Sony Develops 7.42-Mpixel Automotive Image Sensor (1)

Nov 15, 2017
Tadashi Nezu
The new image sensor product (source: Sony)
[Click to enlarge image]

Sony Corp developed a new image sensor product, "IMX324," for cameras used for ADASes (advanced driver assistance systems), automatic braking systems and autonomous driving systems.

The size and pixel count of the sensor are 1/1.7 inch and about 7.42 million (3,849 x 1,929 pixels), respectively. The product is the automotive sensor that has the industry's largest pixel count, according to Sony. Its maximum frame rate is 40fps with the pixel count.

When images are taken with the pixel count and the frame rate, the power consumption of the sensor is as low as 500-600mW, which the company claims is the industry's smallest.

Moreover, the product is the automotive image sensor that has the highest sensitivity in the industry and is the industry's first automotive image sensor that features security functions, Sony said. Because the image sensor realizes all the functions required for automotive applications at high levels, the company said, "We will sell the product with intent to achieve 100% share (of the market for image sensors designed for sensing cameras to be attached to the front side of vehicle)."

Sony also said, "Compared with previous products, we are receiving more inquiries about the new product."

Tie-up with Mobileye

The new product can be connected with Mobileye's "EyeQ4" or "EyeQ5" chip for automotive image recognition. Sony expects that electric component manufacturers (e.g. Tier 1) will purchase the new image sensor and Mobileye's chip, combine them and assemble them into a sensing camera system.

Mobileye reportedly has a large share of the market for sensing camera systems. So, if the combination of the image sensor and Mobileye's chip becomes standard practice, Sony's automotive sensor business will further grow. To achieve that goal, Sony started to contact Mobileye from an early stage of the development of the new product and responded to many demands of Mobileye.

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