Image Sensor - CCD Vs CMOS

CCD Vs CMOS

Today, most digital still cameras use either a CCD image sensor or a CMOS sensor. Both types of sensor accomplish the same task of capturing light and converting it into electrical signals.

A CCD image sensor is an analog device. When light strikes the chip it is held as a small electrical charge in each photo sensor. The charges are converted to voltage one pixel at a time as they are read from the chip. Additional circuitry in the camera converts the voltage into digital information.

A CMOS imaging chip is a type of active pixel sensor made using the CMOS semiconductor process. Extra circuitry next to each photo sensor converts the light energy to a voltage. Additional circuitry on the chip may be included to convert the voltage to digital data.

Neither technology has a clear advantage in image quality. On one hand, CCD sensors are more susceptible to vertical smear from bright light sources when the sensor is overloaded; high-end frame transfer CCDs in turn do not suffer from this problem. On the other hand, CMOS sensors are susceptible to undesired effects that come as a result of rolling shutter.

CMOS can potentially be implemented with fewer components, use less power, and/or provide faster readout than CCDs. CCD is a more mature technology and is in most respects the equal of CMOS. CMOS sensors are less expensive to manufacture than CCD sensors.

Another hybrid CCD/CMOS architecture, sold under the name "sCMOS", consists of CMOS readout integrated circuits (ROICs) that are bump bonded to a CCD imaging substrate – a technology that was developed for infrared staring arrays and now adapted to silicon-based detector technology. Another approach is to utilize the very fine dimensions available in modern CMOS technology to implement a CCD like structure entirely in CMOS technology. This can be achieved by separating individual poly-silicon gates by a very small gap. These hybrid sensors are still in the research phase, and can potentially harness the benefits of both the CCDs and the CMOS imagers.

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Image Sensors - CCD Vs CMOS
... Today, most digital still cameras use either a CCD image sensor or a CMOS sensor ... A CCD image sensor is an analog device ... A CMOS imaging chip is a type of active pixel sensor made using the CMOS semiconductor process ...