ams has introduced a new family of low noise and wide dynamic range image sensors enabling manufacturers to develop industrial vision equipment with high resolution at very high frame rates. Equipment incorporating the company’s new CSG family of sensors will allow factory operators to increase throughput and quality, for better detection of defects in high-speed inspection applications.
The family comprises two products – the CSG14K and CSG8K sensors, supplied in a standard 1” or a 1/1.1” optical format. The CSG14K is a global shutter image sensor that combines resolution of 13.8 Mpixels with high-speed operation: in 10-bit mode at full resolution, the sensor can capture images at a maximum rate of 140 frames/s (fps), and at 93.6fps in 12-bit mode. The CSG8K achieves even higher speeds of 231fps in 10-bit and 155fps in 12-bit mode at its full resolution of 8 Mpixels. Both products are global shutter sensors which perform true correlated double sampling (true-CDS) to capture sharp images of fast-moving objects with no motion artefacts.
This combination of high speed and high resolution in a standard format makes the CSG image sensors suitable for use in applications in industrial, security and intelligent transportation systems (ITS) markets, as well as broadcast video. In an industrial application such as PCB assembly, the CSG sensors’ increased image quality and frame rate allow an automated optical inspection (AOI) camera to quickly and reliably spot defects, such as a missing or incorrectly applied electronic component. The sensors can operate in six modes, which include a binning mode. When operating in line scan or windowing mode, the effective frame rate can be much higher than the nominal rate specified at full resolution.
They CSG sensors are the first products from ams to benefit from a pixel design notable for its low noise and high sensitivity, plus high dynamic range and the ability to operate the sensor in HDR mode. These characteristics enable the CSG14K and CSG8K global shutter sensors to produce sharp and detailed images even when operating in dim light.
The sensors feature a sub-LVDS data interface like that of the ams CMV family of image sensors. Both sensors are supplied in a 20mm x 22mm LGA package, share the same footprint and pinout, and are software compatible. The CSG14K has a 1:1 aspect ratio, and is ideal for use in C-mount, 29mm x 29mm industrial cameras. The CSG8K has a 16:9 aspect ratio, suitable for video.
Because the sensors share a common hardware platform and common interface, camera manufacturers can build multiple product variants on a single hardware design, enabling them to satisfy easily and at low development cost different customer preferences for speed, resolution and aspect ratio.
Peter Vandersteegen, marketing manager of the CMOS image sensors business line at ams, said, “AOI is a vital part of the quality control process in modern factories. By delivering a fast frame rate and higher resolution, the CSG image sensors provide a simple way for industrial camera manufacturers to upgrade the performance of their products, and to enable their customers to raise throughput, productivity and quality – all in a standard optical format.”
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