The Rise of CMOS Technology
The rise of CMOS technology, synonymous with active pixel sensor technology, first began in the 1960s when they were first experimented with in early video and television applications (with disappointing results). Because of this, CCD sensors (charged coupled devices) were used in early digital technology. The first digital cameras used CCD image sensors and were the standard for a long time. They were expensive to manufactures and were part of the reasons early cameras costed a lot of money to purchase.
First CMOS Image Sensor
In the 1990s, Eric Fossum invented the first image sensor that used intra-pixel charge combined with an in-pixel amplifier to create the first modern CMOS image sensor (that would eventually replaced the current CCD technology). The first CMOS sensors were primitive, but they were effective at eliminating noise, had great image performance in quality and speed, and did not consume much power.
Since the early 1990s, the technology has been advancing and
eventually all digital cameras and camcorders will use CMOS sensors.
CMOS sensors are cheaper to mass produce than CCD sensors. This makes
the overall price of digital cameras affordable to the public. They're
used in all digital camera devices, from high end motion picture
cameras and digital SLRs to webcams and cell phone camera phones.