Sony was the first to introduce a consumer-grade (i.e. cheap) back-illuminated CMOS sensor in 2009 and the technology has found its way in a number of devices demanding good low-light camera performance within very tight space requirements, namely in smartphones. iPhone owners can thank this technology for their awesome low-light camera performance.
Sony continues to develop the technology and the company has announced today its new generation of backside-illuminated CMOS sensors, which the company is calling ‘stacked CMOS image sensors’. Sony has created a new manufacturing process that allows it to move supporting circuitry to the back of the sensor, i.e. create a stacked structure. So what does this achieve? Well, Sony is claiming that the new sensor can achieve better image quality and lower power consumption in a smaller package. In addition Sony can build signal processing circuits on the back of the sensor, removing any requirement to have them externally.