OmniVision has recently announced the 1/4-inch OV8850 Color CMOS 8 Megapixel Image Sensor, which features OmniBSI-2 Technology. The company claims to lead the CMOS sensor pixel design race in the smartphone market by enabling autofocus modules that are 20 percent slimmer than today's 1/3.2-inch 8-megapixel modules.

OmniVision announces the slimmest 8 MP image sensor for smartphones

The new sensor also features an integrated scaler allowing the camera to maintain full field of view in 1080p high-definition video recording at 30 fps and preview modes. The scaler also has the ability to provide extra adjustable resolution for electronic image stabilization (EIS). OmniVision goes on to state that the sensor's 2 x 2 binning functionality provides EIS for 720p HD video recording at 60 fps. Additionally, the OV8850 sensor fits in an 8.5 x 8.5 mm autofocus camera module with a build height of 4.7 mm and features a 4-lane MIPI/LVDS that facilitates the required high data transfer rate.

  • Features of the OV8850 sensor include:
  • Automatic black level calibration (ABLC)
  • Programmable controls for frame rate, mirror and flip, cropping, windowing, and scaling
  • Image quality controls: lens correction and defective pixel canceling, black sun elimination 
  • Supports output formats: 8/10-bit RAW
  • Embedded full scaler 
  • Supports horizontal and vertical subsampling 
  • Support 2×2 binning, re-sampling filter 
  • Supports images sizes: 8 Mpixel, EIS1080p, 1080p, EIS720p, EISQ 1080p, Q1080p, EISVGA, VGA, QVGA, etc. 
  • Fast mode switching 
  • Standard serial SCCB interface
  • On-chip phase lock loop
  • Programmable I/O drive capability
  • Built-in 1.2V regulator for core 
  • Built-in temperature sensor 
  • Supports alternate row HDR timing

Apple uses OmniVision sensors in their present generation iPhones and in all likelihood would incorporate these sensors in their next generation iPhones. This confirms the possibility of the OV8850’s small size. Apart from size, the 1.1-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel featured in this sensor module offers significant improvements in power efficiency and comparable image quality, as compared to the previous generation 1.4-micron OmniBSI pixel.

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