Issue: May 2006


OmniVision Expands Automotive CameraChip Family



by Lenny Case

OmniVision, a world leading supplier of CMOS image sensors, has launched its OV7949, the newest member of its automotive CameraChip family. The OV7949 is a new high-performance, highly-integrated analog CMOS image sensor based on OmniVision's proprietary OmniPixel(TM) architecture. The single-chip sensor's excellent low-light sensitivity and significantly reduced blooming make it ideal for automotive applications.

Reduced blooming capability is important for rearview cameras, which need to be able to 'see' even when faced with bright headlights of trailing vehicles. Similarly, reduced blooming capability is important for 'black box' cameras, which are intended to visually document accidents for liability or insurance purposes, where the brightness of the brake lights of a vehicle directly in front of the sensor can blur or disturb the image and prevent a clear documentation of events.

"We believe the strong performance of the new OV7949 in extreme low-light conditions, combined with reduced blooming and exceptional dynamic range, make this the sensor of choice for our automotive customers," commented Hasan Gadjali, Vice President Advanced Products at OmniVision. "Product evaluation of the OV7949 by top-tier automotive suppliers and OEMs is already underway, and early feedback has been very encouraging."

The OV7949 is an enhanced, pin-compatible PQFP packaged upgrade to its predecessor, the OV7940, which was launched last year. The new OV7949 has an operating temperature range of -40 degrees C to +105 degrees C and is built to the stringent specifications of the Automobile Electronics Council AEC-Q100 criteria encompassing a series of preconditioning, humidity, high temperature cycle, mechanical, optical and electrical test parameters.

The OV7949 is currently available in sample quantities.

OmniVision Technologies designs and markets high-performance semiconductor image sensors. Its OmniPixel and CameraChip products are highly integrated single-chip CMOS image sensors for mass-market consumer and commercial applications such as mobile phones, digital still cameras, security and surveillance systems, interactive video games, PCs and automotive imaging systems. Additional information is available at www.ovt.com.

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