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Patent And Technology Partner To The World's Most Successful Companies

Patent And Technology Partner To The World's Most Successful Companies

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Sony out of the gate with ISX014 stacked camera sensor

 

Much of the world is expecting to see stacked die technology from Sony in their latest Experia phone being showcased at the 2013 Mobile World Congress(and teased out at this years CES event).But why wait?

From a technology standpoint, the event is now (or rather as of a few weeks ago) old news.  We put every camera module that hits our teardown lab under the microscope and found this heralded technology in a commercial tablet.

First off – we have a fairly unassuming package and no giant neon sign screaming “SiP here” (SiP = System-in-Package) so if you aren’t looking closely then you can be forgiven for missing it. Look closely at right to spot the evidence – untouched by photoshop ;)

What are the benefits of this technology? Sony touts that the combination of a stacked structure and the “next generation” of back-illuminated CMOS image sensors combine to enable high performance processing in a more compact chip. Below we find a couple of illustrations that help to show how this plays out.

Sony ISX014 Module

 

A comparison of traditional combination die (left) with stacked die (right)

Sony Stacked Die Marketing Shot

Sony Stacked Die Marketing Shot (image sourced from Sony's website)

In the case of the ISX014, this 8 Mp sensor features 1.12 µm back-illuminated pixels and supports all the usual specifications for HD video. In addition, according to Sony’s spec sheet, it provides for higher speed processing and lower power consumption.  At least one review, from phoneArena indicates that they expect it to be among the best smartphone cameras out there.

A look inside at the cross section provides a few more details on this flagship technology from Sony. A thin back-illuminated CIS die (top) mounted to the companion image processing engine die and vertically connected using a through silicon via (TSV) array located adjacent to the bond pads.

Sony ISX014 Stacked TSV

Sony ISX014 TSV Plan View and cross-section (top)

A closer look at the TSV array in cross section shows a series of 6.0 µm pitch vias connecting the CIS die and the image processing engine.

Sony ISX014 Stacked TSV

Sony ISX014 Cross Section Showing the TSVs

So – exciting news in the world of image sensors, delivered to your inbox one week early.

Reports Available on this Device

Sony ISX014 8 Mp Stacked CMOS Image Sensor Imager Process Review

Sony ISX014 8 Mp Stacked CMOS Image Sensor Package Analysis Report