For over 20 years, charge-coupled devices (CCDs) have dominated most digital imaging applications and markets. Today, complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) arrays are displacing CCDs in some applications, and this trend is expected to continue. Low cost, low power, on-chip system integration, and high-speed operation are unique features that have generated interest in CMOS arrays. This paper reviews current CCD and CMOS sensor developments and related applications. We compare fundamental performance parameters common to these technologies and describe why the CCD is considered a mature technology, whereas CMOS arrays have significant room for growth. The paper presents custom CMOS pixel designs and related fabrication processes that address performance deficiencies of the CCD in high-performance applications. We discuss areas of development for future CCD and CMOS imagers. The paper also briefly reviews hybrid imaging arrays that combine the advantages of CCD and CMOS, producing better sensors than either technology alone can provide.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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