A few weeks ago, Kodak announced their new 5Mpixel image sensor at the Mobile World Congress. The sensor has a 1.4 micron pixel size (1.4 by 1.4 micron) which means the sensor can fit in a 4x4mm camera module. That is about the size of a regular black ant. I am sure a bigger ant could carry such a camera. The Kodak sensor has some novelties. There is a new color filter pattern, which includes a “white” photocell receptor instead of just measuring the amount of red, green and blue. That will require quite some changes to the image processing algorithms. Another novelty is that the sensor measures darkness instead of light. Apparently that can be more accurately implemented in silicon. Like most new sensor introductions, Kodak promises higher quality images than anyone else.

Micron just announced that it spun its image sensor business out into a new company called Aptina. The business will be run by Micron’s Bob Gove, who was previously at VLIW processor company Equator. Micron says they have already sampled an even smaller 1.2 micron pixel, which in the same 4x4mm tiny camera module would yield a 7Mpixel sensor.