS wafer fab process, featuring a specialized Cu back end of line (BEOL) including light pipes (shown below). It is possible to speculate that Canon may be preparing to refresh its FF CIS line to supply devices for a new FF camera system. Samsung and Panasonic currently use Cu fabs to produce APS-C and micro 4/3 CIS devices. It seems that Canon is destined to do so for APS-C and perhaps ultimately FF.

FYI, the 180nm sensor referred here is the S100/S110 sensor.

So, there you have it. Canon is still using an ancient 500nm process for their newest sensors.

The 500nm process will not allow Canon to make a high megapixel camera with competitive image quality.

So, Canon will either not have a high MP camera (unlikely).
Or, soon we'll see the introduction of a new generation sensor technology from Canon.

And as Chipworks speculates, the likely introduction of this tech will be with an APS-C sensor.
In 7DII maybe?

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 7D Canon EOS-1D Nikon D800
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