The component supplier Omnivision announces having validated the technology allowing the exploitation of pixels of reduced size of 0,56 µm for future high-capacity mobile photo sensors.
To fit more and more megapixels into photo modules without making them bigger, the race to reduce sensor pixels has been intense in recent years, going down to 0.8 µm, then 0.7 µm and now 0.6 µm.
With 0.56 µm, Omnivision goes down another notch and paves the way for mobile photo sensors well over 100 megapixels. Above all, it demonstrates that it is possible to offer pixels smaller than the wavelength of visible light (here red light) without compromising the qualities of the sensor and allowing to reduce energy consumption.
Omnivision thus indicates that the qualities of the 0.56 µm pixel are comparable to that of its 0.61 µm pixel in terms of QE (Quantum Efficiency) and QPD (Quad Phase Detection for autofocus).
The firm indicates that it is working closely with the founder TSMC to make these technologies possible (and their large-scale production) on a 28 nm CMOS sensor basis.
Omnvision announces that this 0.56 µm pixel technology will be present in 200 megapixel photo sensors intended for smartphones. For the moment, nothing is said about the qualities of such a sensor. We know that reducing the size of pixels leads to problems with noise and grain in low light and that the race for megapixels is not always synonymous with better image quality in the end.
The integration will take place during the second quarter and the first samples will be delivered in the third quarter. The first smartphones on the market equipped with this photo sensor are expected early 2023.