"Super Hi-Vision" Shows Progress in Recent Lab Tests
|New prototype imager||Conventional imager|
|Optical format||2.5 inch||1.25 inch|
|Light receptor surface size||29.8mm horizontally, 16.4mm vertically||16.6mm horizontally, 9.2mm vertically|
|Effective # of pixels – horizontal||7680||3840|
|Effective # of pixels – vertical||4320||2160|
|Pixel size||3.8 µm square||4.2 µm square|
|Signal output||Differential (LVDS)||Single-end (LVCMOS)|
|Signal output number||12-bit 16ch-parallel||10-bit 16ch-parallel|
|Scanning scheme||Progressive scanning||Progressive scanning|
|Specification comparison between new prototype imager and conventional imager (8M-pixel). Source: NHK|
At a recent public demonstration in NHK’s lab, the new history-making 2.5-inch sensor was shown. NHK has shown SHV images before-but those were made with a camera jointly developed with Micron Technology using a four-imager pickup system with a diagonal offset pitch of half a pixel. However, a single, SHV sensor has been the holy grail of researchers.
NHK worked with a U.S. joint venture company to develop the new image sensor and fabricate a prototype. During the recent demo, the engineers used the sensor to capture monochrome moving images with a 12-bit gray scale and progressive scanning. The size of the pixel was designed as large as possible for requirements such as sensitivity and dynamic range.
The broadcaster has used Super Hi-Vision cameras that employ four 8-megapixel CMOS sensors, jointly developed with Micron Technology Inc., to produce 8k x 4k video. The next-generation 3.8-by-3.8-micron pixel in the latest version is almost the same size as the ones used in the eight-megapixel image sensor.
NHK said its future work on the project includes enhancing the resolution of the imaging and display system and improving tonal reproduction. Also planned is a color camera using multiple SHV image sensors.
The project is part of a next-generation HDTV system that’s targeted for sale in 2009. To accompany the SHV video system, NHK is also working on a 22.2 channel surround sound system.
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