China's Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) has begun mass production of two back-side illumination (BSI) CMOS image sensors that were developed with fabless chipmaker Cista System Corp.
The two image sensors will be built on SMIC's 0.13 micron BSI technology platform at 1.3- megapixel and 8-megapixel resolution. BSI image sensors increase the amount of light captured by the sensor, enabling improved low-light performance, SMIC said. The 0.13 micron process was independently developed in order to offer competitive performance of competing products featuring three aluminum metal layers.
Shiuh-Wuu Lee, executive vice president of technology development at SMIC, said in a statement the two sensors show SMIC's readiness in 0.13 micron BSI technology. With the new products the foundry will be able to “provide high-quality CMOS image sensors to our customers at a competitive price," Lee said, adding that SMIC is also developing 1.1-micron pixel BSI for 13-megapixel resolution and above.
Wilson Du, president and CEO of Cista System, said in the same statement the partnership with SMIC takes Cista “one step closer to our goal of becoming more integrated with domestic industry resources in developing the image sensor sector." Du added Cista hopes to move its designs to other applications such as consumer electronics, telecommunications, medical equipment, automotive industry and automation.
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