Understanding Sony Exmor Technology and its benefits

Sony Exmor Technology

Nowadays’ smartphones serve as the substitute for a pocket camera. This transformation is primarily due to advances in camera technology. Today’s small mobile phone frames may accommodate more effective sensors. This has led to an overall improvement in picture quality, which can be seen by the sharpness and color accuracy of photos taken with a modern smartphone. Furthermore, when we talk about adding more powerful sensors, we mean that these cameras provide performance comparable to specialized point-and-click gadgets. This is a breakthrough in camera technology, as they have been able to replicate the quality of expensive camera models at a much lower cost. Sony Exmor technology is playing a crucial role in this.

The development of sensor technology in recent years has made it possible for camera makers to create cutting-edge camera systems to power cutting-edge embedded vision applications. Sony has continued to be a major participant in the sensor industry, providing a variety of sensors that are suitable for use in a variety of industries, including industrial, retail, agricultural, smart cities, and medical. Therefore, Sony’s CMOS sensor is now at the forefront of camera technology, thanks to Sony Exmor technology, which has evolved over time by providing superior performance and high-resolution images with greater clarity, accuracy, and vividness.

This article will trace the development of this technology and outline some of its advantages. You can then decide how to switch from your current CCD design to one that uses a Sony Exmor CMOS sensor.

What is Sony Exmor Technology?

One of the most sophisticated camera technologies now accessible is Sony’s Exmor sensor. Sony Exmor sensors have revolutionized the camera industry with their cutting-edge technology and advanced features such as enhanced light sensitivity, higher image resolution, and faster image processing. A sensor created exclusively for mobile phone cameras is called the Exmor RS for mobile. A back-illuminated CMOS image sensor is the Exmor RS. It is famous for its outstanding HDR characteristics and low-light performance.

The commercial release of “Exmor RS,” the first CMOS image sensor in the world to use a novel, newly developed “stacked structure,” was announced by Sony Corporation. For usage in smartphones and tablets, Sony is releasing three variations of the “Exmor RS,” a stacked CMOS image sensor that offers excellent picture quality, cutting-edge functionality, and a small form factor. Three related imaging modules with these sensors will also be released by Sony.

In order to provide more varied and user-friendly picture-capturing experiences, Sony will continue to develop its digital imaging products while tenaciously pursuing the further development and extension of its core “Exmor RS” stacked CMOS image sensor technologies and portfolio.

A CMOS image sensor called “Exmor RS” uses a special “stacked construction.” Instead of using the traditional supporting substrates used for back-illuminated CMOS image sensors, this structure layers the pixel section, including formations of back-illuminated pixels, over the chip attached to installed circuits for signal processing.

History of Sony Exmor Technology

In 2015, Sony Semiconductor Solutions was established as an owned and operated group company to support the CMOS image sensor industry and integrate the Sony Group’s semiconductor-related business operations. Sony Semiconductor Solutions has created a number of advanced technologies, including the Exmor RS, a high-resolution CMOS image sensor that captures high-quality images in different environments. Since its incorporation, the organization has designed and made every Exmor sensor.

The Intelligent Vision Sensor, which was unveiled in 2020, is referred to as “the first image sensor in the world to be outfitted with AI processing functionality.” With an AI processor and memory for AI models built into a stacked logic layer for real-time image analysis and rapid metadata extraction from a raw image, the new sensor sets itself apart from the earlier Exmor RS sensors. This makes it possible to analyze more data faster than ever before and achieve a level of accuracy not achievable with traditional sensor technology. It wasn’t clear whether the sensor has another name because the announcement only mentioned model numbers.

Benefits of Sony Exmor Technology

CMOS sensors have the advantage of having excellent battery performance and being relatively inexpensive, which makes them perfect for use in smartphones. CMOS sensors offer various advantages over traditional CCD sensors which are described below,

High sensitivity-optimized pixel design

A photoelectric process taking place in the silicon the image sensor is constructed of produces electrons when visible light hits it. Sensitivity is raised by efficiently and wastelessly transforming light into electrons. A photodiode and many operations, such as signal accumulation start, signal accumulation finish, readout pixel selection, and selected pixel signal readout, must be included in each pixel in an image sensor. A photodiode and transistors are included in each pixel to carry out the numerous functions. The transistor array and arrangement can be changed to increase sensitivity, and the photodiode can be made as large as possible. When Sony originally started creating CMOS sensors, improving the pixels was its top goal.

Reducing Noise

No matter how effectively signals are generated, if noise is added at this point, a decent signal-to-noise ratio cannot be achieved. The ensuing thermal excitation of the electrons will result in dark-current noise if the silicon used to make the pixel has flaws. Even a single-electron noise will appear in the image under some circumstances. Because of this, minimizing dark-current noise should be the first concern when creating an image sensor. This is accomplished by reducing the likelihood of contamination and flaws, as well as by protecting areas that are susceptible to defects.

Speed-Boosting Row-Column-Row A/D Conversion

Parallel signal processing holds the key to accelerated speed. Analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion circuits on CMOS sensors transform analog pixel signals into digital signals. By positioning thousands of these circuits in a horizontal grid and enabling simultaneous operation, speed is enhanced. The size of the analog circuits where noise is produced is minimized, and automated noise cancellation is one of the key features of Sony’s CMOS sensors’ A/D converter circuits. With the help of this circuit design, speed improvement, and noise reduction can be coupled.

Future Challenges

Both digital still cameras and video cameras use image sensors. While the market for digital still cameras has seen an increase in pixel counts and a growth in the popularity of digital cameras, the market for video cameras has seen an accelerating transition toward HD models. The resolution of mobile phone cameras has also increased significantly recently. Sony will keep advancing the speed and pixel counts of its CCD and CMOS sensors to enable the development of these applications. The number of pixels must be increased, hence smaller pixels must be used. But as pixel size is decreased, sensitivity generally decreases because it is inversely proportional to the pixel area.

Sony has been able to make up for the sensitivity loss brought on by smaller pixels by combining its understanding of CCD technology. The long-term objective is to balance faster speeds with better resolutions while making up for decreased sensitivity brought on by smaller pixels. Device process technology, circuit technology, and image processing technology will be used to accomplish this.

Wrapping Up

With the most recent Exmor technologies, a camera or vision system designer can now incorporate CMOS sensors in their projects that are less expensive and simpler to integrate than CCD-based ones. It is perfect for engineers who are possibly new to creating vision systems because of its sensitivity and responsiveness, which rival many CCDs today, and its simplicity of integration. An experienced designer will greatly benefit from the lower costs made possible by these designs in order to achieve their lower material cost objectives for any new or existing application.

Exmor technologies offer the best of both worlds. New engineers who are just getting started can learn the intricacies of creating a vision system because of its sensitivity and responsiveness, which rival many CCDs today, and its simplicity of integration. While experienced designers can enjoy lower material costs, faster design times, and improved efficiencies. The need to compromise performance for the price has been eliminated by using the most recent Exmor R and RS-based sensors.

Vadzo’s camera portfolio comprises of cameras based on Sony Exmor sensors such as IMX258. Please have a look at our UVIGA 1310-U3-CRZ PDAF Autofocus camera.

Should you want to have an embedded camera based on a different Exmore sensor, Vadzo camera team shall be able to help you with the development and manufacturing of the camera solution. can  We hope that this article helps you the most by understanding the technology of Sony Exmor and its benefits. If you are still confused?

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