The "TCM5115CL" BSI CMOS image sensor (photo courtesy of Toshiba)
The "TCM5115CL" BSI CMOS image sensor (photo courtesy of Toshiba)
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Toshiba Corp developed a 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS image sensor with a pixel count of 20 million and will start volume production in the summer of 2013.

The sensor, "TCM5115CL," is targeted mainly at compact digital cameras. The pixel count was realized by using a pixel as small as 1.2μm. As a 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor, it uses the smallest pixel and has the largest pixel count in the industry, Toshiba said.

In addition, Toshiba increased the number of saturated electrons per unit area by 15%, compared with the company's 16-Mpixel product (pixel size: 1.34μm), by using its own pixel design and process technologies. As a result, it became possible to realize clearer images, the company said.

When used for shooting video, the new image sensor realizes a frame rate of 60fps in 1080p mode and 100fps in 720p mode. Also, it enables to shoot high-definition video at high speeds and slowly play smooth video, Toshiba said.

Toshiba will start volume production of the TCM5115CL in the summer of 2013 at a rate of 300,000 units per month. And the company plans to put more efforts into the development and sales of CMOS image sensors for compact digital cameras, aiming to achieve 30% market share in fiscal 2015.