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Toshiba Develops Hi-Rez CMOS Image Sensor

10/27/2009 03:01:46 PM Eastern

Tokyo - Toshiba on Tuesday unveiled here a new CMOS
image sensor that will bring 14.6 million pixels to digital still cameras and mobile
phones, and could herald the company's full-scale entry into the digital
imaging market.

Part of the System LSI unit's Dynastron lineup, the sensor is said to be
Toshiba's first to integrate back-side illumination technology (BSI) for
increased sensitivity. This is said to bring new levels of responsiveness to
CMOS imaging and involves the use of lenses placed on the rear of the sensor on
the silicon substrate instead of the front, where wiring limits light
absorption, according to Toshiba.

The positioning will boost light sensitivity and absorption by 40 percent
compared with existing Toshiba products, and allows formation of finer image
pixels.

Toshiba will begin sampling of the new sensor in December and plans to
begin mass production in the third quarter of 2010 (July-September).

The 14.6 million pixels, each measuring 1.4 microns, are packed onto the
1/2.3-inch sensor. It is said to allow a new level of image quality from
compact devices, including mobile phones.

In a statement, Toshiba said it plans to use the new sensor to promote a
full-scale entry to the digital camera market and will continue to develop BSI
products as a mainstream technology.

The new sensor will be mass produced at Toshiba's Oita Operations, on
industry leading 300mm wafer lines deploying 65nm process technology. Initial
production will be at a volume of 500,000 sensors a month, Toshiba said.