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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Image Sensors
2.1.
Components of Image sensors
2.2.
Working of an Image Sensor
3.
Advantages of Image Sensor
4.
Disadvantages of Image Sensor
5.
Application of Image Sensor
6.
Frequently Asked Questions
6.1.
What is a CMOS camera?
6.2.
What is better, CCD or CMOS?
6.3.
Is CMOS full-frame?
7.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Image Sensors

Author Sagar Mishra
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Ashwin Goyal
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Introduction

The sensor is a device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or responds to it. It is a term that typically goes hand-in-hand with the IoT because many devices in today's generation use some kind of sensor. 

So without wasting any time, let's come to the topic we will discuss in this article. Initially, we will discuss the definition of an Image sensor, and later on, we will have its components, working, advantages, and disadvantages along with its applications.

Image Sensors

Source-Image Sensor

An image sensor is an electronic tool that converts an optical image into an electronic signal. It is utilized in digital cameras and imaging devices to transform the light received on the digital camera or imaging device lens into a digital image.

An image sensor is a device that permits the digital camera to convert photons – that is, light, which turns into electric signals that can be interpreted via the device. The first digital camera used charge-coupled devices, facilitating the movement of the electric charge through the device, so it can be modulated.

Components of Image sensors

CMOS Image Sensor

The solid-state image sensor chip includes pixels made up of light-sensitive elements, microlenses, and micro-electrical components. The chips are manufactured by semiconductor companies and cut from wafers. The cord bonds transfer the signal from the die to the contact pads behind the sensor. The packaging protects the sensor chip and wire bonds from physical and environmental harm, offers thermal dissipation, and consists of interconnecting electronics for signal transfer. A transparent window in the front of the packaging known as a cover glass protects the sensor chip and wires at the same time, permitting light to reach the light-sensitive area.

Working of an Image Sensor

The image sensor in a camera device receives photons that are focused on the usage of a lens otherwise optics. Based on the type of sensors like CMOS or CCD, the information will be transmitted to a further stage like a voltage, otherwise a digital signal. The preferred components used in the digital camera will change based on the manufacturer. The primary aim of this design is to change the beam into a digital signal to study to activate some upcoming action. Consumer cameras have more components to store the image and view, whereas device vision cameras don't have. 

Thus, this is all about image sensors, types, and working principles. These sensors are available in numerous formats & packages. The standard size of the sensor will dictate the pixel size & resolution. Understanding the association of this sensor is mandatory for selecting a lens & optics of a camera. Each lens is designed for a selected sensor format & resolution.

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Advantages of Image Sensor

  • The information transmitted from different LED transmitters installed on the vehicle's rear LED array and traffic lights can be captured easily and distinguished at the same time by using an image sensor.
     
  • CCD(Charged Couple Device) image sensor provides high sensitivity in poor light conditions.
     
  • Background noise sources which include sunlight, ambient light, and digital signage, can be discarded by separating the pixels related to such noise sources. Hence Image Sensor presents secure, interference-free, and reliable communications in outdoor conditions.
     
  • The CCD image sensor possesses high-velocity imaging abilities, including better daytime imaging performance.
     
  • A CCD sensor has reduced the probability of damage while viewing in bright conditions.

Disadvantages of Image Sensor

  • The image sensor works by detecting optical light that is LOS. Hence the overall performance of hyperlinks degrades when the link is blocked by any object, which prevents light penetration along with walls, buildings, thick gas, and thick fog.
     
  • The frame rate of the commonly used image sensor is 30 frames per second. This isn't adequate to achieve high information rate communication.
     
  • CCD image sensor gives high power consumption because of the requirement of active cooling of CCD.
     
  • The CCD image sensor has higher energy consumption and consecutively shorter battery life. 
     
  • In the CMOS sensor, uniformity and image quality is bad as each pixel does its very own conversion.

Application of Image Sensor

  • Medical imaging: Medical imaging is used to reveal the internal structures hidden by the bones and skin of the body. Some examples of Medical imaging using Image sensors are X-Rays, ECG and EEG.
     
  • Thermal imaging: Thermal imaging is a method in which thermal cameras capture and creates an image of an object by using infrared radiation emitted from the object in a system.
     
  • Electronic imaging: Image sensors are used in digital imaging devices of both analog and digital types, which include camera modules, digital cameras, camera smartphones, optical mouse devices, and night vision equipment like radar, sonar, and others.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a CMOS camera?

The CMOS(Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensor is a semiconductor image sensor that is used to convert light into electric signals. CMOS sensors are semiconductor light sensors like CCDs.

What is better, CCD or CMOS?

CMOS sensors are way faster than their CCD counterparts, which permits better video frame rates. CMOS images offer higher dynamic variety and require much less current and voltage to operate.

Is CMOS full-frame?

"Full frame" is a description of sensor size. "CMOS" is a name for the semiconductor technology used to make sensors. So, they're actually different and not comparable, E.g., footwear and gloves.

Conclusion

In this article, we have extensively discussed the topic of Image sensors and their features in detail. We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge regarding the topic of Image sensors and if you would like to learn more, check out our articles on Web Applications.

A ninja never stops learning, so to feed your quest to learn and become more advanced and skilled, head over to our practice platform Coding Ninjas Studio to practice advanced-level problems. Attempt mock tests, read interview experiencesinterview bundles, and much more! You can refer to programming fundamentals, and SQL practice questions to sharpen your skills. If you need guidance at any stage while learning then you can go to our Guided path.

Thank you for reading. 

Until then, Keep Learning and Keep improving.

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