CMOS sensor

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CMOS sensor

A CMOS-based chip that records the intensities of light as variable charges similar to a CCD chip. Although initially used in less expensive digital cameras, the quality of CMOS sensors has improved steadily.

CMOS sensors have advantages over CCDs. They can be made like other CMOS chips on standard CMOS fabrication lines, which makes fabrication less costly, and auxiliary circuitry, such as analog-to-digital conversion, can be combined on the same chip. In addition, CMOS chips use less power than CCDs.

Active-Pixel Sensors
Another advantage is speed. Also called "active-pixel sensors," CMOS sensors perform in parallel with amplifiers in each pixel that convert charges to electrical voltages. In contrast, CCDs transfer their charges to shift registers before converting to voltage at a single amplifier stage.

Sony's Exmor CMOS Sensor
Exmor shortens the analog path even more by performing A/D conversion on each column of pixels. While all CMOS sensors perform noise cancellation in the analog domain, Exmor also deploys it in the digital domain. Contrast with CCD sensor. See CMOS camera and digital camera.

References in periodicals archive ?
Despite the smaller sensor, the 16-megapixel CMOS sensor is a reliable choice to make, and the 60x optical zoom lens with focal range of 4.
According to the company, this acquisition of NXP's CMOS Sensor business expands its existing environmental sensor technologies and is a synergistic addition to its chemical sensor capabilities and smart lighting solutions.
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Canon, however, solved this problem through an innovative circuit design, making possible the realization of a massive video-compatible CMOS sensor," it said.
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DIGIC 4 works with the CMOS sensor to deliver 14-bit image processing, for smooth gradation and natural-looking colours -- as well as ensuring ultra-fast startup times and near-instant image review after shooting.
To date, the high-end DSC market has been dominated by more expensive CCDs because CMOS sensors have been unable to match CCDs in resolution and image quality.
The sensor contains proprietary noise reduction circuitry and is fabricated using a proprietary process developed exclusively for ESS's CMOS sensor products.
The 4,536-by-3,024 pixel, 12-bit Kodak CMOS sensor offers the highest megapixel resolution currently available in pro SLR models; and photographers can select two lower resolutions (3 and 6 megapixels) when appropriate.
Manufactured with the metal oxide semiconductor process used for nearly all other microchips, rather than the arcane procedures used for CCDs, CMOS sensors are cheaper, use less power and can be combined with other circuitry on a single chip to save space and boost performance.
This lower power consumption is possible," wrote Rodney, "because each pixel in a CMOS sensor has its own photodetector, and the amplifier and transistor circuitry is built directly into the CMOS chip.