Sony’s engineers are working on a new type of CMOS image sensor, which is curved to deliver a simpler lens system and higher sensitivity. The curved lens allows light rays to hit the sensor straight on, rather than at an angle which can cause distortion in an image. You may have noticed this yourself when taking pictures, particularly at the edges, this is due to the angle that the light hits the sensor.
Sony says that the curved sensors are 1.4x more sensitive at the centre of the sensor and twice as sensitive at the edge. A curved CMOS sensor can be paired with a flatter lens and a larger aperture, which lets in more light.
Sony’s research and development team managed to curve these chips with the same curvature of the human eye, using a special “bending machine”. Two chips have been designed, one full-size chip (43mm) suitable for digital cameras and a smaller chip (11mm) suitable for mobile phones.
It’s worth mentioning that the chips are only in development stage right now, Sony has made around 100 full-size highlighting that we’re somewhere off mass production. However, when the technology is ready, Sony is likely to partner this next-generation lens technology into future Xperia phones.
Via IEEE Spectrum.