Sony Announces 5.4MP Automotive Sensor with HDR and LED Flicker Mitigation

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Sony announces the 1/1.55-inch, 5.4MP (effective) IMX490 CMOS sensor for automotive cameras. Sony will begin shipping samples in March 2019.

The new sensor simultaneously achieves HDR and LED flicker mitigation at what Sony calls the industry’s highest 5.4MP resolution in automotive cameras. Sony has also improved the saturation illuminance through a proprietary pixel structure and exposure method. When using the HDR imaging and LED flicker mitigation functions at the same time, this offers a wide 120dB DR (measured in accordance to the EMVA 1288 standard. 140dB when set to prioritize DR.) This DR is said to be three times higher than that of the previous product. This means highlight oversaturation can be mitigated, even in situations where 100,000 lux sunlight is directly reflecting off a light-colored car in the front, and the like, thereby capturing the subject more accurately even under road conditions where there is a dramatic lighting contrast such as when entering and exiting a tunnel.

Moreover, this unique method is said to prevent motion artifacts that occur when capturing moving subjects compared with other HDR technologies. The new sensor also improves the sensitivity by about 15% compared to that of the previous generation product, improving the capability to recognize pedestrians and obstacles in low illuminance conditions of 0.1 lux, the equivalent of moonlight.

This product is scheduled to meet the AEC-Q100 Grade 2 reliability standards for automobile electronic components for mass production. Sony has also introduced a development process compliant with ISO 26262 functional safety standards for automobiles to ensure that design quality meets the functional safety requirements for automotive applications, thereby supporting functional safety level ASIL D for fault detection, notification and control.*6 Moreover, the new sensor has security functions to protect the output image from tampering.

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