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New Pregius S sensors from Sony for Machine Vision

29 May 2020 – SVCam Products

Sony has been setting standards in image quality with the Pregius Sensor series for years. The new Pregius S (Generation 4) shines with improved light sensitivity and other features. The small pixel enables more economical lenses and compact cameras with higher resolutions. The new sensor will be available in the EXO- and the brand new FXO series.

New Backside Illuminated design

The new sensor pixel is completely different from the previous generations of the Pregius series. In the conventional design, the light-sensitive photodiode and the insensitive amplifier electronics share the space on the surface facing the light. With the new Pregius S, the complete amplifier electronics are located below the photoelectrically active surface. This "backside illuminated" design therefore can use almost the entire pixel area as the light-sensitive element. Because the comparatively tall amplifier electronics are on the backside, the photodiode is positioned closer to the microlens and can be illuminated from the side from a wider angle range.

Smaller pixels with superb image quality

Previous Pregius sensors required significantly larger pixels than the new sensor due to their traditional design. The square pixel of the Pregius S is only 2.74 µm in size. The core electrical data of the new Pregius S sensor pixel are brilliant: Due to the extremely low dark noise of 2.1 e- at a maximum saturation of 9,500 e-, a dynamic range of approx. 70 dB is achieved. This is the reference class on the market for global shutter machine vision sensors.

Higher light sensitivity and better shading behaviour

The Pregius S offers particular advantages for users when combined with extremely short focal lengths: The "backside illuminated" design is suitable for a much larger range of light incidence. Especially with short focal lengths, the sensor-related shading effects are thus significantly reduced. As the light from a wider angular range is used more efficiently, the light sensitivity of the sensor is also increased. The higher quantum efficiency of the Pregius S is also striking, especially in blue up to 320 nm. The speed of data transmission has once again been more than doubled compared to the third Pregius generation.

Compact design with compact lenses

The new Pregius S Sensor is initially available in SVCams in three resolutions:

>    16.2 MP (1.1", IMX542)
>    20.4 MP (1.1", IMX541)
>    24.5MP (1.2", IMX540)

The small pixel of 2.74 µm allows the construction of high-resolution cameras in compact C-mount format, but requires high-quality lenses. Especially now in the early days, many C-Mount lenses cannot yet transport the resolution, so careful consultation and selection is mandatory. In general, and that's the good news, lenses become cheaper the smaller they become.

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