charge-coupled device

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Related to charge-coupled device: interline transfer CCD

charge-coupled device

See CCD.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

charge-coupled device

[′chärj ¦kəp·əld di′vīs]
A semiconductor device wherein minority charge is stored in a spatially defined depletion region (potential well) at the surface of a semiconductor and is moved about the surface by transferring this charge to similar adjacent wells. Abbreviated CCD.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

charge-coupled device

(CCD) A semiconductor technology used to build light-sensitive electronic devices such as cameras and image scanners. CCDs can be made to detect either colour or black-and-white. Each CCD chip consists of an array of light-sensitive photocells. The photocell is sensitised by giving it an electrical charge prior to exposure.
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CCD sensor

(Charge-Coupled Device sensor) An electronic memory that records the intensity of light as a variable charge. Although mostly replaced by CMOS sensors to capture images in cameras, camcorders and scanners, CCDs are still used in astronomy, microscopy and biomedical imaging because of their excellent sensitivity during long exposures.

CCDs are analog devices. Their charges equate to shades of light for monochrome images or shades of red, green and blue when used with color filters. Devices may use three CCDs, one for each of the red, green and blue colors.

Why Coupled?
The CCD comprises an array of imaging pixels and a matching array of storage pixels that are coupled together. After the imaging array is exposed to light, its charges are quickly transferred to the storage array. While the imaging CCDs are being exposed to the next picture, the storage CCDs from the last picture are being read out a row at a time to the analog-to-digital converters (A/D converters) that transform the voltages into binary data to be processed. Contrast with CMOS sensor. See Bayer pattern, X3, Super CCD, blooming and digital camera.

Charge-Coupling Methods
The storage CCDs are either a separate array (frame transfer) or individual photosites (interline transfer) coupled to each imaging photosite. The charges can be transferred faster with the interline method because each storage component is closer to its imaging counterpart.

CCDs Record Light
In a camera, CCDs take the place of film. They are exposed to light, recording the intensities, or shades, of light as variable charges. In the digital camera above, the variable, analog charges in the CCD are converted to binary data by analog-to-digital converter chips.

CCDs Are Sensitive
This CCD from Jet Propulsion Labs is used in astronomy. Sensing the output of telescopes, it detects ultraviolet light from distant planets. (Image courtesy of JPL's Microdevices Laboratory; Robert M. Brown, photographer)
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References in periodicals archive ?
The SLR digital camera to be developed will employ a charge-coupled device (CCD) of about 5 million pixels for its image sensor.
The telescope relies on Torus's own control system to take hundreds of charge-coupled device images in a single evening's observing.
A charge-coupled device at the viewing end of the probe converts the image to an electronic signal that is relayed to a video processor and then displayed on a video monitor.
To solve these problems, the researchers joined a charge-coupled device to an optical microscope, then devised computer algorithms to correct the blurriness caused by the microscope optics at high magnification.
A new type of charge-coupled device (CCD) developed at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory promises to deliver sharper visible-light images.

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