Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Omnivision's vision of CMOS sensor

Competition is the engine of innovation, and Omnivision, seemingly right on cue, has announced their latest innovation that promises to bring an smaller 8MP CMOS camera to our 3G phones.

While Sharp was looking for ways to slim a larger, denser, CMOS camera phone sensor. Omnivision was developing a new way of producing the same size sensor while doubling the image resolution.

Their approach, as simple as it sounds...

was to turn the sensor over. Dubbed OmniBSI, this changed the order of things a bit, making the silicon the first thing the light hits. This subtle switch up optimizes the silicon’s light absorption, giving the sensor better low-light sensitivity, while allowing for larger apertures and thinner cameras.

This isn’t the first time we seen this type of tech in phones, but Omnivision is one of the largest supplier of camera modules to phone makers. Previously, only one or two brands were making these higher resolution modules, and putting them into their own phones. Now with Omnivision no one company will have “the” high resolution camera phone... unless it's huge. Either way, this will certainly level the playing field when it comes to pricing.

Manufactures will get to fool around with these buggers starting in June.