IMX477 Full Report – Datasheet, Specs, Technologies and Camera Modules
If you are considering the Sony IMX477 or IMX477R, then this is for you.
We are interested in it, and have built packages and camera modules on it.
In this full report, I’ll tell you everything we know about this image sensor.
Let’s get started.
In case the datasheet is all you’re here for, we put it in the beginning.
If not, scroll down from beside the doc, and we’ll get to the introduction.
You can also download the IMX477 Datasheet.
What are IMX477 and IMX477R?
The IMX477 is a 12.3MP Type 1/2.3” Sony Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, mainly designed for consumer cameras, especially for consumer-use camcorders.
About the “Exmor RS”
In the Exmor product line, the R suffix means back-illuminated, and the S suffix means stacked image sensor.
What is IMX477R then?
Of the whole Sony semiconductor site, there is no such thing as IMX477R.
In Google Trends, there is no search of IMX477R before the release of the Raspberry Pi High Quality Camera (Apr 30, 2020).
Therefore, IMX477R is IMX477 rebranded by the Raspberry Pi.
What are their positions in the market?
Sony image sensors mainly serve 5 markets:
- Consumer Camera
In Sony image sensors for consumers cameras, there are also many others. Here is where the IMX477 locates on this lineup (click on the image to enlarge).
- From Sony’s product lineup strategy, the IMX477 is placed in consumer cameras.
- In the IMX477 datasheet, they elaborate on this position and claim that the best use-case is in consumer use camcorders.
However, that does not mean you can’t use it in other applications. It still offers nice specs and features to outperform many others.
So let’s get into the key specs and the Sony technologies used.
|Resolution||4056 (H) x 3040 (V)|
|Supply Voltage||1.05 V (Digital), 1.8 V (Interface), 2.8 V (Analog)|
|Shutter Type||Rolling Shutter Only|
|Frame Rate||15 to 240 fps, depending on the video mode|
|ADC resolution||10-bit, 12-bit|
|Pixel Size||1.55 µm (H) x 1.55 µm (V)|
|Interface||MIPI 2-lane/4-lane, D-PHY V1.2|
|Data Rate||Max. 2.1Gbps/lane|
|Clock Frequency||6-27 MHz|
|Package||92 pin LGA Ceramic|
|Optical Diagonal||7.857 mm|
|Image Sensor Format||Type 1/2.3″|
|Sensor Dimensions||7.564 (H) x 5.476 (V) mm|
|Output Video Format||RAW12/10/8, COMP8|
IMX477 Basic Video Drive Mode
This is the drive mode of the image sensor. The actual performance varies from different embedded systems and MIPI lanes.
|Drive Mode||Number of active pixels||Maximum frame rate [frames/s]||Output Interface||ADC [bit]|
|Full (4:3) [Normal]||4056(H) × 3040(V) 12.3MP||60||CSI-2||10|
|Full (4:3) [Normal]||4056(H) × 3040(V) 12.3MP||40||CSI-2||12|
|Full (4:3) [DOL-HDR]||4056(H) × 3040(V) 12.3MP||30/15 (DOL 2/DOL 3)||CSI-2||10|
|Full (16:9) 4K2K [Normal]||4056(H) × 2288(V) 9.3MP||79||CSI-2||10|
|Full (16:9) 4K2K [DOL-HDR]||4056(H) × 2288(V) 9.3MP||39/19 (DOL 2/DOL 3)||CSI-2||10|
|Full (4:3) Binning [Normal]||2028(H) × 1520(V) 3.1MP||179||CSI-2||10|
|Full (16:9) Binning 1080P [Normal]||2028(H) × 1128(V) 2.3MP||240||CSI-2||10|
|Full (16:9) Binning 720P [Normal]||1348(H) × 750(V) 1MP||240||CSI-2||10|
|Full (16:9) Scaling 1080P [Normal]||2024(H) × 1142(V) 2.3MP||79||CSI-2||10|
|Full (16:9) Scaling 720P [Normal]||1348(H) × 762(V) 1MP||79||CSI-2||10|
What Are the Sony Technologies Used in This Sensor
For a sensor with a front-illuminated structure, the components are layered in the following order:
- On-chip microlens
- Color filters
- Metal wiring
- Light receiving surface
The back-illuminated sensors have the structure with the same layers, but in a different order. The light receiving surface and photodiodes have been moved above the metal wiring.
- On-chip microlens
- Color filters
- Light receiving surface
- Metal wiring
Now that metal wiring and transistors have been moved to the back of the silicon substrate, degradation due to optical angle response is minimized, while the amount of light that enters each pixel has increased.
It reduces dark current and defect pixels compared to the conventional Front-illuminated structure to achieve higher sensitivity and a lower random noise without light.
Moreover, Sony’s advanced technologies for ensuring high-precision alignment have addressed any color mixture difficulties.
If a Sony Exmor Image sensor has a back-illuminated structure, it will have an “R” suffix. For Example, the Sony Exmor R IX219.
