The new MAX 24 MP sensor inside the Leica M “could possibly alter the product roadmaps and strategies of several companies”

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In a series of articles on full frame cameras, Chipworks covered also the new MAX 24 MP full frame sensor that will be used in the new Leica M and basically described it as a game changer based on the 6µm pixels and 0.11µm/90nm design rules:

"Leica FF CIS will be fabricated by CMOSIS’ foundry partner STMicroelectronics. STMicroelectronics’ IMG175 300 mm Cu process, developed for 1.75 µm mobile CIS, will be adapted to 6 µm pixels and use 0.11 µm design rules for the front end of line (FEOL) processing and 90 nm design rules for the BEOL. While Leica has nowhere near the market share of Japanese FF camera companies, the transition to sub 0.18 µm device production is an event that could possibly alter the product roadmaps and strategies of several companies."

Image Sensors World called it "the most advanced process node among the full frame sensors vendors".

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  • David

    OOOH! That sounds cool. Now can somebody tell me what it means?

    • J Shin

      To simplify grossly: 1.75 µm (or 1750 nm), 0.11 µm or (110 nm), and 90 nm refer to “gate length”, or the distance between the “source” and “drain” of a transistor (complementary metal-oxide-substrait field-effect transitor, to be exact, or CMOS FET; some sensors are N-channel MOS FET, or NMOS). A transistor is an electronically-controlled switch, and is a building block of almost all analog and digital circuits; in CMOSFET the current flows from the source to the drain, and the gate turns it on or off. Smaller the gate length the quicker the response time, and less current used to turn the gate on or off.

      Analog, or front-end, circuits tend to use larger gates for accuracy, better dynamic range, and better noise performance. Digital, or back-end, circuits tend to use smaller gates for speed and efficiency. Sensors tend to use very large gates for better dynamic range.

      • J Shin

        Oops. Substrate, not substrait. Do not write technical things with a child trying to braid (not brade) your hair. :-)

        Of course, “more advanced” technology does not necessarily mean higher performance. Smaller gate channels come with more technical challenges to overcome, more room for error, and higher cost. And, it’s not all in what size transistors you use, but how you arrange them, etc.

      • Lee Saxon

        THAT was grossly simplified?! Wow, I’m really dumb. :P

  • Leicaluvr

    Yessss! Take that, Sony! Leica so Rulez! MoST AdVancED EveR!

    (Just pre-ordered another M because it will be the best)

    • matgay

      uh,,,, sony can make it even more compact. 99% at exactly 1/5th of the costs. the RX1 since the zeiss is already at least 1g. look what sony can do with their f series video cameras.

      • Lee Saxon

        He was satirizing Leica fanboys. Note “rulez”

  • Nobody Special

    Whoa!!! That’s all a real trip!!!

    But I’d like to know if it makes a sound like a rubberized-cloth, horizontal travel shutter when you wind it with that ‘lever thingy’ and release it with the button ????

    • Daryl

      NS – and will anyone want this in 50+ years like a M3????

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