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Panasonic Announces New MOS Sensor

Read about Panasonic's newest technology for a weather, heat, and UV resistant MOS sensor for cameras.

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May 15, 2007 - Panasonic, under the Japanese brand Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., yesterday announced a new MOS image sensor that is resistant to weather, heat, and ultra-violet damage. Equipped with fade-resistant technology, the new Panasonic MOS sensor could potentially be used in automotive and security cameras, according to a company press release.

"The revolutionary MOS image sensor has digital-microlenses and photonic color filters, both made of inorganic materials that are inherently fade-resistant and quite robust," stated the release.

The newly announced Panasonic sensor replaces the standard polymer onchip microlenses with a digital microlens found on other MOS sensors. The Panasonic MOS sensor also changes out traditional dyed RGB color filters with photonic color filters. Panasonic promises that the new technology resists sunlight, UV radiation, and temperature change, creating "uniform sensitivity" across the image.

Digital camera consumers may already be familiar with MOS technology that combines the low power consumption of CMOS sensors with the image quality of CCD sensors. In January 2006, Olympus announced the EVOLT E-330, the industry’s first digital SLR with a live preview. Thanks to the dual sensor design, users could frame their photos looking through the LCD that essentially acts as an optical viewfinder for high or low angle shooting. A month after, Panasonic announced their first DSLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, that was a joint effort between Panasonic and Olympus. Equipped with a Live MOS sensor, the L1 was also equipped with live preview.

Consumers can expect more MOS sensor technology to come, especially with Olympus releasing the EVOLT E-410 this month and the EVOLT E-510 in June, which both feature live preview.

"We can make a significant contribution to our customers by creating new applications with this new sensor," said Matsushita Director Taku Gobara of Corporate Application Specific Standard Products Division, Semiconductor Company in the press release.

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