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5Mpixel sensor packs complete user control

Posted: 09 Jun 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:image sensor  HD video  5Mpixel sensor  mobile handset 

OV5640 image sensor

OmniVision Technologies Inc. rolls out a complete 5Mpixel SoC camera solution that brings 1080p HD video to handsets. It focuses on penetrating the high-volume autofocus (AF) camera phone market.

Built on OmniVision's 1.4µm OmniBSI backside illumination (BSI) technology, the new OV5640 is optimised to offer a cost-effective, complete camera solution with excellent pixel performance for 5Mpixel photography and 720p or 1080p high-definition (HD) video in camera phones.

Because the OV5640 is a single-chip SOC solution, it is easier to tune than two-chip solutions (RAW + external ISP), making it invaluable to customers in terms of cost, time-to-revenue and ease of platform integration. The sensor's embedded AF control with voice coil motor driver offers further cost savings to the end customer, making the OV5640 a highly attractive alternative to other 5Mpixel sensors currently on the market.

"Industry analysts predict that one-third of mobile phones will employ cameras with 5Mpixel resolution by 2012. Consequently, there is an increasing need for performance worthy of a 5Mpixel camera at cost levels that meet the requirements of the mainstream market," explained Vinoo Margasahayam, product marketing manager for OmniVision. "The OV5640 SoC sensor offers handset manufacturers a fully-featured yet extremely cost-effective solution for bringing excellent quality image capture and HD video to the mainstream handset market. Moreover, our OmniBSI technology differentiates itself from competing products by enabling best-in-class low-light sensitivity as well as an ultracompact camera module that is 8.5mm x 8.5mm with a z-height of less than 5mm, a form factor which is required for today's ultrathin handsets."

The OV5640 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 SNR. Additionally, a unique post-binning re-sampling filter function removes zigzag artifacts around slant edges and minimises spatial artifacts to deliver even sharper, crisper colour images. To further improve camera performance and user experience, the OV5640 features an internal anti-shake engine for image stabilisation.

The OV5640 offers a digital video port (DVP) parallel interface and a high-speed dual lane MIPI interface, supporting multiple output formats. An integrated JPEG compression engine simplifies data transfer for bandwidth-limited interfaces. The sensor's automatic image control functions include automatic exposure control (AEC), automatic white balance, automatic band filter, 50/60Hz automatic luminance detection, and automatic black level calibration. The OV5640 delivers programmable controls for frame rate, AEC/AGC 16-zone size/position/weight control, mirror and flip, cropping, windowing, and panning. It also offers colour saturation, hue, gamma, sharpness (edge enhancement), lens correction, defective pixel cancelling, and noise cancelling to improve image quality.

The OV5640 is available in CSP, RW and COB packaging options and is sampling now. It is expected to enter mass production in 2H.

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