Sensors

Micron pixel smartphone image sensor for selfie cameras

11th January 2021
Alex Lynn

OmniVision Technologies has announced in advance of CES the OV32B image sensor, featuring a 0.7 micron pixel size to provide 32 megapixel (MP) resolution in a 1/3” optical format. This enables smartphone designers to offer the highest possible front-facing, selfie camera resolution in the limited space available.

The OV32B also supports 2- and 3-exposure HDR timing for up to 8 MP video modes and still previews. Additionally, it integrates a four-cell colour filter array and on-chip hardware re-mosaic, which provides high quality, 32 MP Bayer output in real time - a feature that can be challenging for competitors to achieve in the 1/3” optical format.

“In 2021, TSR estimates there will be 244 million image sensors with 32 MP resolution shipped to smartphone manufacturers for use in selfie cameras,” said Arun Jayaseelan, Staff Marketing Manager at OmniVision. “The OV32B strikes the perfect balance between small size and high resolution that the designers of these cameras are looking for.”

The OV32B is built on OmniVision’s PureCel Plus stacked die technology, providing leading-edge still image captures and exceptional 1080p video recordings at 180 frames per second (fps). In low light conditions, this sensor can use near-pixel binning to output an 8 MP image with four times the sensitivity, offering 1.4 micron pixel equivalent performance for previews and still captures. The OV32B can also consistently capture the best quality images while enabling seamless fast mode switch and multicamera sync. In addition to front-facing selfie cameras, these features are also ideal for rear-facing telephoto smartphone cameras.

To boost autofocus accuracy, especially in low light, this sensor offers the option to integrate type-2, 2x2 microlens phase detection autofocus (ML-PDAF). It also provides a CPHY interface for greater throughput using fewer pins, as well as a DPHY interface. Output formats include 32 MP at 15 fps, 8 MP at 60 fps and 6 MP (16:9) at 90 fps—all with four-cell binning. Additionally, the sensor can output 1080p video at 120 fps, 1.5 MP captures (16:9) at 240 fps and 720p video at 360 fps.

Samples of the OV32B image sensor are available now.

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