Last year, OmniVision, the brand that gained popularity for their camera sensors on the iPhone 4 had announced the slimmest 8MP CMOS sensor for cameras on smartphones. This time around, the brand has raised the curtains on two new sensors, the OV16820 and OV16825, which are 16-megapixel CameraChip sensors that support burst photography and can capture 4K2K or Quad Full High Definition (QFHD) video at 60 frames per second. These sensors that are designed for high-end smartphones and digital cameras are built on OmniVision's high-performance 1.34-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture and support emerging standards in high-resolution video recording.

The brand states that the 1/2.3-inch CameraChip sensors are capable of operating in full resolution (4608 x 3456) at 30 fps, 4K2K (3840 x 2160) video at 60 fps, and 1080p HD video at 60 fps with extra pixels for electronic image stabilization (EIS). The sensors are capable of 16-megapixel burst photography for capturing high resolution images in rapid succession. All required image processing functions, including defective pixel and noise canceling, RAW scaling, image size, frame rate, exposure, gain, cropping and orientation are programmable through the serial camera control bus (SCCB) interface. 

A camera sensor with a high performance mobile imaging experience

Designed for high end smartphones and digital cameras

OmniVision states that the OV16820 and OV16825 supports 10-12 bit RAW RGB images and 8-10 DPCM compression. Both offer industry-standard connectivity, including up to 8-lane MIPI and LVDS output interfaces for high data transfer rates.

Here is a quick look at the highlighted features of these new sensors:

  • OmniBSI-2 (second generation BSI)
  • Support for image sizes: 4608 x 3456 and below
  • 16 megapixel at 30 fps
  • 4K2K at 60 fps
  • 8-lane LVDS/MIPI serial output interface
  • Two-wire serial bus control (SCCB)
  • Four-wire serial interface
  • Strobe output to control flash
  • Embedded 2048 bytes of one-time programmable (OTP) memory
  • On-chip phase lock loop (PLL)
  • Supports pixel binning, re-sampling filter
  • On-chip scalar
  • 2×2, 3×3 binning support
  • Support for output format: 10/12 bits RAW RGB and DPCM 10-8 compression
  • Programmable controls: gain, exposure, frame rate, image size, horizontal mirror, vertical flip, cropping, RAW scaling, windowing, and panning
  • Image quality controls: defect pixel correction
  • Low dark current
  • Support for black sun cancellation

Though the brand has announced these new sensors, it would be too good to be true, if it landed on the next generation iPhone as 4K video recording is still a far off dream as of now as current processing capabilities would not be able to handle it smoothly. Here is hoping for the sensor to feature on devices sooner than later.

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