Peter JW Noble

Peter JW Noble is the inventor of the active pixel, used in virtually all digital cameras.

Peter is a physicist, electronics engineer and inventor; a speaker and motivator.

His foresighted approach has led him to offer his time for keynote and motivational speeches. He has lived through the past 50 years of technology—but what of the next 50 years? Dangerous developments, exciting life giving concepts, energy issues, communications and beyond. Serious, amusing and thought provoking, the world may need to examine how our society works. No-one comes close—just ask him to energize your delegates!

To ask Peter to come to your event, email him at

A chartered physicist and electronics engineer, he has directed many projects, including robotics, sensor systems, electronics assembly amongst others. He was awarded the Pioneering Achieving Award—the only one—by the International Image Sensor Society, a corporate body consisting of the world’s top image sensor scientists (IISS), in 2015. This was awarded to him for being the pioneer of the active pixel, as published first in the 1960’s, the basis of the vast majority of digital image sensors.

He pioneered the solid state image sensor technology now used in digital cameras, including TV, still cameras, video cameras and mobile phones. He has been called the father of digital image sensors. He demonstrated the first digital camera based on the active pixel, with a 4096 pixel array, his company winning the Queen’s Award for Industry in 1974 as a result.

He first worked in sensor arrays starting in May 1966, and rapidly developed the basics of active pixels and self-scanned arrays, now known as image sensors. His overall ambition was, and still is, to give blind people the ability to see well enough to appreciate the visual world around them.

He is a consultant to major companies on strategy combining convergent technology trends, economics and global situations. He has authored two books and many papers, articles and patents. He is a speaker at events, with original archive material, and presents with an amusing set of anecdotes.

Most people would have retired, but he considers it more fun to do some things for people and companies and keep the brain ticking.

He has been looking forward to what the next half-century holds—humanoid robots, energy generation and storage, giving sight to the blind, and more. Those that are here in fifty years will look back and consider what we are doing today as primitive—as Peter looks back to when he started the quest for digital image sensors. Then there is the likely impact on legal processes, financial management and the world of capitalism.

His work in the community is almost entirely through and with membership of the Rotary Club of Dorchester where he has been a member for over 30 years. He was presented with a Paul Harris Fellowship for work in the extreme sports world.

He is married, has two adult sons and six grandchildren and lives in Dorset, England.

Peter JW Noble can be emailed at

The Award

IISS Pioneering Achievement Award

The Board of Directors of the International Image Sensor Society (IISS) is pleased to announce the creation of a new award, the Pioneering Achievement Award. This new award is to recognize a person who made a pioneering achievement in image sensor technology, and judged by at least 10 years of hindsight as a foundational contribution.

Click here to view the paper presented at the IISW event


Below: Peter’s presentation at the 2015 IISW event


The International Image Sensor Society is a global body of companies and scientists associated with all forms of visual, near Infra-red and other wavelengths image sensors. You can see more at


© Peter JW Noble 2015. All rights reserved.