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November 13, 2008

Sony Commercializes World's First(*1), Industry Leading Resolution(*1) 12.25 Megapixel CMOS Image Sensor "Exmor(TM)" for Mobile Phones

Also announces 8.11/5.15 effective megapixel CMOS image sensor and lens modules realizing image quality equivalent to compact-type digital still cameras

Tokyo, Japan –Sony Corporation today announced the commercialization of "IMX060PQ", a new type 1/2.5 CMOS image sensor "Exmor™" for use in camera enabled mobile phones that leverages Sony's proprietary formation technology to realize the industry's smallest unit cell size (1.4µm), and the industry's highest pixel count*1 (12.25 effective megapixel resolution). "IMX060PQ" is designed to meet the increasing need for advanced image quality within mobile phone enabled cameras. Sony also announced the launch of "IMX046PQ", a type 1/3.2 CMOS image sensor "Exmor™" with 8.11 effective megapixel resolution, and "IMX045PQ", a type 1/4 "Exmor™" CMOS image sensor featuring 5.15 effective megapixel resolution.

Furthermore, Sony will also commercialize "IU060F", a type 1/2.5 lens module with 12.25 effective megapixel resolution, and "IU046F", a type 1/3.2 lens module with 8.11 effective megapixels. Equipped with lens and auto focus functions, the two modules are the industry's smallest*1 and thinnest in their class, and with the launch of these products Sony will seek to enhance the enjoyment of taking high quality images using camera enabled mobile phones.

Above: Lens modules (from left to right)
"IU060F"*2 "IU046F"
Below: CMOS Image sensors "Exmor™" (from left to right)"IMX060PQ" "IMX046PQ" "IMX045PQ"
Model Name Shipment date Sample price
Type 1/2.5 12.25 effective megapixels
CMOS Image sensor "IMX060PQ"
Mar, 2009 2,500 yen
Type 1/3.2 8.11 effective megapixels
CMOS Image sensor "IMX046PQ"
Nov, 2008 1,500 yen
Type 1/4 5.15 megapixels
CMOS Image sensor "IMX045PQ"
Mar, 2009 1,000 yen
Type 1/2.5 12.25 megapixels
Lens module "IU060F"
Sep, 2009 9,000 yen
Type 1/3.2 8.11 megapixels
Lens module "IU046F"
Feb, 2009 5,000 yen

In recent years, the convenience offered by cameras in mobile phones has driven an increase in their use, while demand for higher image quality has also continued to grow. In addition, as mobile phone designs have become more refined, and models become smaller and thinner, the need for further miniaturization in mobile phone camera technology has also increased. To meet these requirements, improvements in both image quality and sensor miniaturization must be achieved, but the more the shrinking process is continued, the more difficult it becomes to gather light into the sensor pixels, leading to the risk of image degradation resulting from reduced sensitivity and S/N levels.

The newly developed CMOS image sensor "IMX060PQ" leverages Sony's proprietary formation technology to deliver the industry's smallest unit cell size*1 (1.4µm), and the industry's highest pixel count*1 (12.25 effective megapixel resolution). The implementation of a Cu process that achieves extremely fine interconnections, together with the sensor's unique pixel structure and improvements in condensing efficiency have realized high sensitivity levels and a high S/N ratio, despite the industry's smallest*11.4µm size unit cell. Furthermore, Sony's proprietary "Column-Parallel A/D Conversion technique" minimizes image quality degradation cased by noise that arises during analog processing, while also enabling higher pixel count and frame rates (10 frames/s for "IMX060PQ" and 15frames/s for "IMX046PQ").

By enhancing its "Exmor™" range of CMOS image sensors, used in product lineups such as digital SLR cameras and high definition digital video cameras as well as mobile phones, Sony will aim to meet customer needs for advanced imaging performance comparable to dedicated compact digital still cameras in slimline, camera enabled mobile phones.

Sample images generated by "IMX060PQ", type 1/2.5 CMOS image sensor with 12.25 effective megapixels

Major features

● CMOS Image Sensor

1) CMOS image sensor with industry-leading 12.25 effective megapixel resolution for use in mobile phones
  *Proprietary formation technology used to create industry's smallest*11.4µm unit cell
2) Realizes high-definition image quality equivalent to compact digital still cameras
3) Realizes high sensitivity and high S/N through its unique pixel structure and lens
  - Sensitivity equivalent to 90mV in 1.75µm unit cell
4) "Column-Parallel A/D Conversion method" achieves high frame rates:
  - "IMX060PQ" : 10fps
  - "IMX046PQ"/"IMX045PQ" : 15fps

● Lens module

1) Industry's smallest and thinnest lens module*1, also equipped with lens, auto-focus and Interface functions
2) Unique lens design to achieve high resolution
3) "Piezo" type lens motor that reduces power consumption when shooting video images*3
4) Equipped with 28mm wide-angle lens (35mm conversion) popular in digital cameras ("IU060F" only)

Key specifications

● CMOS Image Sensor

Model Name IMX060PQ IMX046PQ IMX045PQ
Number of effective pixels 4040(H)×3032(V)
12.25M pixels
8.11M pixels
5.15M pixels
Image size Diagonal 7.1mm
(Type 1/2.5)
square pixel
Diagonal 5.76mm
(Type 1/3.2)
square pixel
Diagonal 4.5mm
(Type 1/4)
square pixel
Unit cell size 1.4µm
Frame rate Full 10fps 15fps
1/2 sub sampling 20fps 30fps
1/8 sub sampling 80fps 120fps
HD mode 1080-27P / 720-30P 1080-30P / 720-30P 1080-30P / 720-60P
Sensitivity 90mV
Saturation signal 280mV
Power supply Analog 2.7 +0.2/-0.1V
Digital 1.2 ± 0.1V
Interface 1.8 ± 0.1V
Major function 3-wire serial communication, I2C, serial data output, supports flexible input clock
Output 648Mbps sub-LVDS /MIPI 2ch

● Lens module

Model Name IU060F IU046F
Module Size*4 10.0(W)×11.5(D)×8.5(H)mm 11.5(W)×9.5(D)×6.5(H)mm
AF actuator Piezo*3
Lens construction 4 groups 4 elements (Plastic)
F-number F2.8
focal length
(35mm conversion)
28mm 32mm
Camera output MIPI (2 Lane) Sub-LVDS (2 Lane) *5
  • *1As of November 13, 2008. (based on Sony research)
  • *2Picture of sample of Lens module "IU060"
  • *3Electric element that contracts when charged
  • *4Excluding flexible printed circuits
  • *5Mass production of model featuring MIPI Interface scheduled for July, 2009

"Exmor™" and logo are registered trademarks of Sony Corporation.

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