Sony IMX174 CMOS Sensor: Performance Features and Benefits

sony imx174 cmos sensorThe Sony IMX174 CMOS sensor is one of the most popular image sensors on the market today, largely due to its high-performance capabilities at a relatively low cost. This image sensor fits many of the popular industrial machine vision cameras, such as the Baumer CX and EX camera families, and brings image capture to new heights.

The Sony IMX174 is truly a breakthrough in CMOS sensor technology. To understand how, it’s important to first understand a little bit about CMOS sensors.

CMOS vs CCD Sensors

Historically, CCD sensors were the higher performing type of image sensor and were mainly used in the industrial sector where the need for extremely high-quality image capture is common. In recent years, however, this has been changing.

CCD sensors have typically been better at low-light image capture. One of the important features of the Sony IMX174 is that it has better quantum efficiency (QE) than comparable CCD sensors at nearly all wavelengths on the visible light spectrum. Essentially, this means the IMX174 is more efficient at converting photons to electrons, which is critical for a camera’s efficiency, particularly in low light settings.

The Sony IMX174 marks a point where CMOS sensors are beginning to outperform CCD sensors, even in applications where CCD sensors have historically had a competitive edge.

Sony IMX174 Performance Features and Benefits

The Sony IMX174 image sensor has a large pixel size, but also a very large saturation capacity. This means that analog to digital converters can convert electrons into more levels in greyscale. This is an important feature, as it not only allows the image sensor to be effective in bright and dark environments, but it effectively captures images in both at the same time. In applications where there are bright lights in a dark image, this image sensor will still produce high-quality images.

Another innovative feature of this sensor technology: Sony has introduced analog memory storage elements integrated into the pixel design, allowing for global shutter CMOS image quality that doesn’t reduce overall saturation capacity. This new feature is part of what enables the sensors high saturation capacity and thus high image quality.

There are many other ways that the Sony IMX174 is a breakthrough technology in CMOS sensor image capture. Many popular industrial cameras are now leveraging this sensor because of the many performance benefits it provides – mainly, high image quality at a relatively low initial cost.

Not sure if the Sony IMX174 image sensor will make sense for your application? Browse a wide selection of industrial cameras here to find more application specific information.