SK Hynix Black Pearl Technology

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SK Hynix publishes an article "Evolution of Pixel Technology in CMOS Image Sensor" by Hoon Sang Oh, Fellow of CIS Business at SK Hynix.

"SK hynix started its CIS business in 2007 and has produced 8-inch wafer-based image sensor products for more than a decade. With the advent of IoT and 5G-based ICT world, the image sensor market is growing rapidly today, and SK hynix is fostering the CIS business as the next growth engine beyond its memory business in order to meet this soaring demand. After a couple of years of preparation for the 12-inch fab CIS process, SK hynix launched a 12-inch wafer-based 1.0um product in 2019, which adopted its proprietary Black Pearl pixel technology and received good reviews from customers due to the highly competitive pixel performance. Black Pearl boasts improved noise characteristics, implementing clear images with little noise under low illumination conditions.

SK hynix is now expanding its CIS product portfolio spectrum from mid-end to high-end products based on both performance and price competitiveness. Through its investment in the CIS space in 2020 and beyond, the company aims to quickly become one of the world’s leading CIS companies.
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Update: In another PR, SK Hynix reports that it has opened CIS R&D center in Tokyo, Japan, on Sept. 1, 2019:

"By establishing the JRC in the heart of the world’s image sensor innovation, SK hynix aims to secure the excellent CIS talent and to further strengthen its technological prowess through the creation of a global network.

Japan is home to numerous small and large image sensor manufacturers, with Sony being one of the largest. According to IHS Markit, a leading market research institution, Sony now leads the image sensor market with its 51.1% market share achieved in the first quarter of 2019.

The country is also seeing companies from overseas, such as China, bolstering their research and development by establishing research centers in Japan. “The significance of SK hynix opening up the JRC in Japan cannot be understated. The new facility will give the company ultimate access to the diverse CIS resources concentrated in Japan,” said [Shimura Masayuki, the Head of the Hynix JRC.] “This extends to joint research and development with leading Japanese universities, which is expected to contribute to various aspects of our CIS business, including the successful development of a new CIS technology.

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