Diagonal 7.82 mm (Type 1/2.3) 20.68M-Effective Pixel Back-Illuminated Color CMOS Image Sensor


20.68M-Pixel High-Speed CMOS Image Sensor for Consumer Digital Still Cameras and Camcorders

Sony led the industry by introducing the technology of a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor Exmor R™ to the camera market. Now, Sony is releasing "IMX147LQT", a back-illuminated approximately 20.68M-effective pixel CMOS image sensor that takes further advantage of that technology.
The advanced fine pixel technologies enable the characteristics of high resolution and high-picture quality.
At the same time, Type 1/3.2 cropping functions support 4K video format.
These capabilities will further expand the possibilities for expressive imaging provided by cameras.

  • Diagonal 7.82 mm (Type 1/2.3) approx. 20.68M effective pixels (5256H × 3934H)
  • Pixel size: 1.20 µm unit pixel
  • Supports 20.68M-pixel imaging at 22 frame/s
  • Back-illuminated CMOS image sensor featuring high sensitivity, high dynamic range and low noise
  • Provides 4K video mode (4096H x 2160V, 60 frame/s)

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 ExmorTM pixel adopted column parallel A/D converter to back-illuminated type.

Industry's Highest Pixel Counts of 20.68M Pixels with the Type 1/2.3 Size

Sony developed industry's smallest 1.20 µm unit pixel with back-illuminated type, and the image sensor with Type 1/2.3 image size has approximately 20.68M effective pixels.
The video recording with finer detail and more control over image view angle output and image signal operation bring out more versatile imaging expression.
Moreover, the IMX147LQT advanced fine pixel fabrication technologies and increased approximately 14% saturation signals compared with the existing structure, which resolves an issue of lower saturation signals per unit surface from image pixel minimization.
This enables even low ISO setting equivalent to ISO 80. (See photograph 1)

Suppression Technology of the Color Mixture Supports Both Fine Pixel Fabrication and High Optical Characteristics

In theory, when a pixel size is minimized, there is a partial coloring issue resulted from the increase of light leakage into the neighboring pixel (color mixture).
The color mixture tolerance is more required to deal with high power zoom, which is recently adding value, and the consequent trend of bigger incident light angle.
To overcome with this issue, the IMX147LQT introduced a newly-developed technology of color mixture suppression in the pixel structure.
As the result, this new image sensor successfully reduced about half of the color mixture in the neighboring pixel compared to the existing product IMX118CQT (1.26 µm unit pixel, Type 1/2.3, 18.47M effective pixels, see the New Products section in CX-NEWS, Volume 67). (See figure 1.)

Readout Modes that Respond to a Variety of Needs

Sony's unique high-speed readout technology makes it possible to select high-definition still images, high-speed video imaging or whatever other drive mode that best suits the purpose. (See table 3.)
The IMX147LQT is able to use both Type 1/2.3 and Type 1/3.2 image view angles as the situation demands.
With the choice of Type 1/2.3 approximately 20.68M pixels (4:3 aspect ratio), all-pixel scan enables high resolution images.
When using Type 1/3.2 approximately 9.03M pixels (17:9 aspect ratio), the future development of 4K video format for the next generation is possible at 60 frame/s.
As well as full HD 60 frame/s is supported (mode 1), multiple video functions are offered, including high-definition slow images at HD 240 frame/s (mode 4).

