Camera Phones Get 14MP and 1080p HD

While these specs aren’t out of the ordinary for point and shoot cameras, you might raise an eyebrow at a 14MP camera phone that captures 1080p video as well.  Well, expect them soon.

Omnivision has developed a 14MP HD sensor to be used in cell phones, as well as a sibling sensor with the same pixel count for use in compact cameras.  Given the noisy images produced by much lower MP-count sensors of the same size, you have to be concerned about what kind of grain a 14MP sensor on a mobile phone camera is going to produce.  Maybe the backside illumination of the sensors will help ease the noise.

According to Omnivision, the new sensors are capable of producing 1080p video at 60 frames per second.  These new sensors go into mass production in the second quarter of 2010.

More details on the new sensors in the press release below.

Omnivision Press Release

SANTA CLARA, Calif., — January 4, 2010 — OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions,  today launched a 14.6-megapixel image sensor capable of delivering
high-resolution still photography and full 1080p high-definition (HD) video at 60 frames per second (fps). The new OV14810 for digital still/video cameras (DSC/DVC) and OV14825 for mobile applications are among the very first sensors to achieve the highest quality in both video and photography for mainstream consumer electronics.

“With the new OV14810, the DSC and DVC market segments are converging, allowing consumers to have one device for capturing their most important photo and HD video moments,” said Devang Patel, senior product marketing manager at OmniVision. “We also see the mobile phone segment moving to full HD video combined with higher resolution photography. We believe that our high performance OV14810 holds great potential for addressing these developments, and may therefore prove to be highly attractive in multiple market segments.”

OmniVision’s new 14.6-megapixel HD sensor uses its most advanced 1.4-micron OmniBSITM pixel architecture to achieve optimal performance and sensitivity in the industry’s smallest format. The 1/2.33-inch OV14810
has an active array of 4,416 x 3,312 backside illumination pixels operating at 15 fps in full resolution, or delivering full 1080p HD video at 60 fps, using a binning feature to achieve higher sensitivity. In full HD video
mode, the sensor also provides additional pixels for electronic image stabilization (EIS).

“Our OmniBSI backside illumination technology is now a proven technology for us, with millions of OmniBSI devices already shipped to customers,” said Bruce Weyer, vice president of marketing at OmniVision. “The OV14810 represents a new milestone in digital imaging, bringing the most advanced pixel technology and sensor design to offer the highest quality video and photography in a single device.”

“The current trend in both mobile phones and digital cameras is strongly towards HD, and OmniVision’s OV14810 is well-positioned to benefit from this move in the market,” commented Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst for
digital entertainment at In-Stat.

The OV14810 and OV14825 differentiate in chief ray angle (CRA), which optimizes each sensor for its end application: DSC/DVC and mobile. The sensor’s small form factor, facilitated by its CSP packaging, allows for the development of ultra compact cameras. The OV14825 is also available in RW (bare die) for module integrators. The OV14810/OV14825 enables camera designs with a low-cost bill of materials and reduced power consumption. Both sensors are offered with industry-standard connectivity including LVDS, MIPI and DVP and do not require external IC components.

The OV14810/14825 products are sampling now with reference platforms available, and will enter mass production in Q2 2010.

About OmniVision
OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) is a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions. Its award-winning CMOS imaging technology enables superior image quality in many of today’s consumer and commercial applications, including mobile phones, notebooks, netbooks and webcams, digital still and video cameras, security and surveillance, entertainment devices, automotive and medical imaging systems. Find out more at www.ovt.com.

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