Omnivision Announces 13MP/30fps 1.12um PureCel Low Power Sensor

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PRNewswire: Omnivision announces the OV13850, a 1.12um PureCel 13MP SOC sensor for mobile devices. The new brand PureCel is explained "PureCel image sensors by OmniVision use innovative proprietary packaging and pixel technology to deliver industry-leading photon conversion, full-well capacity (FWC) and light sensitivity, while significantly reducing power consumption compared to previous-generation image sensors. The result is dramatically enhanced image and video quality in both high- and low-light conditions. OmniVision views PureCel image sensors as the future of high-performance digital imaging solutions."

The 1/3.06-inch OV13850 has array of 4224 x 3136 pixels, operates at 30fps at full resolution and can seamlessly transition between recording video and still images. The sensor supports 4K2K UHD video at 30fps with full-horizontal FOV and EIS or 1080p HD video at 60fps with EIS. In addition, the OV13850 supports the timing for 1080p video at 30fps. The OV13850 fits into an industry standard 8.5 x 8.5 x 5 mm module. The sensor is currently sampling and is expected to enter volume production in Q4 2013.

The sensor is said to be consuming 223mW power, 40% lower than the company's previous generation. This makes it one of the lowest power sensors ever reported in literature (not counting smart sensors that scan only parts of the frame). The current state of the art is WKA-awarded NHK-Shuzuoka University-Brookman experimental 33MP/120fps/12b sensor consuming 2.45W at full speed. Another benchmark is Sony IMX117 12.4MP/35fps/12b sensor consuming 417mW. Sony and NHK sensors both have 12b ADC vs 10b one in Omnivision's PureCel. On the other hand, Omnivision integrates an ISP inside that neither Sony, nor NHK have. So, to me they look at least even in power, and it's nice to see so low power sensors reaching the mass production stage.

In another note, so far only Sony supplied 13MP sensors for smartphones. Now Omnivision and Samsung have them available. "Industry analysts predict 13-megapixel to be the fastest growing resolution within primary cameras for mobile devices in 2014, with the potential to reach sales of more than 330 million units in 2014 [according to TSR]. The low-power OV13850 delivers excellent high resolution video and images in an ultra-slim form-factor. Considering these end-user benefits, we expect the OV13850 to be a highly competitive offering for the next-generation smartphones and tablets. The OV13850 enables our customers to upgrade their cameras from 8-megapixels to 13-megapixels without sacrificing end-user experience or increasing system cost," said Harish Iyer, product marketing manager at OmniVision.

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