What are Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensors Used For?

What are Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensors Used ForGlobal shutter complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors, while relatively new compared to their charge-coupled device (CCD) rolling sensor counterparts, have been widely adopted in industrial and scientific applications across the world because of the many advantages they provide. 

Essentially, global shutter sensors expose all pixels to an image at the same time. At the end of an exposure time, readout occurs simultaneously. By contrast, rolling sensors do not expose all pixels at the same time, reading out from top to bottom. This difference in how pixels are exposed and readout accounts for major differences in imaging performance. 

The Benefits of Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensors

While each type of sensor will be ideal for a particular environment, global shutter CMOS sensors have numerous advantages. Primarily, the simultaneous pixel exposure and readout allows for much higher quality imaging at high speeds. The slower readout of rolling shutter sensors leaves images looking distorted at high speeds. 

Global shutter CMOS image sensors facilitate higher frame rates, which can be a game changer in high-speed applications. Global shutter sensors also allow for clearer freeze frame images at high resolutions because of their advantages in pixel readout. 

In What Ways are Global Shutter CMOS Sensors Used?

Recently, global shutter CMOS sensors have found use in scientific applications, particularly in microscopy. As biological research focuses on deeper cellular functions, high speeds and high resolutions are required to accurately capture this level of detail, especially in live-cell fluorescence applications. 

Global shutter CMOS sensors are also widely used in the industrial sector for a number of different applications. These uses may include:

  • Agriculture
  • Astronomy
  • Automotive
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Electronics and semiconductor manufacturing
  • Food and beverage
  • Intelligent transportation systems
  • High end security and surveillance
  • Medical
  • Pharmaceutical

While the above industries use global shutter CMOS sensors in a variety of ways, there are certainly other industries that benefit from the high speeds and resolutions of these image sensors. 

While rolling shutter CCD image sensors have their place in industrial and scientific applications, global shutter CMOS image sensors bring many advantages, particularly for high-speed applications. 

To learn more about image sensors, check out global shutter CMOS image sensors from the world’s top suppliers at Phase 1 Technology