BSI Image Sensor with 5-Megapixels and RAW Output for High Frame Rate HD Video in Handsets and Notebooks

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.

By Cliff Roth

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Video/Imaging DesignWire
(2/20/2010 3:06:52 AM)

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last week, OmniVision Technologies announced a new 1/4-inch, 5-megapixel RAW CMOS image sensor based on its 1.4-micron OmniBSI(TM) backside illumination (BSI) technology.  The company says 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 utilize existing baseband or applications processors for image processing functions.

OmniVision says the 1.4-micron OmniBSI pixel delivers best-in-class low light sensitivity (680-mV/lux-sec), low profile z-height and a small footprint, making it ideal for the ultra-compact camera modules used in mobile phones and notebooks. The superior pixel performance of the OV5647 enables 720p HD video at 60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p HD video at 30 fps, 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 minimizes spatial artifacts to deliver even sharper, crisper color images.

“According to industry research firm iSuppli Corporation, 5-megapixel cameras will account for over one-third of all camera phones by 2012,” said 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 8.5 x 8.5-mm module size with a z-height of less than 5-mm, offering miniaturization 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 translates into greater sensitivity and better color reproduction, compared to ordinary front side illumination (FSI) 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 baseband processor. The sensor supports a digital video parallel port or two-lane MIPI interface, and provides full-frame, windowed or binned 10-bit 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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