Sony Unveils Curved Sensor Technology


What happens when someone creates a camera sensor that better replicates how our eyes are shaped? Well, according to Sony and a recent presentation they published, this curved sensor and accompanying glass will allow for faster apertures without taking a hit on image quality.

Originally found in patents back in 2012, Sony published an official presentation on the technology just before the Technology Symposium.

According to them, this curved CMOS sensor and integrated lens will make for almost zero light loss in the corner of the images and create a great deal less curvature aberration. It will also be capable of creating richer blacks due to its lower dark current.

Below is a more technical introduction to the new technology shared by Sony:

We realized an ultimately advanced imaging system that comprises a curved, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (BIS) and integrated lens, which doubles the sensitivity at the edge of the image circle and increases the sensitivity at the center of the image circle by a factor of 1.4 with one-fifth lower dark current than that of a planar BIS.

Because the lens field curvature aberration was overcome in principle by the curved sensor itself, the curved BIS enables higher system sensitivity through design of a brighter lens with a smaller F number than is possible with a planar BIS. At the same time, we controlled the tensile stress of the BIS chip to produce a curved shape that widens the energy band-gap to obtain a lower dark current. The curved CIS can be applied to an ultimately advanced imaging system that is validated by the evolution of the animal eye in Nature.

There’s no word on when this technology might make its way into the consumer market, but there are probably plenty of photographers out there hoping to see it in the future full-frame mirrorless cameras that Sony is rumored to be working on.

(via Mirroless Rumors)

  • JoeNoName

    I dont think it will ever come to the future full-frame mirrorless camera that Sony IS working on, as it would require lens redesign to adjust the light to hit the sensor evenly

  • 43423ddddd432423

    lool… needs extra glass… as if sony has not enough lens problems.
    to many mounts and not enoug lenses…..

  • Mark Brown

    Could they still manufacture that in “wafer” form as with current sensors?

  • Mike

    Think compacts or even smartphones – small sensor sizes benefit from wider apertures and those cameras come with there lenses already mounted.

  • David Bateman

    I would expect to see this in the smart phone segment first. The small sensor size and fixed lens make that the most probable place for this tech. If it works there then fixed lens compacts maybe. I don’t think we will see this in changeable lens cameras.

  • wishinghand

    The light doesn’t hit the sensor evenly- there’s falloff in the corners. This curved design is made to work with the modern lens design paradigm.

  • Mrinsane

    Still won’t work. There is falloff but there are other things done to combat that (see A7R sensor design). Moving the sensor (curved = parts of it have moved) is just going to result in universally out of focus photos. See the line about fixed lens? This is mobile phone stuff.

  • genotypewriter

    What wishinhand very likely meant was that this sensor can be used in a mirrorless camera that takes lenses that are specifically designed for it.