An image sensor is a device that converts an optical image into an electronic signal. It is used mostly in digital cameras, camera modules and other imaging devices.
A CMOS imaging chip is a type of active pixel sensor made using the CMOS semiconductor process. Extra circuitry next to each photo sensor converts the light energy to a voltage. Additional circuitry on the chip may be included to convert the voltage to digital data.
CMOS (Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) chips use transistors at each pixel to move the charge through traditional wires. This offers flexibility because each pixel is treated individually. Traditional manufacturing processes are used to make CMOS. It’s the same as creating microchips. Because they’re easier to produce, CMOS sensors are cheaper than CCD sensors.
Because CMOS technology came after CCD sensors and are cheaper to manufacture, CMOS sensors are the reason that digital cameras have dropped in price.