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Toshiba preps 20MP, backside-lit sensor for point-and-shoot cameras


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When smartphones are encroaching on compact cameras' turf, how does a company try to stay relevant making sensors for those cameras? By upping the resolution, of course. Toshiba has given a peek at the TCM5115CL, a 1/2.3-inch, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that hits 20 megapixels -- a big jump from the 16-megapixel sensors in many point-and-shoots and some smartphones. To combat the noise and sensitivity problems that usually come with a denser design, the electronics giant is using pixels that can absorb 15 percent more of a charge, and therefore more light. Toshiba has primed the sensor for high-speed shooting and video as well, with the potential for 1080p video at 60FPS and 30FPS burst shooting at full resolution, provided the processor can keep up. We're not bracing ourselves for an imminent renaissance among dedicated cameras, however. Mass production doesn't start until August, which suggests we're unlikely to have 20-megapixel shooters in our pockets during summer vacation.

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Toshiba Launches Highly Sensitive 20MP BSI CMOS Image Sensor

- Industry's highest level resolution brings enhanced image quality to digital still cameras -

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Toshiba Corporation (TOKYO:6502) today announced that it will launch a new 20-megapixel (MP) CMOS image sensor, the TCM5115CL, as the latest addition to its sensor line-up for digital still cameras. TCM5115CL offers the industry's highest resolution in the 1/2.3 inch optical format, using backside illumination technology (BSI) to improve sensitivity and imaging performance.

Sampling of the new sensor will begin at the end of January 2013 and mass production will follow in August 2013.

Continued advances in the resolution offered by compact digital cameras-now in the range of 10- to 16MP-have brought with them the challenge of improving performance and picture quality with smaller pixels. The TCM5115CL does just this by achieving a 15% improvement in full well capacity-the amount of charge an individual pixel can hold before saturating-against Toshiba's previous generation 16MP sensor (pixel size = 1.34μm).

TCM5115CL is designed to meet the demands of high quality, fast frame rate image capture and HD video recording supporting smooth, slow motion playback, and delivers the high frame rates 60fps at 1080p and 100fps at 720p.

CMOS image sensors are the main product of Toshiba's Analog and Imaging System business. The addition of the TCM5115CL to its CMOS sensor line-up for digital cameras will reinforce the business and support the company in securing its target of a 30% market share in 2015.

Part Number: TCM5115CL
Optical Format: 1/2.3 inch
Resolution: 20 megapixels
Pixel Size: 1.2 micrometers
Frame Rate: 30fps @ 20M pixel, RAW10
60fps @ 1080P
100fps @ 720P

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