Sony has unveiled a 12.25-million-pixel CMOS imaging sensor for camera phones, in a move it hopes will rival image quality produced by the latest digital compact cameras.rnrnPicture (courtesy, Sony): Sony is set to release three new sensors and two lens modulesrnrn

Sony has unveiled a 12.25-million-pixel CMOS imaging sensor for camera phones, in a move it hopes will rival image quality produced by the latest digital compact cameras.

Due for release in March 2009, the 12.25MP ?IMX060PQ? Exmor sensor was announced alongside a new f/2.8 lens module, designed to produce the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 28mm optic. The latter is expected to be shipped next September.

Billed as a world first, Sony claims the 12.25MP sensor is also the industry?s smallest, and with the highest pixel count.

In a statement the firm said: ?In recent years the convenience offered by cameras in mobile phones has driven an increase in their use, while demand for higher image quality has also continued to grow.

?In addition, as mobile phone designs have become more refined, and models become smaller and thinner, the need for further miniaturisation in mobile phone camera technology has also increased.?

Recognising that smaller sensors risk ?image degradation?, Sony claims that the sensor?s ?unique pixel structure? helps deliver high sensitivity levels and high signal-to-noise ratio.

The sensor (type 1/2.5) will be capable of recording images at a continuous image burst rate of 10 frames per second, according to Sony.

The sensor’s image area is 7.1mm (measured diagonally).

Sony has also announced a new 8.11MP sensor designed to deliver a frame rate of up to 15 frames per second. This is due for release this month.

The company added: ?Sony will aim to meet customer needs for advanced imaging performance comparable to dedicated compact digital still cameras, in slim-line, camera-enabled, mobile phones.?

Also revealed is a new 5.15MP sensor and a ’32mm’ equivalent lens module.

Picture (courtesy, Sony): Sony is set to release three new sensors and two lens modules

Sony imaging sensors and lens modules