Photograph 1 20.68M Pixels Sample Images
(ISO 80 Equivalent)

Photograph 1

Figure 1 Color Mixture Ratio with Single Color Incident GREEN Light (wavelength 550 nm)

Figure 1
*1 Output ratio [%] of neighboring pixel R compared to the pixel G output

Table 1 Device Structure
Item IMX147LQT
Image size Diagonal 7.82 mm (Type 1/2.3) aspect ratio 4:3
Diagonal 5.59 mm (Type 1/3.2) aspect ratio 17:9
Fabrication process Back-illuminated CMOS image sensor
Output format Digital 10 bit/12 bit 10 ch Sub-LVDS, 576 Mbps serial output
Total number of pixels 5352 (H) × 3950 (V) approx. 21.14M pixels
Number of effective pixels 5256 (H) × 3934 (V) approx. 20.68M pixels
Number of active pixels 5208 (H) × 3924 (V) approx. 20.44M pixels
Unit cell size 1.20 µm (H) × 1.20 µm (V)
Horizontal Front: 48 pixels, rear: 0 pixels
Vertical Front: 16 pixels, rear: 0 pixels
Power supply
Analog 2.8 V
Digital 1.2 V
I/O 1.8 V
PGA 24 dB
Input clock frequency 72 MHz
Package size 12.8 mm (H) × 10.5 mm (V) × 1.95 mm (t)
Table 2 Image Sensor Characteristics
Item IMX147LQT
Characteristic value
Sensitivity (F5.6) 986 digit (Typ.)*1 1/30 s accumulation, G signal
Saturation signal 2959 digit (Min.)*1 Ta = 60°C
Power consumption 416 mW All-pixel scan mode (12 bits)*2
Rolling shutter (at 0 dB and AD-Fullcount)
311 mW Full HD 60 frame/s (at 0 dB and AD-Fullcount)

*1 1digit ≈ 0.1314 [mV]
*2 22 [frame/s]

Table 3 Readout Modes
Drive mode Operation using Type 1/2.3,
approx. 20.68M pixels (4:3)
Operation using Type 1/3.2,
approx. 9.03M pixels (17:9)
Number of
recording pixels
Frame rate
Number of A/D
conversion bits [bit]
Number of
recording pixels
Frame rate
Number of A/D
conversion bits [bit]
All-pixel scan
(12 bit)
5184 (H) × 3888 (V) 20.16M pixels 22 12 4096 (H) × 2160 (V) approx. 8.85M pixels 48 12
All-pixel scan
(10 bits)
5184 (H) × 3888 (V) 20.16M pixels 25 10 4096 (H) × 2160 (V) approx. 8.85M pixels 60 10
Mode 1*1*2 2592 (H) × 1458 (V) approx. 3.78M pixels 60 10 2048 (H) × 1080 (V) approx. 2.21M pixels 60 10
Mode 2*1*2 1728 (H) × 1296 (V) approx. 2.24M pixels 30 10 1364 (H) ×720 (V) approx. 0.98M pixels 60 10
Mode 3*1 1728 (H) × 1296 (V) approx. 2.24M pixels 60 10 1364 (H) ×720 (V) approx. 0.98M pixels 120 10
Mode 4*1*2 1728 (H) × 378 (V) approx. 0.65M pixels 240 10 1364 (H) × 720 (V) approx. 0.98M pixels 240 10
Mode 5*1*2 1728 (H) × 432 (V) approx. 0.75M pixels 30 9 - - -
Mode 6*2 2592 (H) × 1458 (V) approx. 3.78M pixels 60 10 2048 (H) × 1080 (V) approx. 2.21M pixels 60 10
Mode 7*1*2 1728 (H) × 202 (V) approx. 0.34M pixels 450 10 1364 (H) × 126 (V) approx. 0.17M pixels 660 10

*1 With horizontal addition
*2 With vertical addition

Note: This device was designed for use in consumer digital still cameras or camcorders and may not be appropriate for other applications.
Contact your Sony representative for consultation when considering this product for use in other applications.

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


group photo_Designers

We believe that our development of new color mixture suppression is a great achievement of Sony's advanced technology.
Our team put our all efforts to commercialize the IMX147LQT.
The IMX147LQT supports lenses requesting very severe conditions of incident light characteristics, and new possibilities can be anticipated for the cameras.
Be sure to try Sony's next step in the high speed and high pixel count evolution for your next product line.