[ISSCC] NHK Develops 120fps CMOS Sensor for 'Super High Vision'

Feb 24, 2012
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics
The CMOS sensor developed for the "Super High Vision"
The CMOS sensor developed for the "Super High Vision"
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A block diagram of the chip
A block diagram of the chip
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The architecture of the A-D converter
The architecture of the A-D converter
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The Science & Technology Research Laboratories (STRL) of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corp) announced Feb 23, 2012, that it has developed a 33-Mpixel CMOS sensor with a frame rate of 120fps.

It is targeted at the 8k4k "Super High Vision" being developed by NHK. This time, by enhancing frame rate from 60 to 120fps, it became possible to shoot a fast-moving object clearly. The details of the sensor was announced at ISSCC 2012 (thesis number: 22.5).

The CMOS sensor is manufactured by using 0.18μm process technology and measures 26.5 x 21.2mm. Its pixel count is 7,808 x 4,336. But it is substantially 7,680 x 4,320 when pixels for evaluation are excluded. Each pixel measures 2.8 x 2.8μm.

To enhance the frame rate, STRL made improvements to an A-D converter. Specifically, a resolution of 12 bits was realized by using a two-tiered A-D converter. Like a two-tiered sieve, the first A-D conversion outputs the first 4 bits, and the next A-D conversion outputs the rest 8 bits.

With this architecture, data processing time was drastically reduced as well as power consumption, STRL said. The power consumption of the A-D converter is 800mW.