12MP sensor offers unprecedented combination of large pixel size, selective conversion gain, 4-cell HDR and high speed video
OmniVision Technologies, a developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, announced the OV12D, a 1.4 micron 12 MP image sensor with selective conversion gain (SCG) for the optimum balance between low-light image quality and high dynamic range (HDR). The OV12D features a large 1/2.4” optical format, on-chip 4-cell remosaic color filter, high speed phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) and extra pixels for 4K2K video electronic image stabilization (EIS). As a result, the OV12D provides designers with both professional quality video, especially for low light conditions, and ultra wide angle photos in smartphones with multicamera configurations. This unique combination of features also makes the sensor ideal for high end front-facing selfie cameras.
According to TSR, the number of smartphones with two or three main cameras will grow from just 8% of the market in 2017, to over 20% by 2022, when the estimated total market size will be 5.5 billion phones. Additionally, Yole Développement predicts that, on average, there will be three cameras per smartphone by 2022.
“With multiple world-facing cameras becoming more common in premium smartphones, manufacturers are looking to not only increase the image quality of those cameras, but also to maximize their applications, in order to further differentiate their products,” said Arun Jayaseelan, senior marketing manager at OmniVision. “The OV12D sensor leverages OmniVision’s advanced pixel technologies and HDR expertise, enabling mobile phone makers to use their ultra wide cameras to capture premium quality video with on-chip, 3-exposure HDR, even in low light conditions.”
SCG allows the pixel conversion gain to be dynamically switched between low and high, depending on the scene being captured. When capturing images under low light conditions or with dark areas, high conversion gain can help lower noise and improve the signal-to-noise ratio, when compared with a traditional low conversion gain pixel. Likewise, when set to low conversion gain, the sensor has a higher full well capacity, which helps to provide more detail when capturing scenes under bright light. This improves the signal-to-noise ratio under bright light as well as the pixel’s overall dynamic range. In combination with the OV12D’s other features, including PureCel®Plus pixel technology for reduced cross talk and maximum quantum efficiency in low light, secondary smartphone cameras equipped with the OV12D are able to capture the industry’s highest quality video and ultra wide angle photos.
The OV12D is a native 16:9 aspect ratio image sensor that uses a 4-cell color filter pattern. It has on chip 4-cell to Bayer remosaic, in order to provide 4K video at 60fps with 20% additional pixels for EIS. In a 4-cell binned mode, it can output an impressive 3MP/1080p resolution with 20% additional pixels for EIS video and images at four times the sensitivity. Additionally, it supports 3-exposure HDR with on-chip combination and tone mapping, offering best in class HDR video. The user experience is enhanced with the ability to fast switch between the preview and capture modes, in combination with high speed PDAF. This sensor also supports both CPHY and DPHY interfaces, and can output 12MP 16:9 captures at 60fps, 4K video at 60fps and 1080p video at 240fps.
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