Sharp Develops 12 Megapixel CCD for Digital Camera

Nov 9, 2006
Atsushi Takano, Nikkei Monozukuri
RJ21Y3BA0ET (right) and RJ21Y3DA0ET
RJ21Y3BA0ET (right) and RJ21Y3DA0ET
[Click to enlarge image]

Sharp Corp. has developed a 1/1.7-inch CCD sensor with an effective pixel count of 12.19 megapixels for use in compact digital cameras. The new sensor comes in two models, the basic RJ21Y3BA0ET and upper RJ21Y3DA0ET with high-sensitive imaging function. The volume production is slated for January 2007.

With its proprietary microfabrication technology, Sharp has achieved what it claims to be "the industry's smallest-class" pixel size of 1.88 μm square so that the product features compactness and high sensitivity. It allows high-resolution output to A3 size. It has downward compatibility with its existing models (with an effective pixel count of 10 megapixels) in the optical system and pin configuration. Thus, the existing optical system can be used as-is when developing new digital cameras.

In RJ21Y3DA0ET, the pixel data in units of four adjacent pixels are respectively added by color R, G and B so that the sensitivity in shooting may be quadrupled. This is especially effective when the exposure time must be set short. In such a case, the pixel count of the resultant image is reduced to 1/4.