Sharp Japan today announced the RJ21R3BAOPT CCD Sensor and chipset, with a 4 milliion effective pixels (4.2 megapixel total) and "digicam lens friendly" size identical to this years 3 megapixel sensors (1/1.8") we're certainly likely to see this CCD used in next years digital cameras.

The new CCD is actually grouped as a chipset of six chips: CCD (RJ21R3BA0PT), Signal Processing DSP (LR38666Y), Timing for CCD (LR38620), 10-BIT ADC (IR3Y49M1) and LCD Interface IC (RB5P0060M). Power consumption of the overall system has also been reduced from 1,245mW (3 megapixel) to 1,025mW (new 4 megapixel).

Sharp RJ21R3BA0PT specifications

Optical system size 1/1.8"
Colour Filter Array Primary (GRGB)
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Total Pixels 4,200,000 pixels (2530 x 1659)
Effective Pixels 4,010,000 (2452 x 1634)
Sensitivity 140mV (typ.)
Saturation output 450mV (min.)
S/N ratio -88dB (typ.)
Mass production April 2001 (50,000 per month)

The LSI DSP chip also has capability to drive colour processing, gamma, auto focus, white balance, aperture, JPEG output, USB and interfaces for CompactFlash & SmartMedia.

Credit goes to for first noticing this announcement.