Toshiba launches highly sensitive CMOS image sensor with back-side illumination technology

Toshiba today announced the launch of a new CMOS image sensor that will bring 14.6 million pixels to digital still cameras and to mobile phones supporting video imaging. The sensor, the latest addition to Toshiba’s Dynastron line-up, is also the company’s first to integrate the enhanced sensitivity offered by back-side illumination technology (BSI). BSI brings new levels of responsiveness to CMOS imaging. Lenses are deployed on the rear of the sensor on the silicon substrate, not on the front, where wiring limits light absorption. This positioning boosts light sensitivity and absorption by 40% compared to existing Toshiba products, and allows formation of finer image pixels.

Toshiba has made full use of the advantages of BSI to realize image pixels with a pitch of 1.4 microns, and to pack 14.6 million of them into a 1/2.3-inch sensor that meets the high level imaging and processing requirement, and that will also bring a new level of image quality to mobile phones. Toshiba will use the new sensor to promote its full-scale entry to 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.

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