Originally Posted by AndyElliott
CCD sensors are analogue, internally, CMOS sensors often have the A-D 'on chip'. I think you are right - Canon CMOS sensors appear to have the ADC on-chip, whereas most of the LiveMOS sensors would appear to have this on the processor (Truepic or Venus). The exception would appear to be the GH1 chip, where the ADC is on chip and hence the output is digital.
I have not seen a LiveMOS chip architecture block diagram, but it would be interesting if you know of where one is.
This is an inteesting thread. I wonder if Ian is right in that the GH-1 sensor is a limited run to test out integrating video sensor ideas. Putting the A>D conversion on the sensor usually adds circuitry and reduces the fill factor. Making the sensor "back-lit", puts the circuitry behind the photon sensor, where there is more room for the A>D transistors and keeps the fill factor adaquate. This may be the sensor architecture of the future arriving. Shortening the path that the electrons have to go to become digital bits may be the needed ingredient for the streaming of high rez video images, that was never needed for stills. The side effect may be the improved stills IQ. As you said, a diagram would be nice to have.