Toshiba has announced the world’s smallest 8 MP CMOS image sensor. The pixel size has been shrunk to just 1.12 micrometres (microns), which is an industry first.
This new sensor claims to offer improved stability and better imaging performance, thanks to Back-Side Illumination technology (BSI). Miniaturisation of the pixel inherently results in degraded image performance, and Toshiba corrects this using BSI, which improves the sensitivity of the CMOS imaging element. In BSI, lenses are mounted behind the sensor on its silicon substrate, rather than in front of it, thereby eliminating any blockage of light, and resulting in boosting of light sensitivity.
The main benefactors of this technological advancement will be mobile phones and tablets, which are getting slimmer, and yet trying to cram in as many MPs as possible. With such a small pixel size, it is easily possible to pack 8.08 million pixels into a 1/4″ sensor.
Toshiba will begin mass-producing the sensor by the end of this year.