'Contact Image Sensors (CIS)' are a relatively recent technological innovation in the field of optical flatbed scanners
that are rapidly replacing CCDs
in low power and portable applications. As the name implies, CISs place the image sensor in near direct contact with the object to be scanned in contrast to using mirrors to bounce light to a stationary sensor, as is the case in conventional CCD scanners. A CIS typically consists of a linear array of detectors, covered by a focusing lens and flanked by red, green, and blue LEDs
for illumination. Usage of LEDs allows the CIS to be highly power efficient, with many scanners being powered through the minimal line voltage supplied via a USB
connection. CIS devices typically produce lower image quality compared to CCD devices; in particular, the depth of field is greatly limited, which poses a problem for material that is not perfectly flat. But a CIS contact sensor is modularized. All the necessary optical elements are included in a compact module. Thus, a CIS module can help to simplify the inner structure of a scanner. Therefore, a CIS contact sensor is smaller and lighter than a CCD line sensor. With a CIS contact sensor, the scanner can be portable with height around 30 mm.
CIS is a key component of and is widely used in scanners (especially portable scanners), electrograph, bar code reader and optical identification technology.