Canon develops world’s largest CMOS sensor

full frame sensor on the right

After the 120 MP APS-H-size CMOS sensor, Canon announced today that they developed the largest CMOS sensor sized at 202 x 205 mm or 7.95 x 8.07 in.

Canon Succeeds in Developing World's Largest CMOS Image Sensor, With Ultra-High Sensitivity

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., August 31, 2010 – Canon Inc. announced today that it has successfully developed the world's largest*1 CMOS image sensor, with a chip size measuring 202 x 205 mm. The sensor is capable of capturing images in one one-hundredth the amount of light required by a professional-model digital SLR camera due to its expanded size enabling greater light-gathering capabilities. Potential applications for the new high-sensitivity CMOS sensor include the video recording of stars in the night sky and nocturnal animal behavior.

At 202 x 205 mm, the newly developed CMOS sensor is among the largest chips that can be produced from a 12-inch (300 mm) wafer, and is approximately 40 times the size of Canon's largest commercial CMOS sensor.*2

In the past, enlarging the size of the sensor resulted in an increase in the amount of time required between the receiving and transmission of data signals, which posed a challenge to achieving high-speed readout. Canon, however, solved this problem through an innovative circuit design, making the realization of a massive video-compatible CMOS sensor possible. Additionally, by ensuring the cleanest of cleanroom environments during the production process, the sensor minimizes image imperfections and dust.

The increased size of the new CMOS sensor allows more light to be gathered thus enabling shooting in low-light environments. The sensor makes possible the image capture in one one-hundredth the amount of light required by a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor, facilitating the shooting of 60 frame-per-second video with a mere 0.3 lux of illumination.

Through the further development of distinctive CMOS image sensors, Canon will break new ground in the world of new image expression, in the area of still images as well as video.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked fourth overall in the U.S. in 2009†, with global revenues of US $35 billion, is listed as number six in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies 2010 list, and is on the 2009 BusinessWeek list of "100 Best Global Brands." Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – "all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future" – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at www.usa.canon.com/kyosei. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company's RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss.

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† Based on weekly patent counts issued by United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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*1 As of August 27, 2010. Based on a Canon study.

*2 The approximately 21.1 megapixel 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor employed in the company's EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS 5D Mark II digital SLR cameras

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