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Dalsa's logo. Click here to visit the Dalsa website! Dalsa: 111mpix CCD sensor (!)
(Tuesday, June 20, 2006 - 02:23 EDT)

Ever had the feeling you just weren't getting enough resolution out of your digital camera?

DALSA Corp. just might have the answer to your problems - the company has announced its successful fabrication of the world's first imager to break the 100 megapixel barrier. With a pixel size of 9µm and a total of 10,560 x 10,560 pixels, the new CCD sensor offers a truly stunning 111.5 megapixels from an active area of some 14 square inches (3.74 inches on each side).

Don't expect to see it in your local camera shop any time soon though, as the chip was made especially for the Astrometry Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory... Even if you're the kind of person who never needs look at pricetags before buying, you'd probably be likely to want to sit down before hearing the price, as well.

We don't actually know what the cost was - the Navy's Small Business Innovation Research Program apparently foots the bill. Consider two points, though. A single one of these sensors basically occupies the entirity of a 150mm silicon wafer. That in itself wouldn't be cheap. Now remember that you have to find a basically perfect wafer with which to fabricate the sensor in the first place. To say yield would be low is probably the understatement of the century! ;-)

Courtesy of DALSA, the following is an image of the record-breaking CCD sensor.

Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:

DALSA Semiconductor Delivers World's First 100+ Million Pixel CCD Image Sensor Chip to Semiconductor Technologies Associates (STA)

Waterloo, Ontario, June 19, 2006 - DALSA Semiconductor, a division of DALSA Corporation (TSX:DSA), an international high performance semiconductor and electronics company, announced today that it has successfully fabricated and delivered the world's highest resolution image sensor chip to its customer, Semiconductor Technology Associates ("STA") of San Juan Capistrano, California. The CCD device, which measures approximately four inches by four inches, has a total resolution of over 111 million pixels (10,560 pixels x 10,560 pixels at 9µm). It is the world's first imager to break the 100 million pixel barrier.

STA developed the record-breaking chip for the Astrometry Department of the U.S. Naval Observatory ("USNO"), funded by the Navy's Small Business Innovation Research Program. The device will assist USNO in the determination of the positions and motions of stars, solar system objects and the establishment of celestial reference frames. DALSA Semiconductor manufactured the device for STA at its wafer fabrication facility in Bromont, Quebec.

"As with past custom image sensor projects, I'm very satisfied with the versatility and capability of DALSA Semiconductor's foundry to collaborate on new process enhancements and to manufacture challenging custom CCD image sensor products such as this," commented STA President, Richard Bredthauer.

"I'm very pleased that we were able to deliver, ahead of schedule, this custom CCD image sensor to our long time DALSA foundry customer, STA," added Ralf Brooks, President of DALSA Semiconductor. "Completing this challenging, yet successful, project once again illustrates our strong process technology portfolio and our ability to work closely with our customers to create truly unique products."

About DALSA Corporation
DALSA is an international high performance semiconductor and electronics company that designs, develops, manufactures, and markets digital imaging products and solutions, in addition to providing semiconductor products and services. DALSA's core competencies are in specialized integrated circuit and electronics technology, software, and highly engineered semiconductor wafer processing. Products and services include image sensor components; electronic digital cameras; vision processors; image processing software; and semiconductor wafer foundry services for use in MEMS, high-voltage semiconductors, image sensors and mixed-signal CMOS chips. DALSA is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "DSA". The Company has its corporate offices in Waterloo, ON and approximately 1000 employees world-wide.

About STA Corporation
Semiconductor Technology Associates is dedicated to providing the highest quality custom Charge Coupled Devices to the commercial and scientific communities. Our expertise lies in the design, fabrication, packaging and characterization of the finest CCDs available in the world.

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