In short: While manufacturers have been able to cram millions of pixels into tiny smartphone camera sensors and improve their sensitivity, Canon has created a new type of sensor that is especially good in low light conditions, especially when compared to conventional CMOS sensors.
Canon has developed a new image sensor capable of capturing high quality color images even in the dark. This can be a boon for photographers, but perhaps even more important for applications such as self-driving cars, surveillance systems, time-lapse photography, in-flight distance measurement, and mixed reality.
According to Nikkei report, the new sensor can capture a very large amount of detail, as it only requires one tenth of the brightness required by conventional sensors to detect light. To achieve this performance, Canon was unable to use the photodiodes used in conventional models. CMOS sensors, so he chose instead a so-called single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD).
SPAD provides increased sensitivity to light due to its ability to act as a linear amplifier when even a single photon hits. Canon says its new sensor can be manufactured using the same technology as CMOS sensors, and ultimately its unit cost could be about the same for the same production level.
One area that the new sensor won’t impress is resolution. However, its 3.2 million pixels make it the densest of its kind in the world and more than three times better than Canon. previous SPAD sensor…
The company plans to start mass production in the second half of 2022 and is expected to integrate the new sensor into its CCTV cameras by the end of next year.