Stacked Image Sensor
Stacked CMOS Image Sensor is a Sony’s CMOS image sensor that adopts a unique ‘stacked structure.’ This structure layers the pixel section, containing formations of back-illuminated pixels over the chip affixed with mounted circuits for signal processing, in place of conventional supporting substrates used for back-illuminated CMOS image sensors.
Conventional CMOS image sensors mount the pixel section and analog logic circuit on top of the same chip, which require numerous constraints when wishing to mount the large-scale circuits such as measures to counter the circuit scale and chip size, measures to suppress noise caused by the layout of the pixel and circuit sections, and optimizing the characteristics of pixels and circuit transistors.
Sony has succeeded in establishing a structure that layers the pixel section containing formations of back-illuminated structure pixels over the chip affixed with mounted circuits for signal processing, which is in place of supporting substrates used for conventional back-illuminated CMOS image sensors.
With this stacked structure, large-scale circuits can now be mounted keeping a small chip size. Furthermore, as the pixel section and circuit section are formed as independent chips, a manufacturing process can be adopted, enabling the pixel section to be specialized for higher image quality while the circuit section can be specialized for higher functionality, thus simultaneously achieving higher image quality, superior functionality and more compact size. In addition, faster signal processing and lower power consumption can also be achieved through the use of a leading process for the chip containing the circuits.
If a back-illuminated Sony Image Sensor has a stacked structure, it will have another “S” suffix after the “R.” For example, the Sony Exmor RS IMX477.
The DOL-HDR is a special form of image processing with the subject in high contrast. It combines different exposures into a single image so the brightest and darkest parts can both be seen in the image.
As a result, brilliant colors are captured even when pictures are shot in strong light conditions for both video imaging and still imaging.
This feature relies on driver support. Currently, the HDR feature is not supported on Raspberry Pi, Jetson Nano, and Jetson Xavier NX MIPI cameras.
Column parallel A/D converter
Parallel signal processing is key to improving the speed of Sony’s CMOS Image Sensor.
CMOS sensor circuits have analog-digital (A/D) conversion that converts analog pixel signals into digital signals.
By arranging thousands of these circuits in a horizontal manner, and utilizing them simultaneously, speed is maximized.
The A/D conversion processes Sony uses in their CMOS sensors have important capabilities, including the reduced size of analog circuits where noise is created, and automatic noise cancellation.
Both noise reduction and enhanced speed can be achieved at the same time by this circuit design.
Buy IMX477 – I want to use IMX477 in my projects
Buy IMX477 Image Sensor Packages
Arducam offers IMX477 image sensor packages, contact our sales representative if you need to place an order.
Buy IMX477 Camera for Raspberry Pi, Jetson Nano, and Jetson Xavier NX
Arducam offers an array of IMX477 based camera modules, also know as High Quality camera modules for the Raspberry Pi and Jetson Platform.
The Arducam IMX477 camera modules on the Raspberry Pi platform is natively working just like the official High Quality Camera, and we’ve provided options like high quality camera case, compact camera board form factor in M12 lens, motorized focus and motorized IR-cut filter.
On the Jetson Platform, our camera modules can be used both on the Jetson Nano and the Jetson Xavier NX, and we have provided IMX477 camera drivers for them. It will support the NVIDIA Argus Camera plugin for H264 encoding, JPEG snapshots, as well as gain, exposure, framerate, and group, hold control.
|Models||Platform||Lens Mount||Form Factor||IR sensitivity||Focus Method||ISP support||Resolution||Interface||Type|
|B0240||RPi A/B/Zeros||CS||38mm Board camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0241||RPi A/B/Zeros||CS||Metal Housing with HDMI extension||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0249||Nano/NX||CS||38mm Board camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0250||Nano/NX||CS||Metal Housing with HDMI extension||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0251||Nano/NX||M12(S）||24mm Board Camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0262||RPi A/B/Zeros||M12(S）||24mm Board Camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0265R||RPi A/B/Zeros||CS||38mm Board camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP 2*IMX477 Stereo Bundle||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0265N||Nano/NX||CS||38mm Board camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP 2*IMX477 Stereo Bundle||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0270||RPi A/B/Zeros||CS||38mm Board camera||Swtichabl IR-cut Filter||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0271||RPi CMs||M12(S）||24mm Board Camera||Visible Light Only||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0272||RPi A/B/Zeros||M12(S）||38mm Board camera||Visible Light Only||Software Motorized||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0273||Nano/NX||M12(S）||38mm Board camera||Visible Light Only||Software Motorized||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0274||Nano/NX||CS||38mm Board camera||Swtichabl IR-cut Filter||Manual Focus||YES||12MP IMX477||MIPI||Camera Module|
|B0278||USB webcam adapter||YES||USB||Camera Adapter|
Request Customization from Arducam
Arducam also offers a turnkey design solution for cameras. If you need Arducam to build a product for you based on the IMX477 image sensor, please check our customization service.