*September 20, 2005 - *Samsung has announced a new 7.2 megapixel CMOS sensor that, they claim, offers quality that is as good as CCD sensors while requiring less power.
The new sensor is also smaller than existing sensors and uses less power, in theory leading to more compact cameras with longer battery life. It uses CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) technology, which typically requires less power than the more widely used CCD (Charge Coupled Device) sensors: Samsung claims that the new sensor operates at a power level of less than 10 percent of a comparable CCD sensor, making it very suitable for use in cameraphones and small digital cameras. The new sensor ups the ante for cameraphone manufacturers from the 5 megapixel sensor that the company announced in June.
An increasing number of digital camera manufacturers are moving over to CMOS sensors from the more conventional CCD chips as the technology continues to improve, but CMOS sensors are more prone to picking up electronic noise than CCDs. However, Samsung claims that the new sensor has a very high signal to noise ratio: it uses copper interconnects, and the small size of the chip makes it less prone to picking up or generating noise.