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

Sony Electronics - 05/31/2018

TOKYO, Revised on May 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- 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).

IMX324 CMOS Image Sensor for Automotive Cameras

 

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)

December 2018*

Sample price (excluding tax)

10,000 JPY

*(Revised on May 30, 2018)

This 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. Furthermore, the sensor is equipped with a pixel binning mode*5 for further raising the sensitivity in low-light environments, achieving the high sensitivity of 2666 mV, making it possible to capture images of pedestrians and obstacles even in dark nighttime situations that are equivalent to the brightness of moonlight. Even in environments with uneven, mixed levels of brightness, due to headlights and streetlights when driving at night, the sensor is equipped with a function that alternately captures dark sections at high-sensitivity settings and bright sections at high resolution, enabling high-precision image recognition when combined with the signal processing of the latter stage.

This is the first time in the industry*6 where a stacked configuration has been employed on an automotive grade sensor. This arranges the pixel array and signal processing circuit in layers to allow for a compact size and low power consumption while still delivering high resolution.

This image sensor is expected to be compatible 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.

This sensor is planned to meet the AEC-Q100 Grade 2 reliability testing standards for automotive electronic components by the mass production timing*. Sony has also introduced a development process compliant with ISO 26262 automobile functional safety standards, to ensure design quality that satisfies the functional safety requirements for an automotive product, and this has led to its supporting functional safety requirement level ASIL B(D)*7 for failure detection, notification, and control. Moreover, the new sensor comes with a security feature that protects the output image from being altered, which is the industry’s first*6 application of such a function in an image sensor for automotive cameras.

*(Revised on May 30, 2018)

*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.

Distant sample image comparison: IMX324 sample image

 

Distant sample image comparison: IMX324 (7.42M) magnified image

 

Distant sample image comparison: IMX224 (1.27M) magnified image

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

Low-light (0.1 lux) image comparison: IMX324 (pixel binning mode) sample image

 

Low-light (0.1 lux) image comparison: IMX224 sample image

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 the mass production timing*.
  • 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.

*(Revised on May 30, 2018)

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)

Frame rate

Full Resolution

Max. 40 fps

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

* Product names mentioned here are registered trademarks of their respective owners.

 

Sony. (PRNewsFoto/Sony Electronics)

SOURCE Sony Corporation