Panasonic develops super-sensitive, organic image sensor

The firm, together with co-creator Fujifilm, says the new chip is four times more sensitive than standard image sensors

Panasonic and Fujifilm say they have developed a new image sensor using organic materials that is far more sensitive than anything currently on the market.

The companies said their organic CMOS sensor has a dynamic range four times that of common sensors on the market today. The greater range, or light sensitivity, will mean less noise on dark portions of images and fewer washed-out portions in bright areas.

The sensor uses an organic film that converts light to electric signals developed by Fujifilm, together with semiconductor technology from Panasonic. The organic layer replaces the silicon used in CMOS sensors today and is just 0.5 microns thick, a fraction of the thickness of existing sensors, allowing it also to capture light from a broader angle.

The organic sensors can also devote more surface area to capturing light than current sensors, which must devote some space to shielding between pixels. The companies said this gives organic pixels a 20 percent higher sensitivity to light.

Digital cameras and camera modules used in mobile phones are often sold today based on their total number of pixels. But with resolutions now commonly in the millions of pixels even for tiny image chips, companies are looking to distinguish themselves based on the quality of the individual pixels themselves.

Panasonic and Fujifilm did not reveal when the new chip technology will reach the market, or how much more it will cost than traditional image sensors. Organic technologies such as those used in OLED screens have long offered better brightness and efficiency in thinner packages than traditional LEDs, but are notoriously difficult and expensive to manufacture in bulk.

The new sensors have passed reliability tests, and the companies say they will look to use them in digital cameras and mobile handsets, as well as applications with a wide range of light conditions, such as security cameras and dashcams.

The companies said they developed a manufacturing process that uses a protective membrane to protect the organic element from moisture and oxygen.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsdigital camerasPanasonicfujifilmComponents

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?