Pregius is a global shutter pixel technology for active pixel CMOS image sensors that adopts Sony’s low-noise CCD structure to realize high-quality images. This technology has been named Pregius to represent the combination (Precision GS) of the low-noise performance of CCD with the high-speed and high-precision performance (Precision) of global shutter (GS) required by FA applications.
There are broadly two types of CMOS image sensors. One uses rolling shutters that capture images by scanning the scene, and the other adopts global shutters that take images in the focal plane in one shot. While the rolling shutter causes distortion in the images of fast-moving objects, the global shutter is able to capture a high-speed moving image without focal plane distortion by capturing the entire object before output. It is also easy to synchronize with flash in, for example, machine vision inspection processes, enabling to improve the takt time.
Comparison between global and rolling shutters
In the image shot using the global shutter, the texts are legible, and the object shape is undistorted.
High-speed signal processing and high image quality are some of Pregius’ advantages. Pregius enables high-speed, high-precision machine vision inspection in a production line, significantly enhancing the productivity. Additional features, such as recording only specified areas in an image, help to make image inspection more efficient, further enhancing the efficiency of production lines.
Viewing key points: features are explained at
|00:51 -||Comparison between Pregius global shutter and rolling shutter (distortion of moving object)|
|01:18 -||Comparison between Pregius and existing products (lower noise levels)|
Pregius comprises an optical receptor (photodiode) with the excellent low-noise property of CCD and a memory component. The light simultaneously sensed by each photodiode of all pixels is converted to digital signal and transferred to their respective memory components before processed. By processing the simultaneous digital signals all at once, the resulting image has no distortion. It thus offers an ideal functionality for moving object inspection.
The key to the high speed of CMOS image sensors with Pregius technology is the parallel processing. The CMOS image sensors are equipped with A/D conversion circuits, which transform the analog signal from the pixel to a digital signal. An array of several thousands of these circuits arranged horizontally realizes the high-speed processing by operating simultaneously. In the A/D conversion circuit, the analog circuit that causes noise has been changed to a different configuration so that it automatically suppresses noise. In this way, the technology both realizes the high speed and low noise in one sensor.
High-speed signal processing of Pregius
The newly developed Pregius S technology includes a back-illuminated structure to reduce the size of image sensors and improve frame rates while still maintaining the high imaging performance of Pregius. This new technology improves production line efficiency even further. The use of a laminated structure has enabled expanded functionality.
Find out more about Pregius S technology-equipped products
First of all, this structure allows a wider incident angle, as illustrated below. Normally, a structure like this faces issues of noise and dark current. We devised our original photodiode structure optimized for the back-illuminated structure and successfully reduced the noise while improving the sensitivity and saturation performance drastically. The stacked structure, as shown below, has allowed a larger surface area for signal processing circuit, making it possible to mount various signal processing circuits. This is another contributory factor that enabled a smaller size and higher functionality.
Structural Benefits of Pregius S
ーTracking ROI / Motion Detection / Dual ADCー
The Pregius and Pregius S logos may be used by clients under the following conditions and provided that prior consent is given by the Sony Group. The logo image data is provided upon signing the logo licensing agreement. Please inquire from “Contact us” below.
Eligible products : Customers' products incorporating Sony's CMOS image sensors equipped with Pregius/Pregius S technology.
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