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5MP image sensor targets mobile apps, notebooks

Posted: 19 Feb 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:image sensor  CMOS  mobile imaging  processor 

OV5647 image sensor

OmniVision Technologies Inc. has launched the OV5647 1/4-inch, 5Mpixel RAW CMOS image sensor based on its 1.4µm OmniBSI backside illumination (BSI) technology. OmniVision's 1.4µm OmniBSI pixel delivers low light sensitivity (680mV/lux-sec), low profile z-height and a small footprint, making it ideal for the ultracompact camera modules used in mobile phones and notebooks.

The OV5647 is a cost-effective, high-performance mobile imaging solution, offering the performance and size benefits of BSI technology while allowing mobile phone designs to utilise existing base band or applications processors for image processing functions.

The superior pixel performance of the OV5647 enables 720p HD video at 60fps and 1080p HD video at 30fps, with complete user control over formatting and output data transfer. The 720p/60 HD video is captured in full field of view with 2 x 2 binning, which doubles the sensitivity and improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Additionally, a post-binning re-sampling filter function unique to the OV5647 removes image artifacts around edges and minimises spatial artifacts to deliver even sharper, crisper colour images.

"According to industry research firm iSuppli Corp., 5Mpixel cameras will account for over one-third of all camera phones by 2012," explained Vinoo Margasahayam, product marketing manager for OmniVision. "The OV5647's 1/4-inch optical format is well positioned to target the design-in sweet spot for mainstream handsets for three key reasons. First, it enables the industry-standard 8.5mm x 8.5mm module size with a z-height of less than 5mm, offering miniaturisation that is important for thinner camera phones. Second, the OV5647 is optimal for 720p/60 HD video, which is a key requirement in today's handsets. Third, advanced technologies such as OmniBSI are transforming the image quality of mobile cameras, enabling mobile phone manufacturers to compete not just based on features, but on the camera performance."

Because BSI technology uses a technique that inverts the sensor to collect light from the backside, it offers the most direct path for light to strike the pixel. This results in a greatly improved fill factor, higher quantum efficiency and significantly reduced cross-talk, which translate into greater sensitivity and better colour reproduction, compared to front side illumination image sensors.

As a RGB RAW image sensor, the OV5647 offers a cost-efficient solution for handset customers looking to implement a low-power, dual-chip solution with image signal processing in the applications or base band processor. The sensor supports a digital video parallel port or two-lane MIPI interface, and provides full-frame, windowed or binned 10bit images in RAW RGB format with complete user control over formatting and output data transfer. It offers all required automatic image control functions, including automatic exposure control, automatic white balance, automatic band filter, automatic 50/60-Hz luminance detection, and automatic black level calibration. The OV5647 is sampling now and will enter mass production in July 2010.

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