Browse Definitions :
Definition

CMOS sensor

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

A CMOS sensor is an electronic chip that converts photons to electrons for digital processing.

CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensors are used to create images in digital cameras, digital video cameras and digital CCTV cameras. CMOS can also be found in astronomical telescopes, scanners and barcode readers. The optical technology is used in machine vision for robots, in optical character recognition (OCR), in the processing of satellite photographs and in the enhancement of radar images, especially for meteorology.

Like other semiconductor technologies, CMOS chips are produced by photolithography. The chips feature an array of minute light-capturing cells that pick up the photons at their various wavelengths as focused by a lens, translating them into electrons, much like a tiny solar cell. The CMOS cells are surrounded by transistors, which amplify the charge of the electrons gathered by the cells, sending them across the chip by tiny wires in the chip’s circuitry. A digital-to-analog converter at one corner of the device reads the electrons and translates the differing charges of individual cells into pixels of various colors. 

CMOS’ low manufacturing cost makes it possible to create low-cost consumer devices. Advances in CMOS technology have made it possible for them to approach their competitor in high-end digital cameras, charge-coupled devices (CCD). In contrast to CMOS, CCD cells are not surrounded by transistors and must actively use power to gather light. This makes them less power-efficient but also enables the benefits of a lower-noise image and greater light sensitivity.

This was last updated in February 2018

Continue Reading About CMOS sensor

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

How much do you know about the science behind digital imaging technologies?
Cancel

I worked on a high speed CMOS image sensor, light gathered by photodiode area and converted to a analog signal, then this signal compare with a reference signal and finally digital bits produces.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard)

    The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a widely accepted set of policies and procedures intended to ...

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance framework

    A compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines that details an organization's processes for maintaining accordance with...

SearchSecurity

  • Trojan horse (computing)

    In computing, a Trojan horse is a program downloaded and installed on a computer that appears harmless, but is, in fact, ...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • DNS over HTTPS (DoH)

    DNS over HTTPS (DoH) is a relatively new protocol that encrypts domain name system traffic by passing DNS queries through a ...

SearchHealthIT

  • telemedicine (telehealth)

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

  • Project Nightingale

    Project Nightingale is a controversial partnership between Google and Ascension, the second largest health system in the United ...

  • medical practice management (MPM) software

    Medical practice management (MPM) software is a collection of computerized services used by healthcare professionals and ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • M.2 SSD

    An M.2 SSD is a solid-state drive (SSD) that conforms to a computer industry specification and is used in internally mounted ...

  • kilobyte (KB or Kbyte)

    A kilobyte (KB or Kbyte) is a unit of measurement for computer memory or data storage used by mathematics and computer science ...

  • virtual memory

    Virtual memory is a memory management capability of an operating system (OS) that uses hardware and software to allow a computer ...

Close