Nikon has announced the development of a 17.84 million pixel, 1-inch stacked CMOS sensor that can shoot ‘high-resolution images’ at up to 1,000 frames per second in shoot 4K and promises a particularly impressive wide dynamic range.
The announcement comes after its initial unveiling at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference in San Francisco earlier in February. Nikon says that while it is an optical equipment manufacturer, it is also engaged “in the research and development of cutting-edge image sensors.” Nikon goes on to say that it chose to invest in this area because of the high demand for compact, lightweight, high frame rate, wide dynamic range, high-resolution image sensors on the market.
“The technological development of image sensors is indispensable for Nikon, which leads the video industry, and we will continue to research and develop sensors in response to market demands,” the company stated.
As an optical equipment manufacturer, Nikon is also engaged in research and development of cutting-edge image sensors, which are the core of video technology, based on optical technology, precision measurement, processing and material technology. Currently, image sensors are used not only in the video field such as digital cameras and smartphones, but also in various industrial fields such as automobiles. In all fields, there is a demand for image sensors that achieve compactness, light weight, high frame rate, wide dynamic range, and high resolution.
This sensor uses a fine-pitch stacked connection technology that can handle 2.7 um pixel sizes, making it possible to control the top chip with an image sensor directly from the logic circuit of the bottom chip. With high resolution of x 4K pixels, a wide dynamic range of 110 dB and high-speed shooting of 1000 frames per second have been achieved. High-speed readout enables super slow motion shooting of up to 1000 frames per second. It also has a wide dynamic range of 134 dB for shooting 60 frames per second.
The top chip has 16 x 16 pixels as one block, and 264 x 264 blocks (4224 x 4224 pixels) are divided and arranged on one screen. It is possible to finely control the exposure time of these blocks from the bottom chip for each area on the screen. With this function, engineers can express a wide dynamic range, and even for subjects with a large difference in brightness can be clearly shoot the entire screen without crushing the dark areas or overexposing the bright areas.