Industry's First 1.4 Micron, 5 Megapixel, High-ISO CMOS Sensor
Combines Two New KODAK Technologies for Better Pictures from a Smaller
ROCHESTER, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Feb. 4, 2008--Eastman Kodak
Company (NYSE:EK) is enabling a new level of performance in consumer
imaging devices by redesigning the basic building blocks used to
collect light and is incorporating that technology into a brand-new
The company has combined its recently announced Color Filter
Pattern technology with a new CMOS pixel to create the KODAK KAC-05020
Image Sensor, the world's first 1.4 micron, 5 megapixel device.
Designed for mass-consumer camera applications such as mobile phones,
Kodak's new sensor enables a new level of resolution in small optical
formats, using significantly smaller pixels. But unlike other
small-pixel sensors which can produce poor images, especially under
low light conditions, the 1.4 micron pixel used in the KAC-05020 Image
Sensor changes this convention, providing image quality that can equal
or surpass what is available from current devices using larger, 1.75
micron pixel CMOS designs.
"Camera phones and other small-pixel consumer imaging devices
often suffer from poor performance, especially under low light
conditions. To manufacture sensors that utilize these very small
pixels - only two to three times the wavelength of visible light - we
needed to challenge everything we knew about pixel and sensor design,"
said Chris McNiffe, General Manager of Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions
business. "By completely rethinking the design of the CMOS pixel and
leveraging our work with high sensitivity color filter patterns and
algorithms, Kodak was able to develop this remarkable new sensor that
will enable a level of imaging performance previously unavailable from
Key to the performance of this new sensor is the KODAK TRUESENSE
CMOS Pixel, a re-engineering of the fundamental design and
architecture of traditional CMOS pixels. In a standard CMOS pixel,
signal is measured by detecting electrons that are generated when
light interacts with the surface of the sensor. As more light strikes
the sensor, more electrons are generated, resulting in a higher signal
at each pixel. In the KODAK TRUESENSE CMOS Pixel, however, the
underlying "polarity" of the silicon is reversed, so that the absence
of electrons is used to detect a signal. This change enabled a series
of improvements to the design and structure of the pixel that
ultimately results in CMOS imaging performance that rivals that
available from CCD image sensors.
Light sensitivity in the new sensor is enhanced through the use of
the recently announced KODAK TRUESENSE Color Filter Pattern, which
adds panchromatic, or "clear," pixels to the red, green and blue
pixels already on the sensor. Since these pixels are sensitive to all
wavelengths of visible light, they collect a significantly higher
proportion of the light striking the sensor. This provides a 2x to 4x
increase in sensitivity to light (from one to two photographic stops)
compared to current sensor designs, improving performance in low light
and reducing motion blur in action shots.
At 5 million pixels, the KAC-05020 provides the highest resolution
available in the popular 1/4" optical format, and enables imagery up
to ISO 3200 and support for full 720p video at 30 fps. The sensor is
also supported by the Texas Instruments' OMAP(TM) and OMAP-DM
solutions, enabling a host of KODAK Image Processing and Enhancement
Features (such as digital image stabilization, rapid auto-focus,
red-eye reduction, and facial recognition) that provide digital
camera-like performance in a camera phone.
"For consumers today, high resolution is required but no longer
sufficient," said Fas Mosleh, Worldwide Director of CIS Marketing and
Business Development for Kodak's Image Sensor Solutions business.
"Smaller and thinner camera phones, high performance under low light,
and superior video performance are the types of features that will
enable the next generation of consumer imaging devices. And with this
new Kodak sensor, camera designers can now put those features directly
into the hands of their customers."
The new sensor expands Kodak's portfolio of CMOS and CCD image
sensors for consumer and applied imaging applications, and positions
the company to take advantage of the growing demand for high-quality
image capture in a variety of devices, regardless of size.
The KAC-05020 will be demonstrated by Kodak at the GSMA Mobile
World Congress held Feb 11 - 14 in Barcelona, Spain. Samples of the
KAC-05020 are scheduled to be available in Q2 2008.
For additional information, please contact Image Sensor Solutions,
Eastman Kodak Company at (585) 722-4385 or by email at
email@example.com. For more information on Kodak's entire image sensor
product line, please visit www.kodak.com/go/imagers.
As the world's foremost imaging innovator, Kodak helps consumers,
businesses, and creative professionals unleash the power of pictures
and printing to enrich their lives.
To learn more, visit http://www.kodak.com/, and our blogs:
1000words.kodak.com, and 1000nerds.kodak.com.
Editor's Note: Kodak corporate news releases are now offered via
RSS feeds. To subscribe, visit www.kodak.com/go/RSS and look for the
RSS symbol. In addition, Kodak podcasts are viewable at
www.kodak.com/go/podcasts. Podcasts may be downloaded for viewing on
iTunes, Quicktime, or other PC-based media players. Users may also
subscribe to Kodak podcasts via the iTunes store by typing "Kodak
Close Up" in the search field at the top of the iTunes Store window.
Kodak and TrueSense are trademarks of Eastman Kodak Company.
Barbara Pierce, 585-724-5036
Lois Paul & Partners
Terry Frechette, 781-782-5000
Editor contacts only.
Please see last paragraph for reader contact information.
SOURCE: Eastman Kodak Company