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Micron's MT9P001 image sensor package. Courtesy of Micron, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Micron: new 3 & 5mpix CMOS imagers:
(Wednesday, September 14, 2005 - 08:52 EDT)

A press release from Boise, Idaho-based Micron Technology, Inc. yesterday announced two new CMOS imagers aimed at use in camera phones, PDAs and digital still cameras.

The Micron announcement follows a trend lately of companies offering CMOS imagers at higher resolutions traditionally occupied by CCD sensors, and with increased performance compared to past CMOS offerings.

Micron's sensors both offer extremely high frame rates - full resolution shooting is 12 frames per second on the five megapixel MT9P001 imager, and 15 frames per second on the 3.1 megapixel MT9T012 sensor. Both chips offer 30 frames per second in preview mode.

The lower resolution three megapixel sensor uses a 1/3.2-inch form factor, and features an on-chip scaling function. The main target for this device is camera phones and PDAs. The higher-res five megapixel chip uses the more common 1/2.5-inch format seen in quite a number of digicam designs, and offers an on-chip, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (with "high quality raw image output" according to Micron).

The three megapixel chip is sampling immediately, and will be in mass production in Q4 of this year. The five megapixel sensor will follow with samples in November, and mass production in Q1 2006. Pricing has not been publicly announced.

Micron's MT9P001 image sensor die. Courtesy of Micron, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

Micron Technology, Inc., Raises the Bar for CMOS Imaging Technology with New High Resolution Sensor Introductions

New 5-Megapixel and 3.1-Megapixel Sensors Provide Superior Image Quality for Mobile Phones and Digital Still Cameras

Boise, Idaho, September 13, 2005 -- Micron Technology, Inc., (NYSE: MU) a worldwide provider of advanced memory and image sensor solutions, today reached a significant milestone with the introduction of a 5-megapixel complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor and 3.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor, bringing high resolution and high quality images into mainstream image capture applications. The new high resolution CMOS image sensors are equipped with Micron's proprietary low-noise, high-sensitivity DigitalClarity™ technology, outputting sharp, clear and vibrant images while extending a device's battery life. The 5-megapixel sensor (Micron part number MT9P001) is designed for use in either digital still camera (DSC) or camera phone applications, while the 3.1-megapixel (Micron part number MT9T012) sensor is specifically developed for camera phones.

"Micron's new 5-megapixel and 3.1-megapixel image sensors really take CMOS imagers to the next level," stated Hisayuki Suzuki, senior director of marketing for Micron. "The image quality and resolution of these new sensors will challenge the dominance of CCD technology in the high-volume, point-and-shoot segment of the DSC market and will also bring DSC-class images to the lucrative camera phone market."

The image quality of Micron's new sensors now allows mainstream point-and-shoot DSC manufacturers to reap the benefits of CMOS imaging technology which was not previously available to them. These advantages include ease of integration, reduced chip count and simplified board layout, faster frame rates at full resolution and lower overall system costs versus charge couple device (CCD).

In contrast to DSC manufacturers who are just now utilizing CMOS imaging technology, camera phone manufacturers have historically used CMOS imaging technology for its established benefits. The 5-megapixel and 3.1-megapixel sensor now provide the ability to deliver DSC-class images on a handset platform. "The ability for consumers to have a high-quality camera that is readily accessible to capture those spur-of-the-moment events is a key selling point for mobile phone manufacturers. Camera phones incorporating Micron's new sensors will enable users to take pictures they want to keep for a lifetime," continued Suzuki.

The 5-megapixel and 3.1-megapixel sensors were developed using a pixel size of 2.2 microns square. By shrinking the pixel size, Micron is creating a smaller sensor form factor allowing the camera module to be designed into ever-smaller, high-resolution DSCs and camera phones, while preserving picture quality. Additionally, both sensors feature pixel binning for an enhanced viewing experience, simplified mechanical shutter support and support for multiple interface standards including parallel and serial interfaces. The following are additional key features of Micron's new CMOS image sensors:

MT9P001 - 5-megapixel, 1/2.5-inch optical format (target applications: DSCs, camera phones and PDAs):

  • Shoots 12 frames per second (fps) at full resolution enabling high speed DSC performance, and up to 30 fps in preview mode
  • On-chip, 12-bit analog-to-digital converter (ADC) delivering high quality raw image output required for DSC
MT9T012 - 3.1-megapixel, 1/3.2-inch optical format (target applications: camera phones and PDAs):
  • Shoots 15 fps at full resolution and up to 30 fps in preview mode
  • On-chip scaling function that allows selection of an arbitrary image size
General customer sampling is now available for the 3.1-megapixel image sensor, with mass production expected in the fourth quarter of 2005. Samples for the 5-megapixel image sensor are expected to be available in November and production is planned in the first quarter of 2006.

Micron's CMOS image sensor portfolio offers designers of virtually every image-capture application the flexibility, speed, resolution, feature set, and innovative thinking to develop high-quality products. With its DigitalClarity technology at the foundation of every sensor, Micron is providing manufacturers with best-in-class image quality. Micron's portfolio of CMOS image sensors are used in a variety of applications that span the mobile, consumer, medical, automotive, commercial, industrial and high-speed markets. Additional information about all Micron Imaging products can be found at http://www.micron.com/products/imaging/.

About Micron
Micron Technology, Inc., is one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions. Through its worldwide operations, Micron manufactures and markets DRAMs, NAND Flash memory, CMOS image sensors, other semiconductor components, and memory modules for use in leading-edge computing, consumer, networking, and mobile products. Micron's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the MU symbol. To learn more about Micron Technology, Inc., visit its Web site at www.micron.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding the production of the 5-megapixel and 3.1 megapixel CMOS image sensors. Actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements. Please refer to the documents the Company files on a consolidated basis from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the Company's most recent Form 10-K and Form 10-Q. These documents contain and identify important factors that could cause the actual results for the Company on a consolidated basis to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements (see Certain Factors). Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. We are under no duty to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this press release to conform to actual results.

Micron, Micron orbit logo, and DigitalClarity are trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Micron's MT9T012 image sensor die. Courtesy of Micron, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

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