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CMOS Image Sensors (CIS): Past, Present & Future

By: Sofiane Guissi, Semiconductor Process & Integration Engineer, Coventor

Over the last decade, CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) technology has made impressive progress. Image sensor performance has dramatically improved over the years, and CIS technology has enjoyed great commercial success since the introduction of mobile phones using on-board cameras. Many people, including scientists and marketing specialists, predicted 15 years earlier that CMOS image sensors were going to completely displace CCD imaging devices, in the same way that CCD devices displaced video capture tubes during the mid-1980’s. Although CMOS has a strong position in imaging today, it has not totally displaced CCD devices. On the other hand, the drive into CMOS technology has drastically increased the overall imaging market. CMOS image sensors have not only created new product applications, but have also boosted the performance of CCD imaging devices as well. In this paper, we describe the state-of-the-art in CMOS image sensor technology and discuss future perspectives.

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