High-resolution, High-performance SWIR Image Sensor

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1/1.4" 5.32MPIMX992
1/1.8" 3.21MPIMX993

Overview
SWIR (short-wavelength infrared) band light is increasingly used for inspection, measurement, and monitoring applications that aim to make the invisible world visible.

IMX992 and IMX993 SWIR image sensors are equipped with Sony’s original SenSWIR™ technology to offer even higher resolution and higher performance than comparable sensors. The small pixel size of 3.45μm achieves high resolution even with their compact size. Noise reduction mode can be enabled as the environment requires, allowing for vivid imaging even of tiny objects. These sensors use digital output to achieve high functionality and, as they are compatible with both SLVS and MIPI interfaces, camera settings are simplified and excellent flexibility in parts selection is possible.

Both of these high-performance SWIR image sensors offer precision and meet a variety of needs in industrial inspection, identification, and measurement applications, helping to boost productivity.


Features

The industry’s highest resolution*1 of 5.32 effective megapixels achieved high-definition SWIR imaging

The IMX992 and IMX993 have approximately 5.32 and 3.21 megapixels respectively, making them the highest-resolution SWIR image sensors in the industry.*1 To achieve this, Sony has used its original SenSWIR technology to develop a new small pixel size of 3.45 μm. The 5-megapixel-class resolution and cell-sized 3.45-μm pixel specifications are widely used in C-mount-sized general global shutter image sensors, these are the first industrial SWIR image sensors to achieve equivalent specifications.
Through high-resolution photography, these sensors offer vivid imaging even of tiny subjects, greatly improving precision in inspection and measurement applications that use SWIR-range light. They can also expand the imaging area while maintaining the same resolution, which is expected to improve efficiency through one-time large-scale imaging.

*1) Among industrial SWIR image sensors based on a compound semiconductor using InGaAs (indium gallium arsenide). According to research by Sony (as of November 2023).



In addition to equivalent resolution, they also offer vivid imaging of clusters of remote buildings.
SWIR imaging is not affected by fine airborne particles.


Achieve low-noise performance regardless of the brightness or darkness of the environment

The IMX992 and IMX993 are equipped with shooting modes that can be selected according to each purpose. By selecting optimal mode, high-quality images with low noise can be obtained, regardless of the brightness or darkness of the environment. These sensors demonstrate their power in scientific measurement, outdoor observation, and other applications where image quality in low-light environments is important.

High conversion gain (HCG) and low conversion gain (LCG) modes
HCG mode amplifies the signal immediately after light is converted into an electrical signal, at a stage when there is still low noise, thereby reducing noise that occurs afterwards. This allows low-noise images to be obtained even in dark shooting environments, leading to improved recognition precision. In bright conditions where dynamic range is important, it is possible to switch to LCG mode.

Dual-read rolling shutter (DRRS) function
Furthermore, these Sony's image sensors are equipped with a DRRS function that allows shooting with reduced noise. This can obtain images with noise reduced to approximately 1/4 of the level that typically occurs without this function.
When DRRS is on, the image sensor outputs a pair of interchangeable images*2 of two different types. One contains both the imaging signal and the noise components, and the other contains only the noise components. These two images can be synthesized on the camera side to achieve images that largely eliminate the noise components.

*2) Because only one of the images contains the image signal, it does not cause artifacts, a phenomenon where the outline of a moving subject is blurred between the two images.

These functions make it possible to achieve extremely low-noise images even with small pixel size of 3.45μm.

Improved flexibility in camera settings thanks to MIPI compatibility
SenSWIR image sensors have generally used analog output, but Sony’s SWIR image sensors are compatible with digital output and boast functionality equivalent to industrial CMOS image sensors. Also, analog output has conventionally required camera-side functionality that is suitable for a digital conversion circuit or industrial machinery, but Sony’s SWIR image sensors incorporate these functions within the product. This reduces hours of required development work on the camera side and contributes to a more multifunctional camera.
Furthermore, the IMX992 and IMX993 are compatible not only with the SLVS interface, like most industrial cameras, but also with the MIPI, improving flexibility in camera settings and parts selection.


Capable of high-sensitivity imaging on any bandwidth, from visible light to SWIR
Just a single Sony's SWIR image sensor can perform imaging across a wide range of wavelengths, from the visible band to SWIR light (400 nm to 1700 nm). This means that inspections that used to require separate cameras for visible light and SWIR can now be performed with just a single camera, so these sensors can be expected to reduce system costs and improve throughput by achieving faster image processing.
The IMX992 and IMX993 offer the higher sensitivity performance, which is a feature of Sony’s SWIR image sensors, and improve the sensitivity in the visible light and NIR ranges. As a result, they achieve uniform sensitivity across a wide range of bands from visible light to SWIR. These image sensors minimize quality variations when switching wavelengths, enabling higher reliability and recognition precision.

 

TrendForce 2023 Infrared Sensing Application Market and Branding Strategies
Release: 01 January 2023
Format: PDF
Language: Traditional Chinese / English
Page: 164

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  Perry Wang
E-mail : Perrywang@trendforce.cn
Tel : +86-755-82838931 ext.6800

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