Diagonal 6.46 mm (Type 1/2.8) Square Pixel Array Color CMOS Image Sensor

photo_IMX290LQR, IMX291LQR

Back-Illuminated CMOS image Sensors with Improved Visible Light and Near Infrared Sensitivity that Support 1080p

Sony has developed the approx. 2.13M effective pixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensors IMX290LQR and IMX291LQR with improved sensitivity in the visible-light and near infrared light regions for industrial applications.
A new 2.9 µm-square unit pixel has been developed that combines a back-illuminated structure with technology for improving near infrared sensitivity to further enhance picture quality at low illumination while at the same time realizing Full HD cameras for industrial applications. This realizes two or more times the sensitivity in the visible-light region and three or more times the sensitivity in the near infrared light region than that of the existing Sony product (IMX236LQJ)*1. In addition, two types of WDR (Wide Dynamic Range) technology are also provided to further improve imaging performance.
The new lineup includes the two types of the IMX290LQR, which has the DOL (Digital Overlap) -WDR function and the IMX291LQR, which does not have the DOL-WDR function.

*1: See the New Product Information released in September 2013.

  • Back-illuminated structure with 2.9 µm-square unit pixel
  • High sensitivity characteristics (two or more times that of the existing product)
  • Improved sensitivity in the near infrared light region (three or more times that of the existing product)
  • Supports WDR (multiple exposure WDR, DOL-WDR)
  • Versatile interface (CMOS parallel, low-voltage LVDS serial, MIPI CSI-2)

Exmor R
* Exmor R is a trademark of Sony Corporation. The Exmor R is a Sony's CMOS image sensor with significantly enhanced imaging characteristics including sensitivity and low noise by changing fundamental structure of Exmor™ pixel adopted column parallel A/D converter to back-illuminated type.

STARVIS
* STARVIS is a trademark of Sony Corporation. The STARVIS is back-illuminated pixel technology used in CMOS image sensors for surveillance camera applications. It features a sensitivity of 2000 mV or more per 1 µm2 (color product, when imaging with a 706 cd/m2 light source, F5.6 in 1 s accumulation equivalent), and realizes high picture quality in the visible-light and near infrared light regions.

Back-Illuminated Structure + Improved Sensitivity in the Near Infrared Light Region

Good sensitivity characteristics at low illumination and in the near infrared light region are a required performance of cameras for industrial applications. These new image sensors use a back-illuminated structure and also have an expanded photodiode area, which simultaneously improve sensitivity in both light regions compared to the existing front-illuminated structure.
In addition, the new image sensors realize improved sensitivity characteristics two or more times in the visible-light region and three or more times in the near infrared light region (850 nm) compared to the existing Sony product (IMX236LQJ) with the same pixel size and increased sensitivity in the near infrared light region (Photograph 2).

WDR Function

The IMX290LQR supports both multiple exposure and DOL-type WDR functions. (The IMX291LQR supports only the multiple exposure-type WDR function.)
The multiple exposure-type WDR function outputs one set of two or four frames with different exposure times. In this case, the gain can also be set separately for each frame in addition to the exposure time.
The DOL-type WDR function outputs the data for up to three frames with different storage times line by line. By performing special signal processing with an ISP (Image Signal Processor) or other device at the image sensor rear-end, this enables improvement of picture quality under low illumination compared to the multiple exposure-type WDR function.

Versatile interface

The IMX290LQR and IMX291LQR are equipped with three different types of output interface (low-voltage LVDS serial, MIPI CSI-2, CMOS parallel) to meet diverse needs. The low-voltage LVDS serial interface has a maximum output data rate of 445.5 Mbps/ch and the number of output channels can be selected from 2ch, 4ch or 8ch. The MIPI CSI-2 interface has a maximum output data rate of 891 Mbps/lane and the number of output channels can be selected from 2 lanes or 4 lanes. The CMOS parallel interface has a maximum output data rate of 74.25 Mpixels/s.

*If the mouse cursor changes over the photo, you can click to see the larger version in a new window.

Photograph 1 IMX290LQR Sample Image

Condition: 400 lx F1.4 (Full HD image, 60 frames/s)

Photograph 1

IMX290LQR (Internal gain 0 dB)

Photograph 2 Comparisons with the Existing Sony Product

Condition1: 0.08 lx F1.4 (Full HD image, 30 frames/s)

Photograph 2-1

Existing IMX236LQJ
Internal gain 48 dB

Photograph 2-2

IMX290LQR
Internal gain 63 dB

Condition 2: 0 lx (850 nm IR) F1.4 (Full HD image, 30 frames/s)

Photograph 2-3

Existing IMX236LQJ
Internal gain 0 dB

Photograph 2-4

IMX290LQR
Internal gain 0 dB

Table 1 Device Structure
Item IMX290LQR / IMX291LQR
Output image size Diagonal 6.46 mm (Type 1 / 2.8) (Full HD mode)
Diagonal 4.31 mm (Type 1 / 4.2) (HD720p mode)
Number of effective pixels 1945 (H) × 1097 (V) approx. 2.13M pixels
1305 (H) × 729 (V) approx. 0.95M pixels
Unit cell size 2.9 µm (H) × 2.9 µm (V)
Optical blacks Horizontal Front: 0 pixels, rear: 0 pixels
Vertical Front: 10 pixels, rear: 0 pixels
Input drive frequency 74.25 MHz / 37.125 MHz
Package 110-pin LGA
Supply voltage VDD (Typ.) 2.9 V / 1.8 V / 1.2 V
Table 2 Image Sensor Characteristics
Item Value Remarks
Sensitivity (F5.6) Typ. 1300 mV 1/30s accumulation
Saturation signal Min. 914 mV Tj = 60 °C
Table 3 Basic Drive Mode
Mode Interface ADC Frame rate (Max.) Bit rate (Max.)
Full HD
1080p
Low voltage LVDS
serial 8 ch
10 bits 120 frames/s 445.5 Mbps/ch
Low voltage LVDS
serial 8 ch
12 bits 60 frames/s 222.75 Mbps/ch
CSI-2  4lane 10 bits 120 frames/s 891 Mbps/lane
CSI-2  4lane 12 bits 60 frames/s 445.5 Mbps/lane
CMOS parallel 10 bits / 12 bits 30 frames/s 74.25 Mpixel/s
HD720p Low voltage LVDS
serial 4 ch
10 bits 120 frames/s 594 Mbps/ch
Low voltage LVDS
serial 4 ch
12 bits 60 frames/s 297 Mbps/ch
CSI-2  4lane 10 bits 120 frames/s 594 Mbps/lane
CSI-2  4lane 12 bits 60 frames/s 297 Mbps/lane
CMOS parallel 10 bits / 12 bits 60 frames/s 74.25 Mpixel/s

*Sony reserves the right to change products and specifications without prior notice.

VOICE

group photo_Designers

The IMX290LQR and IMX291LQR were created as the ultimate high-sensitivity Full HD image sensors for industrial applications, and incorporate Sony's leading image sensor technology, such as a back-illuminated structure, technology for improving near infrared sensitivity, high conversion rate pixels, and new WDR functions. We hope that you will experience the fantastic 1080p pictures captured by these high-sensitivity image sensors and be amazed by visibility that is clearly on a different level from that of existing cameras, not only under normal lighting but also in low illumination and near infrared light environments.