Micron to Unveil 8-Megapixel Image Chip

Started May 18, 2006 | Discussions thread
Eric Fossum
Eric Fossum Senior Member • Posts: 1,503
Re: CMOS is winning over CCD now?

Barry Fitzgerald wrote:
You cannot quantify performance on clock rates...this is not a cpu.

There are pros and cons for both...cmos has lower power
consumption, but higher noise..that is before modification. CCD has
the opposite..

Yeah, what Ron said. (thanks Ron!). OF COURSE readout rate is a performance specification. Would you buy a camera that took 10 min to write to memory due to slow readout rate? When I invented the modern CMOS image sensor at JPL, high performance CCDs were being clocked out at 50 kpixels/sec. So, a 1 Megapixel CCD sensor, like that that went to Saturn recently, requires 20 sec for readout. Also, its noise floor is not much less than any current CMOS image sensor for DSLR application.

Modern CCD readout noise is equal to or worse than modern CMOS active pixel image sensors. This idea that CMOS is inferior dates to the mid 1990's. It is just not true any more. Sensitivity, noise, full well, and in fact every important metric is now resolved in favor of CMOS. Ergo, Sony investing $1B in a CMOS image sensor plant.

Now, not all CMOS is equal. Micron, Sony, ST, and Samsung make high performance CMOS image sensors. Omnivision, Magnachip, Kodak (IBM), Cypress, Foveon and others are currently 2nd tier in performance. Obviously Canon is making good CMOS image sensors but at a much higher price and a much lower level of sophistication. Pixel sizes less than 3 um are much harder to make work well than larger pixels so I don't count Canon in the top tier.

kind regards,
Eric

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