New sony sensor creates industry standard SXGA module

20th October 2017
Anna Flockett

The first of a new series of SXGA modules - the Sony XCG-CG160, has been introduced by Sony Europe’s Imaging Sensing Solutions. The camera, which features a 1/3-type IMX273 sensor, is a low-disruption way to move from CCD to GSCMOS, proves a suitable replacement for cameras using the highly-regarded Sony ICX445 CCD sensor.

The first modules to be announced use the GigE standard, running at 75 frames per second in SXGA resolution. Black/white modules are available immediately and colour modules will enter mass production in December 2017.

A USB 3.0 module is a Sony first and is also scheduled to enter mass production by Q1 2018.

The modules have been designed to lead the market in terms of image quality, and are targeted at a wide array of markets - from print, robotics and inspection to ITS, medical and logistics, as well as being suitable for general imaging.

The XCG-CG160 provides a simple migration path from CCD to GSCMOS without necessarily having to upgrade or change architecture. The IMX273 shares comparable sensor and pixel size characteristics with the well regarded Sony ICX445, but offers huge technological improvements in sensitivity, dynamic range, noise reduction and frame rate capability. The camera’s performance is further enhanced through Sony’s world renowned know how in camera design.

Matt Swinney, Senior Marketing Manager, Sony Image Sensing Solutions, commented: “These cameras again bring together Sony’s renowned module engineering with the best of Sony’s sensor technology, extracting the best possible image from the IMX273 with additional performance enhancing unique features. With it, we believe, we have set the industry standard for an SXGA module.”

The XCG-CG160 delivers 75 8-bit colour or black/white frames per second and features include defect-pixel correction, shading correction with both peak and average detection and area gain to automatically adjust for the target object. Additionally the module supports 2x2 multi-region of interest, flip and binning.

Sony’s Firmware v1.1 is certified by Cognex VisionPro and is GigE Version 2.0 compliant; allowing both hard and software triggering, with the module able to act as a both an IEEE1588 (PTP) master and slave. The firmware uniquely allows for up to 16 action cue commands, plus acquisition sequence scheduling and GPO control.

Additionally, the firmware features burst trigger and new event modes, as well as a reduced jitter function with single frame acquisition. Furthermore, its asynchronous image transfer enables a memory shot and output upon user demand, and its broadcast register write function enables synchronised camera feature controls to be implemented.

Technical specifications
The series uses a 1/2.9-type Sony Pregius GS CMOS sensor, delivering 1440x1080 (1.6 MP) images. The b/w module has a minimum illumination of just 0.5lx; the colour module requires just 12lx and comes with a manual, auto and one-push white balance setting. Both modules have a sensitivity of F5.6, a gain of 0 to +18 dB, a shutter speed of 60 s to 1/10,000s.

The C-mount modules use a highly compatible GPIO with 1xISO IN, 1xISO OUT and 1xTTL IN/OUT. It measure 29x29x42mm, with a weight of 65g and has an operating temperature of -5 to 45°C.

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