Pixel technology in SONY IMX385 doubles low light sensitivity

6th June 2017
Posted By : Lanna Cooper
Pixel technology in SONY IMX385 doubles low light sensitivity

SONY’s 1/2" IMX385 sensor with two megapixels delivers high image quality even in low light conditions. Using their super high conversion gain technology, Sony has doubled the sensitivity compared to the IMX185. Available from the image processing specialist, FRAMOS, it boasts, together with its excellent SNR1s value, the best performance among Sony's Full HD sensors for industrial and safety applications.

Precise analysis and efficiency requires image processing applications to deliver high quality color images even in dark conditions. By using a new generation 3.75µm pixel, SONY’s 1/2” IMX385 Full HD sensor doubles sensitivity to 2,350mV compared to the IMX185. The 'super high conversion gain' technology uses a floating diffusion with a lower capacity, which leads to a higher conversion gain. Thanks to this, a higher voltage and therefore higher sensitivity is achieved even at for low amount of charge in the pixel due to a low number of incident photons.

The SONY IMX385 also achieves an excellent SNR1s of 0.13lx. This high performance, well suited for vision systems in the industrial sector, is also supported by the combination of an extended High Dynamic Range (HDR) and increased sensitivity in the infrared range. Digital overlap HDR (DOL-HDR) delivers the data from three exposures on a line-by-line basis rather than frame by frame, resulting in improved picture quality, especially under poor light conditions, compared to multi-exposure HDR.

“Besides resolution, the most important criteria for a high-quality and easy to evaluate image are sensitivity, saturation and contrast,” explained Anna Neschitsch, Sensor Expert at FRAMOS. “All applications in machine vision, measurement and testing technology, as well as automation, can benefit from the development of SONY’s new pixel technology providing the best performance among SONY industrial sensors.”

The IMX385 image sensor offers a versatile interface. Depending on the application, either the LVDS interface with up to eight channels or the MIPI D-PHY interface with up to four lanes can be used. Engineering samples of the IMX385 and evaluation boards are available from FRAMOS for design preparation. Mass production will begin in July 2017.

The industry and product experts at FRAMOS have specialist knowledge ranging from sensor to system, and provide customer support for the integration of new sensors into applications. The Sony IMX385 is suitable, with compact fish-eye C-Mount lens DSL934 from Sunex, as well as the Computar MPW2 series. FRAMOS also offers additional services such as development support, special applications such as cover glass removal as well as storage and logistics services.

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