It looks like Canon is getting into sensor sales. The three specialized CMOS sensors the company has been recently showing off—including a 120MP APS-H model and an ultra-low light sensor—have been listed for sale by special order through Canon, and through Phase 1 Technology Corp in the US. As far as we know, this is the first time Canon has publicly gotten into the semiconductor business.

That in and of itself is big news, despite the fact that these sensors are likely meant for security, machine vision and, say, astrophotography camera makers. There's the 120MP APS-H sensor, which outputs images measuring 13280x9184 pixels; there's a 2/3" 5MP global shutter sensor that boasts "remarkably wide dynamic range"; and, finally, a 2.2MP full-frame unit with 19µm high-sensitivity pixels designed for extreme low-light shooting. All three are available in RGB and monochrome variations.

B2B sensor sales like this usually require you purchase more than one sensor, so at-home camera makers may not be able to get into the action, but we've contacted the company for a quote so we can share the price with you all the same. We'll update this article if and when we hear back. In the meantime, you can find more information about all three sensors on the Phase 1 Technology Corp website.


Canon 120 Megapixel CMOS Sensor

Available Variations:

  • 120MXSC: RGB
  • 120MXSM: Monochrome

Ultra-High Resolution CMOS Sensor

The 120MXS is an ultra-high resolution CMOS sensor with 13280 x 9184 effective pixels (approx. 60x the resolution of Full HD). It has a size equivalent to APS-H (29.22mm x 20.20mm), and a square pixel arrangement of 2.2µm x 2.2µm with 122 million effective pixels. Ultra-high-resolution is made possible by parallel signal processing, which reads signals at high speed from multiple pixels. All pixel progressive reading of 9.4 fps is made possible by 28 digital signal output channels. It is available in RGB or with twice the sensitivity, in monochrome.

Technical Information:

  • Sensor size: APS-H (29.22mm x 20.20mm)
  • Filter types:
    • 120MXSC: RGB
    • 120MXSM: Monochrome
  • Number of effective pixels: 13280h x 9184v, approx. 122MP
  • Pixel size: 2.2µm x 2.2µm
  • Progressive Scan
  • Rolling Shutter
  • 188pin ceramic PGA
  • Sensitivity:
    • 120MXSC (Green): 10,000e/lux/sec
    • 120MXSM: 20,000e/lux/sec
  • Saturation: 10,000e @ gain0.5x
  • Output Channels: Data 28 lanes, Clock 14 lanes
  • Dark Random Noise: 2.3e rms @ gain x8, Room Temp.
  • Dark Current: 8.1e/sec @ gain x8, 60°C
  • Number of output channels: Data 28 lanes, Clock 14 lanes
  • Main clock frequency: 45MHz (Recommended)
  • Output format: 720Mbps in LVDS output 9.4fps @ 10 bit
  • Built in column amplifier (Pre-amplifier gain mode: x0.5, x1, x2, x4, x8)
  • Serial communication
  • All pixel progressive scan reading function, Region of Interest (ROI) reading function (Vertically)
  • Vertically intermittent reading function (1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/5, 1/7, 1/15)
  • Power consumption: 2.5W (under recommended operating conditions)
  • Power supply voltage: 1.7 V, 3.5 V
  • Package size: 55.0mm x 47.8mm x 4.49mm

Canon 5 Megapixel Global Shutter CMOS Sensor

Available Variations:

  • 3U5MGXSC: RGB on-chip color filter
  • 3U5MGXSM: Monochrome

Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor

The 3U5MGXS global shutter image sensor employs a new pixel design introducing new drive readout and light guiding technologies significantly expanding the full well capacity, reducing noise, and contributing to remarkably wide dynamic range with a power consumption of 500mW. Equipped with a global shutter and all pixel progressive reading at 120fps, the 2/3" sensor size, and pixel size of 3.4µm with 5.33 million effective pixels (2592 x 2056) easily allow for applications in machine vision and other industrial environments where smaller size and high performance are required. It is available in RGB and Monochrome.

Technical Information:

  • Sensor size: Approx. 2/3 inch (8.8mm x 7.0mm)
  • Number of effective pixels: 2592h x 2056v, approx. 5.3M
  • Filter types:
    • 3U5MGXSC: RGB on-chip color filter
    • 3U5MGXSM: Monochrome
  • Pixel size: 3.4µm x 3.4µm
  • Maximum Frame Rate: 120fps
  • Global electronic shutter function
  • Progressive scan
  • Main clock frequency: 36MHz (Recommended)
  • Sensitivity:
    • 3U5MGXSC (Green): 30,000 e/lx/sec @Analog gain x1(TBD)
    • 3U5MGXSM: TBD
  • Saturation: 14,000e gain x1 (10 bit 60 fps) (TBD)
  • Output Channels Data: 12 lanes, Clock 2 Lanes
  • Output from LVDS: Maximum output of 864Mbps
  • Analog gain: 0 to 36dB
  • Digital Gain: 0 to 24dB
  • Dark Random Noise: 2.6e rms @ Analog gain x4(TBD)
  • Dark Current: 1.3 e/sec @Analog gain x4, Room Temp
  • Maximum Dynamic Range: 74dB (TBD)
  • Function: ROI function (8 region) Inverted output function (horizontal and vertical)
  • 180pin ceramic LGA
  • Power consumption (Typ): 500mW (full pixel scan at 60 fps)
  • Power supply voltage: 3.3V, 1.2V
  • Package size: 19.0mm x 18.1mm x 2.5mm
  • Exposure control by external trigger

Canon 19µm Full HD CMOS Sensor

Available Variations:

  • 35MMFHDXSM: Monochrome

Full HD, High-Sensitivity, Low-Noise Imaging

The 35MMFHDXS CMOS sensor delivers highsensitivity, low-noise imaging performance, even in exceptionally low-light environments. The sensor's pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. High sensitivity and increased well depth have been achieved through a larger pixel size of 19µm x 19µm (square) with proprietary device design technologies. The 35MMFHDXS CMOS sensor is available in RGB or Monochrome.

Technical Information:

  • Sensor size: 35mm film size (36.48mm x 20.52mm)
  • Number of effective pixels: 2000h x 1128v, Approx. 2.2MP
  • Filter types:
    • 35MMFHDXSM: Monochrome
  • Pixel size: 19µm x 19µm
  • Progressive scan
  • Rolling shutter
  • Serial communication
  • 180pin ceramic PGA
  • Sensitivity:
    • 35MMFHDXSC (Green): 1,100,000e/lx/sec @gain x1
    • 35MMFHDXSM: 2,100,000e/lx/sec @gain x1
  • Saturation: 61,000e @gain x1
  • Dark RN: 2.2e rms @gain x16, around 35°C
  • Dark Current: 250e/sec @gain x16, 60°C
  • Simultaneous reading of vertical 4 lines
  • Drive frequency: 16ch x 18MHz (Recommended)
  • Output format: Source follower output (Analog)
  • Built in column amplifiers: (Basic pre-amplifier gain: x1, x4, x16)
  • Power consumption: 2.2W (At 60 fps under recommended operating conditions)
  • Power supply voltage: 5V, 3.3V, others
  • Package size: 60.9mm x 44.6mm x 3.57mm