New IBM Chips Help Digital Cameras See the Light

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EAST FISHKILL, N.Y - 07 Dec 1998: . . . IBM today introduced state-of-the-art image sensor chips for use in consumer and professional digital still cameras. These chips are designed to reduce production costs and improve time-to-market for camera manufacturers, placing the benefits of digital still camera technology within reach of more consumers.

The chips, referred to as charge coupled devices (CCDs), function as the "eyes" of a digital camera, converting light energy into electronic signals. The camera's internal converter then digitizes the signals and the picture information is saved on electronic storage media. IBM's new image sensors use advanced process and color filter technologies to deliver the high sensitivity required for quality digital still pictures.

IBM is working with leading camera and lens design companies to incorporate the chips into complete production-ready digital camera designs, enabling manufacturers to quickly reach volume production of high performance, affordable solutions.

"Today's announcement expands the reach of IBM's technology into rapidly growing consumer opportunities," said Kenneth Kin, vice president, IBM Microelectronics Asia Pacific/Japan Sales. "Digital cameras offer an exciting new alternative to conventional photography. Advances in chip technology are lowering the cost of digital cameras, placing them within reach of more consumers."

IBM intends to incorporate the 1.3 and 2.0 Mpixel Array CCD image sensors into two production-ready camera designs developed by leading camera and lens design companies. These complete solutions include integrated chip designs, lenses, CCDs, operating system, analog to digital image converters and ASICs to process images and perform camera functions.

These CCD chips are produced in IBM Microelectronics' advanced 8-inch fabrication facilities using 0.5-0.35 micron process technology, multiple polysilicon and metal levels, and a fully-planarized back-end-of-line metalization process.

These image sensor products offer the following advantages for capturing quality digital photographs:

The new image sensors and digital still camera reference designs are another example of IBM Microelectronics' ability to capitalize on opportunities in growing markets such as communications and consumer products.

For further information on IBM's CCD chips and other semiconductor capabilities, visit the IBM Microelectronics Web site at IBM's Web site is located at

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