Sorry guys, but it's probably not a glass prism

Started Sep 5, 2007 | Discussions thread
b shaw Contributing Member • Posts: 673
dkloi, Request your brainpower re: EXMOR, MEMs, & Grating Light Valves

Daniel,

Based on a little homework, I made a guess back in early March regarding the EXMOR CMOS chips, that is, the chip incorporates a Grating Light Valve (GLV). Although, Sony doesn't come out and say the CMOS is a MEMs device with a GLV, they allude to it in their CX-NEWS articles. (For more background, I copied the post and link below)

So my questions for you are:

Do these new chips have a MEMs structure / GLV on them? If so, are they including a mechanical shutter in the A700 only because of their concern that photographers may be reluctant to adapt to the new technology?

If these chips don't have it, is Sony going to use the GLV concept just for video cams? Or, am I way off base altogether?

At your convenience, please advise.

b shaw

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1037&message=22308053

b shaw wrote:

GiorgioPM... yes, you are right, it's an "electronic shutter" More
precisely, a kind of a Micro Electro-Mechanical shutter called a
Grating Light Valve.

Importantly this really fast GLV shutter easily allows 60 fps, with
proper design allows live-view from sensor, and with proper DSP
allows noise reduction.

WARNING - GEEK-O-RAMA BELOW ..... "Danger, Will Robinson, Danger"
This following is kinda' technical, only read this if you want more
background info on how the new chip probably works.
A few years ago Sony introduced a Grating Light Valve (GLV) for
things like a HDTV operating at a 60 Hz refresh rate, etc. They
licensed this technology from Silicon Light Machines. (SLM)

At the time, they hinted that "this functionality as a new platform
technology to I/O components and all types of sensors." ....hmmmm...
maybe CMOS imaging sensors.

For a technical discussion on how this GLV works... see this paper
"Overview and applications of Grating Light Valve based optical write
engines for high-speed digital imaging" from the boys at SLM.
http://www.siliconlight.com/webpdf/SPIE%20Jan04%20SLM%20WrtEng%205348-5%20.pdf

Also, part of the SLM patent says this...Light diffracted from the
pixel units of the GLV array will be directed through the aperture
... to generate an image that can be viewed by the eye of an
observer, input to a camera, or projected onto a screen. The image
will be full color and can either be static for a fixed or selectable
duration, or dynamic in that it changes with time and can even be a
video-type image.
http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6219015.html

With all of this in mind, review sony's CX-NEWS articles on High
Speed Imaging CMOS devices and you'll see how all of this ties
together.
http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/cx_news/vol47/index.html
http://www.sony.net/Products/SC-HP/cx_news/vol43/index.html
Although, they don't come out and say the CMOS is based on a GLV,
they allude to it in their sidebars and related articles.

Lastly, they have just trademarked the name EXMOR... remember MOR
usually stands for 'Model Order Reduction' which is part of the way
someone would model the performance of a MEMS device.

Note that Sony's EXMOR trademark in the US was designated to apply
to: "CMOS sensors; video cameras equipped with CMOS sensors; video
cameras; digital still cameras equipped with CMOS sensors; digital
still cameras; mobile phones equipped with CMOS sensors; mobile
phones"

So, bottom line...
yes 60 Hz which translates to 60 fps,
and yes it may be possible to have a live view, from the sensor.
Moreover, adding some DSP to combine to sequential images can reduce
noise etc....

IF this is how their doing it, and
IF they can build an APS-C sized sensor, and
IF they bundle this into an Alpha body,
All I can say is "WOW",
This really will be industry shifting when they release it.

b shaw

PS. All of this is my guess based on publicly available information.
I don't have an NDA with them, and I may be wrong anyway.

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