MFT I don't get it . . .

Started Jan 29, 2014 | Discussions thread
JoeVC Contributing Member • Posts: 703
Re: Choice is good.

One problem people outside of the semiconductor industry might not realize is that, for logic chips, Moore's (economic) Law works to simultaneously increase chip performance AND decrease cost by shrinking the process node and hence geometric features.

The resulting smaller chips are inherently faster performing (because individual transistors are closer together) while their cost to manufacture is less, since more can be fit onto the same sized wafers (and chip cost is related to silicon real estate at the wafer level).

That's all well and good with logic products that don't require a specific physical size.

But camera chips that are defined by specific format sizes (like micro-4/3) can't shrink their physical size, hence their cost to manufacture can't be scaled downward at a Moore's (economic) Law rate, as is the case with logic products.

This is the conundrum with increasing pixel counts on a camera chip format that's fixed to a specific size: pixel size has to shrink as a result, which compromises low-light performance while offering the possibility of supporting higher resolution optics. The increased profit has to be had elsewhere than sensor costs, usually in offering premium system lenses.

The result is that silicon real estate remains at a premium in sensor manufacturing, since there isn't a clear roadmap in the future toward reduced costs and increased revenue, other than doing what Sony has done, which is improving low-light performance as a feature to up-sell to a more lucrative clientelle.

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