ON Semi low light imaging (LC)

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Low light imaging

While capturing a still image or a video clip on a bright, sunny day can be straightforward, the situation becomes much more complicated when lighting is uncontrolled.  A street at night, an underground garage, a dark corner with little illumination – these are the type of situations where a standard image sensor may not be sufficient.

Fortunately, several different technologies are available which can enhance an image sensor’s ability to successfully capture an image under these types of challenging lighting.  Specialized color filter arrays increase the amount of visible light available for capture, or enable capture of near-infrared light.  Pixel designs can be modified to maximize the amount of light that can be captured by the image sensor, and advanced electron multiplication technology can enable detection under sub-lux illumination.

ON Semiconductor has implemented these technologies – and more – in a portfolio of image sensors designed for use in challenging lighting conditions. See how these advanced devices, available from Avnet, can help solve your low-light imaging needs.

ON Semi low light imaging technologies (LC)

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Technologies for low light image sensing

Technology Description Details
IT-EMCCD Interline Transfer Electron Multiplication CCD combines the high imaging performance available from Interline Transfer CCD technology with the sub-electron noise floor provided by electron multiplication.   Learn more
RGB-IR RGB-InfraRed is a different filter type where one green spot in the standard Bayer Color Filter Array (CFA) is substituted with a spot which admits the Near-Infrared (NIR) wavelength to reach the sensor.  Learn more
Clarity+ Clarity+ is an alternative filter where, in the standard Bayer Color Filter Array (CFA), the green spots are substituted with clear spots, allowing the entire visible spectrum to pass through. Learn more
HDR High-Dynamic Range is a technology more efficient  for photo capturing than for video. To take an HDR photo, the sensor takes different shots of the same scene at different exposure times and then mixes the shots by selecting the best.  Learn more
BSI Back-Side Illumination, as the definition suggests, is referring to the part of the sensor which is actually exposed to the light.  Learn more


Target markets for low light imaging

Security & surveillance

In security and surveillance applications, there is often the need to monitor environments that can be either very bright or very dark. In such applications a sensor should have good performance in darker lighting as well as a high dynamic range.

Young woman in a dental chair with the dentist reviewing her mouth x-ray

Medical & scientific

Medical imaging applications often require a wide dynamic range and high light sensitivity to enable the capture of the subtlest details without the loss of valuable information.

connected vehicle, safer to operate, technical assistance


Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) require sensors with higher functionality to meet the evolving standards for car safety. Detecting and recognizing road signs, people, moving objects is critical for ADAS systems.

ON Semi lli-product matrix (LC)

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Product matrix

ON Semi lli-product matrix table

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Part Resolution (Mp) Pixel size (µm) Optical format Frame rate Dynamic range max. (dB) SNR Output interface Operating temperature Package type Implemented technologies
RGB-IR IT-EMCCD HDR on chip HDR off chip BSI
AR0132AT 1,2 3.75 1/3" 45 fps 115 dB 44 dB HiSPi™, Parallel -40 to +105 °C IBGA-63     X    
AR0136AT 1,2 3.75 1/3" 45 fps 120 dB 43.9 dB HiSPi™, Parallel -40 to +105 °C IBGA-63     X   X
AR0140 1 3.0 1/4" 60 fps 96 dB 41 dB HiSPi™, Parallel -40 to +105 °C IBGA-63     X    
AR0230AT 2 3.0 1/2.7" 30 fps 96 dB 41 dB HiSPi™, Parallel -40 to +105 °C IBGA-80     X    
AR0238 2 3.0 1/2.7" 60 fps 96 dB 41 dB HiSPi™, Parallel -30 to +70 °C PLCC-48 X     X  
AR0263 2,1 1.4 1/6" 60 fps 66,5 dB 37.5 dB MIPI -30 to +70 °C ODCSP-35       X X
AR0331 3,1 2.2 1/3" 60 fps 100 dB 39 dB HiSPi™, Multi -30 to +85 °C IBGA-63, ILCC-48     X    
AR0521 5,1 2.2 1/2.5" 60 fps 96 dB 40 dB HiSPi™, MIPI -30 to +85 °C mPLCC,iBGA-63       X X
AR1335CS 13 1.1 1/3.2" 120 fps 69 dB 37 dB MIPI -30 to +70 °C CSP-63       X X
AR1820HS 18,1 1.25 1/2.3" 24 fps 65,8 dB 36.3 dB HiSPi™, MIPI -30 to +70 °C IBGA-60         X
KAE-02150 2,1 5.5 2/3" 30 fps 86 dB X Analog -40 to +70 °C CPGA-135, CPGA-143   X      
KAE-02152 (NIR) 2,1 5.5 2/3" 30 fps 86 dB X Analog -40 to +70 °C CPGA-135, CPGA-143   X      
KAE-04471 4.4 7.4 4/3" 15 fps 92 dB X Analog -40 to +70 °C CPGA-155   X      
KAE-08151 8,2 5.5 4/3" 8 fps 86 dB X Analog -40 to +70 °C CPGA-155   X      


Featured products


AR0230AT is a 1/2.7-inch CMOS digital image sensor with an active-pixel array of 1928Hx1088V. It is designed for both low light and high dynamic range scene performance.

ON Semiconductor's AR0230 component


AR0238 is a 1/2.7-inch CMOS digital image sensor with an active-pixel array of 1928Hx1088V. It captures images in either linear or high dynamic range modes, with a rolling-shutter readout.

ON Semiconductor's AR0238 component


AR1820HS is an 18 megapixel, 1/2.3-inch format, 1.25 um pixel sensor using A-PixHS™ BSI technology. With a variety of operating modes, the AR1820HS can dynamically optimize resolution, low-light and frame rate for environmental conditions.


KAE-02150 Image Sensor is a 1080p (1920 x 1080) CCD in a 2/3” optical format that provides exceptional imaging performance in extreme low light applications.

ON Semiconductor's KAE02150 component