Sony has developed a new CMOS imaging sensor which it claims will nearly double light sensitivity and deliver lower noise in digital cameras.

?This improved performance has been achieved by illuminating the backside of the silicon substrate, in contrast to conventional CMOS image sensors based on front-illumination technology,? states the firm, which revealed the prototype version earlier this month.

It adds: ?A back-illuminated structure minimises the degradation of sensitivity to optical angle response, while also increasing the amount of light that enters each pixel due to the lack of obstacles such as metal wiring and transistors that have been moved to the reverse of the silicon substrate.?

Sony claims to have overcome problems associated with back-illuminated structures, such as lower signal to noise ratio, by developing a ?unique photo-diode structure and on-chip lens?. This is said to achieve higher sensitivity and ?lower random noise? by reducing noise, dark current and ?defect pixels?.

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Sony sensor