Thayer professor Eric Fossum—the engineer and physicist who invented the CMOS image sensor used in nearly all cellphone and digital cameras, webcams, medical imaging and other applications—joined with Thayer PhD candidate Jiaju Ma in developing pixels for the new Quanta Image Sensor (QIS)…. Their new sensor has the capability to significantly enhance low-light sensitivity. This is particularly important in applications such as “security cameras, astronomy, or life science imaging (like seeing how cells react under a microscope), where there’s only just a few photons,” says Fossum. “Light consists of photons, little bullets of light that activate our neurons and make us see light,” says Fossum. “The photons go into the semiconductor [the sensor chip] and break the chemical bonds between silicon atoms and, when they break the bond, an electron is released. Almost every photon that comes in, makes one electron free inside the silicon crystal. The brighter the light, the more electrons are released.” Fossum says that one of the several challenges in the QIS is to count how many electrons are set free by photons and thus effectively count photons. This is particularly important in very low light applications, such as in life science microscopy, photography, or even possibly quantum cryptography and the Internet of Things. “When we build an image sensor, we build a chip that is also sensitive to these photons. We were able to build a new kind of pixel with a sensitivity so high we could see one electron above all the background noise.” The new pixels are considerably smaller than regular pixels since they are designed to sense only one photon, but many more are placed on the sensor to capture the same amount of total photons from the image. “We’d like to have 1 billion pixels on the sensor and we’ll still keep the sensor the same size,” says Ma.
…the Cygnus Loop, a donut-shaped nebula that is six times the apparent diameter of the full moon. The Hubble Space Telescope was used to zoom into a small portion of that remnant, called the Veil Nebula…
An image of gannets on a Shetland Island clifftop leads this year’s stunning selection of winning photographs that capture the diversity of British wildlife. Over 100 images and videos, including winning and commended entries, will be exhibited across the UK starting in London on 14 September
TOKYO, September 8, 2015—Canon Inc. announced today that it is developing a Cinema EOS System 8K camera and professional-use 8K reference display that will support the production of next-generation 8K video content, along with a still-image single-lens reflex camera equipped with a CMOS sensor featuring approximately 120 million effective pixels. Through the Company’s proprietary imaging technologies, Canon provides still and video input and output devices that will contribute to the development of imaging culture.
Canon Inc., is developing an APS-H-size (approx. 29.2 x 20.2 mm) CMOS sensor incorporating approximately 250 million pixels (19,580 x 12,600 pixels)
Plans for the construction of the world’s largest digital camera at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have reached a major milestone. The 3,200-megapixel centerpiece of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which will provide unprecedented details of the universe and help address some of its biggest mysteries, has received key “Critical Decision 2” approval from the DOE.