The Belgian manufacturer that makes some of the sensors used in Leica’s cameras has announced a new offering that features 48MP and a global shutter. Although the CMV50000 CMOS sensor is described as medium-format in the press release, it is actually nearer to being 35mm-sized and measures 36.43 x 27.62mm (the width of a 35mm 'full-frame' sensor but elongated out to 4:3 aspect ratio).

The new sensor is also designed to record 8K video at a rate of 30fps and offers, according to the manufacturer, a dynamic range of 64dB at full resolution and a signal-to-noise ratio of 41.4dB. The sensor can increase the dynamic range of its output by recording alternate row of pixels at different exposures (a process comparable with the DR mode of Fujifilm's EXR CCD designs).

The global shutter design of the sensor allows all pixels to record at the same time instead of in sequence as is usually the case. This means fast moving objects traveling across the frame can be captured without distortion in cameras when using a fully electronic shutter. While some of the company’s target market is industrial inspection the sensor is also said to be suited to still photography and professional and broadcast video.

At the moment the sensor is only available in black and white, but a color version is on its way for the end of the year. The existing sensor costs €3450 (approx. $3800). For more information visit the CMOSIS website.

Press release:

Industry’s first global shutter 48Mpixel CMOS image sensor from CMOSIS supports 8k image resolution at 30 frames/s

CMV50000 features low noise, high frame rate, and high dynamic range; easy-to-design-with sensor excels in automated optical inspection systems, machine vision uses and prosumer video applications

Premstaetten, Austria -- CMOSIS a member of the ams AG (SIX: AMS) group, a leading provider of high performance sensors and analog ICs, today launched the CMV50000, an industry first global shutter CMOS image sensor offering high resolution of 48Mpixels, more than twice the resolution of its previous generation CMOSIS global shutter CMOS image sensors.

The CMV50000 is a medium format 48Mpixels sensor with 7920 x 6002 4.6-µm sized pixels using the patented 8-transistor pixel architecture to offer low noise and excellent electronic shutter efficiency. Global shutter operation means, that images of fast-moving objects can be captured without distortion.

Its pixel offers 64dB optical dynamic range at full resolution and up to 68dB in subsampled 4k mode, and the imagers benefits from the implementation of sophisticated new, on-chip noise-reduction circuitry such as black level clamping to enable it to capture high quality images under low-light conditions.

Operating at a fast 30 frames/s with 12 bit pixel depth at full resolution or a binned 4k mode, and at up to 60 frames/s with pixel subsampling to 4k resolution, the sensor is suitable for use in high-speed machine-vision systems, as well as in TV broadcasting and video cameras.

The CMV50000 provides detailed views of a large surface area required in factory automation applications such as automated optical inspection (AOI) systems and systems for the inspection of displays of mobile phones, tablets, laptops and TVs. The combination of high frame rate and high re-solution allows further increase of the already high throughput rates at consumer product assembly plants.

A High Dynamic Range (HDR) mode is supported by an odd/even row dual-exposure operation.

The CMV50000 is expected to replace high pixel-count charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensors used in machine-vision cameras and high-end security cameras. Compared to the older CCD sensor technology, CMOS image sensors are easier to integrate in camera designs, use less power, and can operate at much higher frame rates.

“The introduction of the 48Mpixel CMV50000 gives camera manufacturers the opportunity to enjoy the design and operating advantages of a CMOS image sensor while gaining the ultra-high resolution, which has previously only been available through the use of CCD sensors”, said Wim Wuyts, Marketing Manager for image sensors at ams.

“The CMV50000’s advanced noise-reduction features such as black level clamping combined with its high optical dynamic range, results in high picture quality at full operation speed without the need for complex analog output matching required for multi-tap CCD image sensors and therefore also decreases the camera development time significantly.”

The monochrome version of the CMV50000 is sampling now. The color version will be available for sampling by the end of 2016. Unit pricing is €3,450.