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Sony’s New CMOS Image Sensor Delivers Three Times the Horizontal Resolution Creating a New Level of Visibility and Safety for Automotive

| Manufacturing and Production, News, Tokyo News | 10/24/2017


Sony: IMX324 CMOS Image Sensor for Automotive Cameras

Sony Releases the Industry’s Highest Resolution(*1) 7.42 Effective Megapixel Stacked CMOS Image Sensor for Automotive Cameras

Date: Oct 23, 2017
Source: Sony Corporation

- Sensor Delivers Three Times the Horizontal Resolution Creating a New Level of Visibility and Safety -

TOKYO, Oct. 23, 2017 – Sony Corporation (“Sony”) today announced the release of the IMX324, a new 1/1.7-type stacked CMOS image sensor equipped with the industry’s highest resolution*1 7.42 effective megapixel RCCC filter*2 for forward-sensing cameras in advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). Sony will begin shipping samples in November 2017.

*1 As of announcement on October 23, 2017, according to Sony research.
*2 A color filter that combines R (red) and C (clear).

Model name: IMX324 type 1/1.7, 7.42 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor for automotive cameras
Sample shipment date: November 2017
Mass-production shipment date (planned): June 2018
Sample price (excluding tax): 10,000 JPY

This image sensor is capable of approximately three times the horizontal resolution of conventional products,*3 enabling high-definition image capture of distant objects such as road signs of up to 160 meters away*4. Moreover, the sensor is equipped with a pixel binning mode*5 achieving the high level of low lighting sensitivity of 2666 mV. This capability enables the capture of images such as pedestrians or obstacles, even in dark situations. The sensor is equipped with a unique function that captures dark sections at high-sensitivity settings as well as bright sections at high resolution alternatively, enabling high-precision image recognition when combined with post-signal processing.

Sony is providing another industry-first innovation with the efficient stacked design of the IMX324. The pixel array and signal processing circuit is layered allowing for a compact size and low power consumption while still delivering the industry’s highest resolution.

IMX324 is expected to offer compatibility with the “EyeQ®4″ and “EyeQ®5″ image processors currently being developed by Mobileye, an Intel Company headquartered in Israel, for use in ADAS and autonomous vehicle technology.

The new sensor also leads the industry with a security feature that protects the output image from being altered in any way, a first*6 for image sensors in the automotive cameras vertical.

The industry-leading sensor is on track to meet the AEC-Q100 Grade 2 reliability testing standards for automotive electronic components by June 2018. Sony has also introduced ISO-26262 automotive functional safety compliant development process to ensure that design quality satisfying the functional safety requirements for an ASIL B(D) *7 level automotive product.

*3 When compared to IMX224MQV.
*4 With a FOV 32° lens on the camera.
*5 Reading mode that adds multiple pixel data to further raise sensitivity.
*6 As of October 2017, according to Sony research.
*7 This image sensor supports ASIL B (safety goal of the system is ASIL D) requirements.

Main Features

  1. 7.42 megapixels — the industry’s highest resolution*1 for image sensors for automotive cameras
    The new image sensor is capable of approximately three times the horizontal resolution of conventional products *3 which enables high-definition image capture of distant road signs approximately 160 meters*4 ahead of the camera.

  2. High sensitivity of 2666 mV (Standard value F5.6, when using pixel binning mode)
    The sensor is equipped with a pixel binning mode for increasing the sensitivity in low-light environments. The pixel binning mode on this sensor adds data from a total of four pixels and processes it as a single pixel to enhance the sensitivity when reading image data. The pixel binning mode and RCCC filter*2 together achieve the high sensitivity of 2666 mV, making it possible to capture images of distant objects, obstacles and people even in low-light environments down to 0.1 lux, equivalent to moonlight. Also, by switching between pixel binning mode and full pixel mode for each frame it is possible to capture bright sections illuminated by the headlights in high resolution, and dark sections not illuminated by headlights at high sensitivity, thereby enabling high-precision image recognition when combined with post-signal processing

  3. Industry’s first*6 automotive grade stacked image sensor that delivers both a compact size and low power consumption through implementation of a stacked configuration that arranges the pixel array and signal processing circuits on different layers.
  4. Meets quality standards and functions required for automotive applications
    • Set to meet the requirements of AEC-Q100 Grade 2 automotive electronic component reliability tests by June 2018.
    • ISO 26262 automotive functional safety compliant development process.
    • Supports functional safety requirement level ASIL B (D)*7.
    • Equipped with an industry-first*6 security feature that protects the output image from being altered.

Key Specifications

Model name: IMX324
Number of effective pixels: 3849 (H) x 1929 (V) 7.42 megapixels
Image size: Diagonal 9.69mm (type 1/1.7)
Unit cell size: 2.25μm (H) x 2.25μm (V)
Sensitivity (F5.6 standard value, 1/30 second exposure time): 784 mV (Clear Pixel), 2666 mV (pixel binning mode)
Dynamic range (EMVA1288 standard): 120dB
Saturation signal (minimum value): 800mV
Power supply: Analog: 2.9V, Digital: 1.1V, Interface: 1.8V
Interface: MIPI CSI-2 serial output (4 lane / 2 lane)
Package: 108pin plastic BGA
Package size: 13.23mm x 8.97mm

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