French start-up, CURVE-ONE, has announced its first commercially-viable curved image sensor. “The first public studies in the field of curved sensors are back in the 2000s. If most of the largest world-class sensors companies developed their home-made process, none of them made it a commercial product. The go-to-market strategy applied by the start-up CURVE-ONE, supported by the European Commission through the European Research Council programs, made it become an available product. Fruit of years of research and development for astrophysical instrumentation, the commercialization of curved and freeform sensors is now a reality.”
Curved image sensors mimic the human eye and have massive implications for optical design and overall imaging performance. CURVE-ONE says: “The development of curved sensors is a bio-inspired approach. Mimicking the eye retina, this new technology impacts every future imaging system. By directly correcting the field curvature in the focal plane of imagers, the use of curved sensors suppresses the field flatteners. Less optics means less misalignments and instrumental errors, increases the stability and image homogeneity and reduces the dependence to environmental condition. Thereby it improves image acquisition quality and then reduces image post-processing costs.”
CURVE-ONE states a curved sensor design can reduce total optics in a lens by a third and remove the need for aspherical elements.