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Introduction to the SONY IMX318 Image Sensor 2016-04-20

SONY recently announced a new IMX318 image sensor that is suitable for smart phones and other devices that require exceptional camera performance and a smaller form-factor. The IMX318 has 22.5 million effective megapixels and an image size of 1/2.6”. It offers better image quality and performance in a smaller form-factor. The IMX318 is part of the Exmor RS stacked CMOS image sensor series. It has a built-in high-speed hybrid autofocus (contrast detection + phase detection) that can be as fast as 0.03s as well as 3-axis electronic image stabilization for video.

As smart phones have become increasingly slimmer, the size of image sensors has shrunk as well. The IMX318 image sensor with its tiny pixel size (1.0μm) is a product of this trend. Despite the small size, it delivers high-quality imagery. To achieve this result, SONY improved the light utilization of its process and made improvements to the electronic circuitry to reduce noise, as noise is the root cause of degraded image quality. Night shots have long been a weakness of smart phone cameras, and a lack of light leads to excessive visual noise. The IMX318 overcomes this weakness to deliver high-quality snaps at night.

The SONY IMX318 has built-in image stabilization that can currently be used during video. For small amounts of shaking, it can take input signals from an external 3-axis (X-axis, Y-axis and Z-axis) gyroscopic sensor to shoot smooth 4K video. The unique image stabilization technology used in the IMX318 can compensate for camera shake to produce more elegant shooting results. The image stabilization function is handled by the hardware of the image sensor so it consumes less power than an external application processor. As the IMX318 can shoot smooth videos, it can not only be used for smart phones but also other devices that must shoot video while shaking such as UAVs.

IMX318 specifications:

Source: SONY website: http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201602/16-013E/

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