Cypress Designs World’s First Back-Side Illuminated, Digital Output CMOS Image Sensor for NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems’ Satellite Applications

SAN JOSE, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 10, 2009 Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE: CY) today announced it has designed a custom back-side illuminated CMOS image sensor for a satellite hyperspectral imaging application from NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems, Ltd. Back-side illumination (BSI) increases the amount of light and the spectral range that can be captured by each pixel, delivering ultra-high-sensitivity images. The custom sensor is the industry’s first to combine a radiation-tolerant BSI architecture with a high-speed digital output interface, enabling detailed analysis from space of hyperspectral images that capture information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. Cypress and NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems expect the design to be in space-qualified flight models by mid-2010. The sensor is expected to be available for other space and military applications after flight qualification is completed.

BSI allowed Cypress to use noise reduction techniques such as correlated double sampling without compromising spectral response or sensitivity. In addition to the BSI architecture, the imager integrates Cypress’s patented global-shutter technology, which enables fast frame rates with the ability to read one frame while the next is being captured. Cypress’s global shuttering is used in a wide range of products, including the world’s fastest CMOS image sensors. The sensor is arranged in a 1024 column x 256 row configuration. The design includes on-board analog-to-digital converters and a high-speed digital interface tailored for space applications.

Cypress will be demonstrating its industry-leading custom and standard CMOS image sensor solutions at the 2009 Image Sensing Show in Yokohama, Japan from June 10-12, 2009 in Booth #69.

“We selected Cypress for this project based on their extensive experience in designing and back-side illuminated products and radiation-tolerant CMOS sensors for space, as well as for their leading global shuttering technology,” said the Program Manager at NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems. “The imager’s ability to deliver highly detailed images at fast speeds is applicable to many applications beyond space.”

“This sensor represents a significant advance in spectral response and sensitivity for CMOS-based space applications using back-side illumination technology,” said Cliff Drowley, vice president of Cypress’s image sensor business unit. “Cypress worked closely with NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems to develop this unique architecture, and we look forward to expanding its reach to new applications.”

Cypress Image Sensors

Cypress's broad CMOS image sensor portfolio delivers high-performance sensors for custom and high-end digital photography; ultra high-speed imaging solutions for automotive safety, machine vision and motion analysis; and consumer-oriented solutions including large-format printers. CMOS image sensors complement Cypress's technology and market strengths and expand Cypress's existing presence in numerous complementary markets where it sells a broad array of timing and USB solutions, configurable microcontrollers and memories.

About NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems

NEC TOSHIBA Space Systems, Ltd., working together with NEC's space business departments, is developing, designing, manufacturing, and testing space subsystems and components in an integrated manner. For more information, visit

About Cypress

Cypress delivers high-performance, mixed-signal, programmable solutions that provide customers with rapid time-to-market and exceptional system value. Cypress offerings include the PSoC® programmable system-on-chip, USB controllers, general-purpose programmable clocks and memories. Cypress also offers wired and wireless connectivity technologies ranging from its CyFi™ Low-Power RF solution, to West Bridge® and EZ-USB® FX2LP controllers that enhance connectivity and performance in multimedia handsets. Cypress serves numerous markets including consumer, computation, data communications, automotive, and industrial. Cypress trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol CY. Visit Cypress online at

Cypress, the Cypress logo, PSoC, West Bridge and EZ-USB are registered trademarks, and CyFi is a trademark of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. All other trademarks are property of their owners.


Cypress Public Relations
Samer Bahou, 408-544-1081
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