skip to Main Content

Development of Wide Dynamic Range and Global Shutter Technology for Organic Photoconductive Film Image Sensor – Panasonic


The Endless Tale of the Organic Sensor

Do you remember when back in June 2013 Fujifilm and Panasonic announced together the development of the organic sensor? If not, then check out below all the articles we shared here on FujiRumors about the organic sensor in last 4 years.

The last thing I’ve heard from sources about it (in March 2016), was that they had issues with too much heat generated by the sensor.

I have still no word about when (or if) the organic sensor will (if ever) find its way into actual digital cameras. For sure they are having more problems than they expected, since in June 2013 X-guru Rico Pfirstinger expected it to be read for mass production within 2015… and it we still have no organic sensor.

And despite delays and issues, both, Panasonic and Fujifilm, continued to publish press-releases about the organic sensor development.

The last one comes from Panasonic and has been published on May 2017. It’s written completely in Japanese, except for the English part I’ll share here on FR:

We are trying to effectively offer greater value to customers and developing technology to dramatically enhance performance and functions utilizing the structural feature of organic photoconductive film (OPF) image sensors. In these sensors, the photoelectric conversion part and signal processing circuits are vertically stacked and they can be designed independently. We have proposed and developed a dual-sensitivity pixel utilizing this unique feature of the OPF CMOS image sensor. It realizes a simultaneous wide-dynamic-range image capture of over 120 dB without time distortion. Photoelectric-conversion-controlled global shutter technology has also been developed by only modulating the voltage applied to OPF. It has improved the tradeoff performance and realized a high-saturation signal up to 10 times larger than the conventional image sensors. These technologies enable high-speed, high-precision imaging without time distortion in high-contrast scenes, and will be applied to new imaging and sensing devices.”

The FR-reader, who spotted (and shared with us – thanks a lot) also reminds us what Image Sensor World (via 43rumors) said about this paper:

“[Panasonic is] describing, essentially, a way to control sensitivity on per pixel basis. It’s quite similar to the sensor presented at ISSCC 2017, but without the IR sensitivity.”

You can read the entire (Japanese) publication “Development of Simultaneous-Capture Wide-dynamic-range Technology and Global Shutter Technology for Organic Photoconductive Film Image Sensor” in this PDF here.

And now, as promised, all the episodes of the long organic sensor story :) – just click READ MORE

  • June 2013: Fujifilm and Panasonic announced the organic sensor development
  • June 2013: X-guru Rico Pfirstinger expected “actual digital cameras to feature this sensor design within 18-24 months from now”
  • December 2014: Our sources told us here, that there is a crucial problem to be solved with the organic sensor: heat generation (and battery drain)
  • December 2014: Top Fujifilm Managers confirmed, that the organic sensor is “still well ahead of us.”
  • October 2015: 43rumors broke the rumor here, that it will still take a 2 or 3 years before the organic sensor will be ready for mass production.
  • February 2016: Panasonic announced that, along with Fujifilm, they are developing an organic sensor with global shutter and impressive 123dB (!!!) dynamic range.
  • February 2016: Fujifilm managment says: “We don’t have any specific plans of incorporating an organic sensor into our products at the moment, but yes we are observing the progress of this technology. As of today, there would be No benefits to using an organic sensor. Our X-Trans III sensor is superior to the currently available organic sensor.”
  • March 2016: a source told us in March 2016 here, that the Global Shutter should find its way in the first cameras in 2018. But note that the source only said something about the global shutter, and not about the organic sensor.
  • February 2017: Panasonic announces the world’s first organic CMOS image sensor with electrically controllable near-infrared light sensitivity. However, unlike in previous press-releases, this time Fujifilm isn’t mentioned.
  • February 2017: Fujifilm Announces Development of World’s fastest Organic CMOS Circuit For Multi-bit flexible Temperature Sensor
  • August 2017: Development of Wide Dynamic Range and Global Shutter Technology for Organic Photoconductive Film Image Sensor (Panasonic)