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Toshiba Introduces VGA CMOS image sensor with Integrated A/D Converter and industry's lowest power consumption

30 March, 2000


Tokyo--Toshiba Corporation today announced a new complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor that incorporates an analogue-to-digital (A/D) converter and achieves a power consumption of only 60mW at 2.8V -- the lowest level in the industry for this class of device. Available in both color (TCM5033T) and black and white (TCM5030T) versions, the sensor's highly compact design and high level of performance provide optimum performance as an "electronic eye" for portable PCs and other mobile devices, such as the new generation of videophones.

CMOS image sensors are becoming increasingly popular as the key imaging and image processing component of digital cameras integrated into portable devices, thanks to advantages in power consumption and the level of integration with its peripheral devices. Toshiba's latest sensor integrates the A/D converter in a single chip that halves the package size and cuts power consumption to 60mW, only 1/3 that of a CMOS camera system with external A/D converter.

The new sensor offers the highest level of performance in the 330,000-pixel class of device, including support for 10-bit digital output and a signal-to-noise ratio of 57dB. Its high level of contrast and reduced noise produce a high quality picture fully compatible with the Video Graphics Array (VGA) standard for video conferencing.

With the growing popularity of personal mobile products incorporating digital cameras, including portable PCs, PDAs, toys with built-in cameras and a new generation of videophones, demand is increasing for small, high-performance image sensors. Toshiba meets market needs with its sensor's small package size and lower power consumption.

At the heart of its performance is Toshiba's breakthrough in achieving CMOS pixel cells small enough for application in commercial products. The company's pixel-cell circuit structure shrinks cell size and achieves new levels of integration by incorporating such basic elements as photodiodes and transistors into a 5.6 square micron cell. In performance, the sensor is fully VGA-compatible, meeting the format's specification for a 640-horizontal by 480-vertical pixel frame with an effective pixel count of approximately 330,000 pixels.

The new sensor also incorporates a signal generator, and black and white versions of the sensor require no peripheral devices to configure a digital camera system. This is expected to provide a highly cost-effective solution for camera applications.

Samples of the sensor will be available from April 1 at $28 and $33 per unit for black and white and color version respectively. Commercial quantities will be available from June 2000 with an initial production capacity of 100,000 units per month.

Along with the CMOS chip, Toshiba will also introduce a complementary digital signal processor (TC90A70F), allowing simple construction of a color digital camera system. Sample sets integrating both chips will also be available from April 1 at $43 per set.

Major Specifications

CMOS Image Sensor
Model nameTCM5033T and TCM5030T
Optical System Size1/4-inch
ResolutionVGA
Effective pixel numbers330K pixels (660(H) x 492(W))
Pixel pitch5.6-micron mm2
Scanning systemProgressive scanning
Color filter arrayRGB Bayer arrangement / black and white
Frame rate30 frames/sec.
Drive VoltageInternal--2.8 +- 0.2V
Interface--2.5 +- 0.2V / 2.8 +- 0.2V / 3.3V +- 0.3V
Power consumption60mW
Operating temperature-20 - 60℃
Package size10.67mm (W) x 10.67mm (D) x 1.95mm (H)
(leadless ceramic package)
OptionsVariable electronic shutter
Variable gain control
Built-in Feed back clamp
Built-in signal generator circuits
Parameter mode available

DSP chip
Model nameTC90A70F
Drive voltage2.5 +- 0.2V
Control interfaceIICBUS I/F
Signal outputapplicable for several kinds of digital output
(16bitRGB=5:6:5,16bit or 8bitYUV=4:2:2)
OptionsVariable output image size (VGA,QVGA,QQVGA,CIF,QCIF)
Built-in auto control function (ALC,AWB)
Micon-less functioning
Built in IIC-BUS I/F


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