As the information society advances, the electronics industry is making rapid progress in both digital imaging and networking technology. Due to these trends there are now increasing needs for ultraminiature thin-form factor cameras for easy image capture.
The PC camera market is expected to grow due to the use of PC video conferencing and video telephony which is now becoming practical due to the widespread use of personal computers and the fact that most PCs are now equipped with a full complement of peripheral devices.
Also, a trend towards incorporating cameras into miniature portable equipment is developing, and there is hope that a market for portable video telephones may emerge. The ultraminiature camera may well become indispensable in many social scenes, beginning with the home where it will be increasingly used.
To respond to these needs, Sony has marshalled its miniaturisation technology to develop a 1/6" CCD, the industry's smallest 250,000 pixel device, and two system solutions in this area: the MC-1 multimedia camera LSI chip set and the Micro Unit CCD, which can be easily embedded in application equipment.
1/6" Super HAD CCD
In developing the ICX097AKE (PAL), Sony optimised the pattern used for pixel sections of the device, as well as the fabrication process to achieve the industry's smallest unit pixel. By adopting Sony's unique Super HAD CCD technology, which optimises the formation of on-chip microlenses, the device boasts a 32% increase in sensitivity per unit area as compared to Sony 1/4" CCD products. As a result the ICX097AKE achieves a high sensitivity of 330 mV despite its extremely small 1/6" size.
MC-1 multimedia camera LSI chipset
The MC-1 is a chipset for ultraminiature single CCD YCMG colour cameras, and is centred around the CXD3123R device. The CXD3123R is not just a camera signal processing function, but also integrates a microcontroller, an A/D converter, D/A converters, and other function required by CCD cameras on a single chip. The MC-1 chipset itself consists of the camera signal processing LSI (CXD3123R), a CDS/AGC IC, and a vertical driver.
The Micro Unit CCD miniature thin-form factor CCD system provides auto-white balance, automatic exposure control, backlight correction and other functions, as well as boasting an adjustment free optical system enabling the micro unit CCD to be used under most practical temperatures in embedded applications.
Now, at the critical societal transition point defined by the arrival of the information network age, Sony is committed to creating devices that leverage the potential brought about by the convergence of audio/video and information technologies.
The most salient aspect of society in the 21st century will be that computers and information appliances with even higher performance and functionality will merge naturally into our daily lives and form information networks that will enable the formation of a society that transcends space and time. The development of technology and the creation of infrastructures will allow video information to be freely and easily captured, transmitted, and corroborated. Sony will continue to develop key devices for image capture to respond to society's needs and desires.
For details contact Avnet Kopp on tel: (011) 444 2333 or fax: (011) 444 7778.
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