Canon shows a sensor that is 40 times the size of a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor

Canon is exploring the Large Sensor Image Future. And today they launched this press text talking about a 20cm square CMOS sensor that is 40 times the size of a “Normal” FF sensor. All these kind of sensor are meant for particular industrial applications. I doubt such large sensor will be used by the classic medium or large format camera manufacturers.

Canon press text:

The Potential to Open New Frontiers in Academic and Industrial FieldsCMOS Image Sensors

In addition to the image sensors used in its consumer-model digital cameras, Canon is exploring new potential in academic fields and industrial fields through the development of ultrahigh-sensitivity CMOS image sensors and ultrahigh-resolution CMOS image sensors.

The World’s Largest Ultrahigh-Sensitivity CMOS Image Sensor

A certain level of light is required when shooting with a digital camera or camcorder, and without it, images cannot be captured due to insufficient sensitivity.

In the pursuit of further improving the sensitivity of imaging elements, Canon has embraced the challenge of achieving higher levels of sensitivity and larger element sizes while maintaining high-speed readout performance, and has succeeded in developing the world’s largest class of CMOS image sensor measuring approximately 20 cm square. At present, the standard diameter of the silicon wafers on which CMOS sensors are fabricated is 12 inches (approx. 30 cm). As such, a 20-cm-square sensor is the largest size that can be manufactured based on these dimensions, and is equivalent to nearly 40 times the size of a 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor.

Increasing the size of CMOS sensors entails overcoming such problems as distortion and transmission delays for the electrical signals converted from light. To resolve these issues, Canon not only made use of a parallel processing circuit, but also exercised ingenuity with the transfer method itself. As a result, the sensor makes possible the shooting of video at 60 frames per second with only 0.3 lux of illumination (approximately the same level of brightness as that generated by a full moon).

Possible applications for this ultrahigh-sensitivity CMOS sensor include the video recording of celestial objects in the night sky, nocturnal animal behavior and auroras, and use in nightwatch cameras.

When installed in the 105 cm Schmidt camera at the Kiso Observatory operated by the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Astronomy, the ultrahigh-sensitivity sensor made possible the world’s first video recording of meteors with an equivalent apparent magnitude of 10, a level so dark that image capture had not been possible until now. As a result, the sensor provided proof that the frequency with which faint meteors occurred coincided with theoretical estimates to date. By supporting more detailed recording and statistical analysis of meteors, the technology could lead to an increased understanding of the influence that meteors may have exerted on the development of life on Earth.

120-Megapixel Ultrahigh-Resolution CMOS Image Sensor

Canon has spent many years working to reduce the pixel size for CMOS image sensors. These efforts have led to astounding results, making possible a pixel size of 2.2 µm for a total of approximately 120 million pixels on a single sensor. The APS-H size (approx. 29 x 20 mm) CMOS sensor boasts approximately 7.5 times the number of pixels and 2.6 times the resolution of sensors of the same size featured in existing products.

This CMOS sensor performs parallel processing to support the high-speed readout of large volumes of pixels, and by modifying the method employed to control the readout circuit timing, Canon successfully achieved the high-speed readout of sensor signals. As a result, the sensor makes possible a maximum output speed of approximately 9.5 frames per second, supporting the continuous shooting of ultrahigh-resolution images.

Images captured with the ultrahigh-resolution CMOS sensor maintain high levels of definition and clarity even when cropped or digitally magnified. Accordingly, this sensor offers potential for a range of industrial applications, including cameras for shooting images for large-format poster prints, cameras for the image inspection of precision parts, aerospace cameras, and omnidirectional vision cameras.

The 120-megapixel ultrahigh-resolution performance of the Canon CMOS sensor may lead to unprecedented industrial applications that could only be imagined in the past.

AMS announces the production start of their new 48mp 30fps FF global shutter sensor

AMS announced it will start the production of the new 48mp 30fps FF global shutter sensor. This comes in two version: Bayer Color and Monochrome. I doubt this sensor will be used by any “classic” camera manufacturer. The unit pricing is simply too high (€3,450). This product suits for the following applications:

Machine Vision
Flat Panel Display Inspection
Document Scanning
Aerial Mapping and Surveillance

Still, the specs are worth the check: Full Frame Global Shutter, 68dB in binned 4K mode, dual exposure HDR mode…not bad at all!

Te technical specs can be seen on that PDF file. And here is the official press text:

High-resolution, high-speed CMOS image sensor for machine vision systems goes into mass production

Premstaetten, Austria (12 June, 2018) — ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, today announced its CMV50000, a high-speed 48Mpixel global shutter CMOS image sensor for demanding machine vision applications, has gone into mass production.

It is available for purchase in high volumes now.

The CMV50000, which features a 35mm-format 7920 x 6004 array of 4.6µm-sized pixels based on a patented eight-transistor pixel architecture, is a breakthrough in CMOS image sensor performance. It operates at a fast 30 frames/s with 12-bit pixel depth at full resolution or a binned 4K and 8K modes, and even faster – up to 60 frames/s – with pixel sub-sampling at 4K resolution.

This means the CMV50000 can provide the detailed views of a large surface area that are required in factory automation applications such as automated optical inspection (AOI) equipment and systems for the inspection of displays of mobile phones, tablets, laptops and TVs. The combination of high frame rate and high resolution enables manufacturers to increase their already high throughput rates at consumer product assembly plants.

The low-noise ams pixel architecture offers excellent electronic shutter efficiency, and the global shutter operation produces distortion-free images of fast-moving objects. The sensor offers 64dB optical dynamic range at full resolution and up to 68dB in binned 4K mode. The image sensor benefits from the implementation of sophisticated new on-chip noise-reduction circuitry such as black-level clamping, enabling it to capture high-quality images in low-light conditions.

The outstanding performance of the CMV50000 lets manufacturers replace the charge-coupled device (CCD) image sensors which have traditionally been used in applications requiring ultra-high resolution. Now they can use a CMOS image sensor which is easier to implement in camera systems, uses less power and operates at higher frame rates.

The superior imaging performance of the CMV50000 was recognized earlier in 2018 when it was named the Biggest Breakthrough Development at the Image Sensors Europe Awards 2018.

“During recent months, ams has seen great demand for the CMV50000 from design teams developing new automated optical inspection systems and vision systems for testing flat panel displays,” said Wim Wuyts, Marketing Director for Image Sensors at ams. “The CMV50000 is now fully qualified and available to these manufacturers in production volumes. It is also about to be supported by a full demonstration system for evaluating the sensor’s performance.”

Both the monochrome and color versions of the CMV50000 are available in production volumes now. The per unit pricing is €3,450.

For sample requests and for more technical information, go to


  • 8T global shutter pixel with true Correlated Double Sampling (true-CDS)
  • Resolution of 7920×6004 at 30 frames per second
  • Low noise (8.8e) and high sensitivity (QE=60%), with on-chip noise reduction
  • Capable of using standard optics
  • 35mm full frame optical format sensor


  • Capture fast moving objects
  • Designed for high performance applications
  • Use in low light conditions

Product parameters

Resolution [Pixel] 7920 x 6004
Pixel Size [µm] 4.6
Optical Format / Size 36.4mm x 27.6mm (35mm)
Shutter Type Global Shutter
Frame Rate 30fps
Output Interface​ 22 subLVDS Outputs at 830Mbps
Option Mono, RGB
Package 141p Ceramic PGA
Special Features Binning, Subsampling, HDR, On-Chip Correction