70-megapixel sensor paves the way for ultra high-resolution digital cameras

Think that the 8-megapixel camera inside the iPhone 5 is amazing? Belgium-based CMOSIS have developed a high-resolution CMOS image sensor capable of capturing 10,000 by 7,096 pixels.

(Source: CMOSIS)

Think that the 8-megapixel camera inside the iPhone 5 is amazing? Or maybe you've splashed out more than $3,000 for a 36-3-megapixel Nikon D800E and you're feeling rather pleased with that. Well, in the words of Bachman–Turner Overdrive, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Belgium-based CMOSIS have developed an image sensor that blows away the competition. The CHR70M is a high-resolution CMOS image sensor that can capture an amazing 10,000 by 7,096 pixels, making it a 79-megapixel part. The sensor is a full-sized 35mm part, unlike the cropped sensors found in some cameras, such as the Canon 7D, and is capable of capturing up to three frames per second at full resolution.

The sensor itself is a marvel of engineering, with each diode pixel measuring only 3.1 by 3.1 micrometers, with every pair of diode pixels hooked up to a transistor. The sensor features either analog outputs, each running at 30MHz.

(Source: CMOSIS)

There are sensors that can boast higher resolution — the Leaf Aptus-II 12 featured an 80-megapixel sensor — but this sensor is much more sensitive and faster than any previously available.

High-resolution sensors become more and more important as the media industry begins to embrace technologies such as 4K resolution, and this technology will undoubtedly trickle down into consumer-oriented devices such as digital cameras and smartphones.