News | May 17, 2006

Avago Technologies' One-Quarter Inch Format, 2-Megapixel Image Sensor Enables Thin Mobile Phone Designs

Böblingen, Germany, Avago Technologies introduced a one-quarter inch optical format, 2-megapixel CMOS image sensor with autofocus support that enables ultra-thin camera phones to record high-definition videos (800 x 600 pixels) at 30 frames per second and produce digital still-camera-like images. The ADCC-4050 uses the company's enhanced-performance (EP) pixel and array architecture and eighth generation image-pipe processing technology to achieve low image lag.

The enhanced-performance (EP) architecture reduces dark current and noise, and removes the lens shading effect to offer breakthrough low-light CMOS sensor performance that rivals CCD sensors. Its 3D pixel e-field shaping makes each pixel ultra light sensitive. The ADCC-4050 extends pixel sensitivity through powerful 8 x 8 pixel binning. By comparison, competitors' image sensors offer 1 x 2 binning.

The Avago 2-megapixel image sensor automatically adapts to a wide range of lighting conditions, from incandescent to fluorescent to sunlight and corrects overexposed or underexposed images. It adjusts white balance and color, and corrects anomalies such as bad pixels and clusters that contribute to a poorer, noisier picture. The image sensor produces striking colors, higher contrast, truer skin tones and picture rendering that is highly adaptive to varying light, shadows and movement.

With the increasing popularity of ultra-thin camera phones, manufacturers are requiring smaller modules. The ADCC-4050 is one of the few 2-megapixel sensors with 2.2 micron x 2.2 micron pixels that fits easily into the industry's smallest (8 mm x 8 mm x 5 mm) low-profile camera modules. The sensor's on-chip image processing and JPEG compression eliminates the need for an additional space-consuming, power-hungry companion chip while reducing system processing overhead, design complexity, and time to market.

"Avago Technologies' 2-megapixel sensor is timely in its introduction and impressive in the images and videos it produces in such a small form factor," said Tom Hausken, director of the Components Practice at Strategies Unlimited. "We're forecasting strong growth for 2-megapixel CMOS image sensors in 2006, with the market trending toward camera phones with digital still-camera-like capabilities."

The ADCC-4050 sensor is capable of 15 frames per second at full 1600 x 1200 pixel UXGA (ultra extended graphics array) resolution, and 30 frames per second in 800 x 600 pixel SVGA mode. The image sensor contains several digital still-camera- and camcorder-like image-processing features, including eighth-generation JPEG with adaptive compression, which delivers better quality images, auto thumbnails and fast reload to avoid missing shots. It also features fast auto focus, dual flash support, shutter lag amelioration, and an advanced auto illuminant detector using second-generation plausible illuminant. The sensor's dynamic range expander enables outstanding contrast, and a new proprietary exposure control adjusts picture brightness without increasing noise linearly or washing out colors, as commonly occurs with existing cameras.

SOURCE: Avago Technologies