Sony announced at the Symposium on VLSI Technology that it is trying to improve the functionality and light capture of CMOS sensors by bending them, using - get ready - a proprietary "bending machine." So far, their efforts sound successful. The manufacturer has created a pair of curved CMOS sensors, one sized for cameras (43mm) and one for mobile devices (11mm), that they say have improved sensitivity 1.4x at the center of the sensor, and 2x at the edges.


Image: IEEE Spectrum

A rounded sensor, according to Sony's Kazuichiro Itonaga (device manager with Sony's R&D platform in Atsugi-shi, Japan), is uniquely advantaged. Because of its curvature, the sensor can be paired with a flatter lens, while actually making gains in light sensitivity - light rays are able to hit the edges of the sensor at a straight angle, rather than an oblique one. So called "dark current" is also reduced, making for lower noise in low-light shooting.

Dark current, by the way, is the electricity running through sensor pixels when they aren't actually active, which is increased when the rest of the pixels are pumped up to capture what little light there is in dark conditions.

Sony apparently showed off an image captured with the new sensor and flattened lens system at the symposium, but comparisons to typical CMOS sensors remain to be seen. The bottom line here is that, while Sony isn't the first to create a curved CMOS sensor, they are already positioned to create them for mobile devices, which will mean better low-light shooting in a space that so desperately needs it.

Source: IEEE Spectrum

Liam Spradlin
Liam loves Android, design, user experience, and travel. He doesn't love ill-proportioned letter forms, advertisements made entirely of stock photography, and writing biographical snippets.

  • First Thirst

    I feel so honored to be the first comment. All of my hardwork and dedication has paid off. Getting the top comment has been a dream of mine for many years, and i would like to thank those who have helped me along the way. First and foremost i would like to thank god for giving me this opportunity. Next i would like to thank my parents. I want to thank my dog Nelson, for always there for me. I would also like to thank my pet tadpole for surviving against all odds for over a week. Next i would like to thank the squirrel that lives in my backyard for climbing trees because that gives me inspiration that i need to get through the day. I also want to thank Corey Nelson for giving me someone to beat in Mario Party. This is a special moment in my life and i would like to thank any of my unmentioned friends and family that have helped me along the way. This moment will be a moment that i will never forget. I just remembered a few other people i would like to thank; facebook, the fish i caught in the third grade, my light in my room bc i wouldn’t be able to see the keyboard without it, the internet for letting me go on facebook, my house because without it i would be homeless, and last but not least i would like to thank all the people out there that actually took time out of their day to read this. I cannot stress how much of a big deal to me this is. I have been trying to be the first comment on a post for years, but that has not been possible until this amazing day. Hopefully my good luck will continue, but this is undoubtedly a rare occasion. If you asked me how i did this, i would say, you can achieve anything u set your mind on. To all the kids out there reading this, i would like to tell them to follow their dreams. Being the top comment is amazing, thank you everyone.

    • djakdekiel


      • abobobilly

        TL;DR - I drunk. I go home.

    • Jack Jennings

      So risky, writing an epically long comment in the attempt to get their first...

      • Simon

        probably pre-written though...

      • Sokvannara Chhy

        Actually copied and pasted. Ive seen that exact same comment multiple times but its all fun and games so who cares

  • PhilNelwyn
    • AndrewSP37

      I came here after reading the article hoping someone made this reference, and I was not disappointed.

      • Wanda John

        I'm&nbspΜ­­­­­­а­­­­­­κ­­­­ing&nbsp$­­­­86&nbspan&nbspհ­­­­­­օ­­­­­­υ­­­­­­r&nbspW­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing&nbspfrom&nbsphome.&nbspI&nbspwas&nbspshocked&nbspwhen&nbspmy&nbspneighbour&nbsptold&nbspme&nbspshe&nbsphad&nbspbeen&nbspaveraging&nbsp$­­­­95&nbspbut&nbspI&nbspsee&nbsphow&nbspit&nbspbeen&nbspW­­­­­­օ­­­­­­r­­­­­­κing&nbspnow.&nbspI&nbspfeel&nbspso&nbspmuch&nbspfreedom&nbspnow&nbspthat&nbspI'm&nbspmy&nbspown&nbspboss.&nbspcheck&nbspthis &nbspѕ­­­­­­і­­­­­­τ­­­­­­℮&nbspout,..&nbsphttp://Mademoneydailyonline&#x32&#48&#x31&#52media04unafj5G...

        █ █ █� █ █ █ █ █ █ █ █ �█ █ █ █

        • black

          I want to feel up your sexy tits.

          There. See that how feels.

          • SheenaJeetyib

            my buddy's
            sister makes $87 every hour on the internet . She has been unemployed for 6
            months but last month her payment was $19402 just working on the internet for a
            few hours. go right here M­o­n­e­y­d­u­t­i­e­s­.­C­O­M­

  • joseph carmine nero

    Love sony but we did it first
    Yours truly Steve jobs

    • ithehappy

      Yeah, like iPhone sensors are made by Sony!

      • hoosiercub88

        Actually.... As a matter of fact, they are.

        • Brandon V. Fletcher

          I think everyone missed the sarcasm

      • Ibrahim Yusuf

        they are, since forever

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    Seeing those images it seems like Sony has figured out how eyes work, great job, Sony!

  • Konstigt2

    I'm sure Sony will find a way to add lots of noise to the photos in software anyways, as it does with it's current range of Z* phones