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SoC image sensor
Ilse Jurriën : February 17th 2007 - 03:36 CET
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DxO LabsDepth-of-Field SoC image sensor : MagnaChip and DxO Labs announced that they have jointly developed and are sampling a new breakthrough 3.2 megapixel SoC (System-on-a-chip) image sensor, the MC531EA, featuring DxO Digital Optics Digital Auto-Focus (DAF) Extended Depth-of-Field (EDoF) Priority, a revolutionary embedded imaging technology that eliminates the need for a physical auto-focus in camera phones. More specifically, this new generation of MagnaChip SoC sensor features full auto-focus functionality without any motor or moving parts, enabling a camera module merely equipped with fixed lens optics to deliver sharp images from the foreground through the background.
SoC image sensorMagnaChip CMOS image sensor
MagnaChip’s MC531EA part is a 1/3.2” optical format 3.2 megapixel CMOS sensor with integrated advanced image processing and compression, one time programmable, non-volatile memory enabling unique module serialization and calibration, a complete ISP, as well as other camera functions. The MC531EA additionally features an on-board ARM7TDMI core that allows custom programmed algorithms for auto-function control.

Digital Auto-Focus Depth-of-Fiel Priority
Digital Auto-Focus (DAF) Extended Depth-of-Field (EDoF) Priority is just one of the implementations enabled by DxO Digital Optics technology, which is based on a unique co-design of optics and image signal processing. For camera phone vendors, DxO Digital Optics DAF EDoF technology is a more efficient alternative to traditional mechanical actuator-based auto-focus: it acts instantaneously, drastically shrinks module size, significantly reduces power consumption, and contributes to substantial cost reduction while providing better image quality even in very low light conditions.

DxO Digital Optics technology - Camera modules
Lenses and camera modules using DxO Digital Optics technology are manufactured with standard low cost material and standard equipment and processes, all of which are currently available. This ability to meet the demand from existing camera module factories is key to fast market adoption, since it allows camera phone vendors to source components from their already referenced suppliers.

MagnaChip MC531EA - SoC image sensor
Jason Hartlove, General Manager of MagnaChip Imaging Solutions Division said, “Implementation of DxO Digital Optics in our new generation of sensors is ideally timed to meet the increasing demand from camera phone vendors for this technology. The MC531EA is at the forefront of a product family that will bring unprecedented cost reduction and outstanding image quality performance for high-end camera phones. Coupling DxO’s unique DAF EDoF capabilities with a full fledged ISP were a major technical challenge, and we are pleased to bring to the market the very first validated solution.”

DxO - Image sensor industry
“We are very excited to work with MagnaChip on DxO Digital Optics enabled products,” says Jerome Meniere, CEO of DxO. “MagnaChip has taken the lead in driving the intelligent image sensor industry to a new frontier, and we are honoured to be one of the company’s key strategic partners.”

About MagnaChip Semiconductor
MagnaChip Semiconductor is a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of mixed-signal and digital multimedia semiconductors addressing the convergence of consumer electronics and communications devices. We focus on CMOS image sensors and flat panel display drivers, which are complex, high performance, mixed signal semiconductors that capture images and enable and enhance the features and capabilities of both small and large flat panel displays. MagnaChip also provides wafer foundry services utilizing CMOS high voltage, embedded memory, analog and power process technologies for the manufacture of IC's for customer-owned designs. MagnaChip has world-class manufacturing capabilities and an extensive portfolio of approximately 8,500 registered and pending patents. As a result, MagnaChip is a valued partner in providing leading technology solutions to its customers worldwide.

About DxO Labs and DxO Labs Technology
DxO Labs supplies products and solutions that ensure excellence in digital imaging. DxO Labs develops and licenses intellectual property serving the entire digital imaging chain: licensing of optics and silicon architectures for embedded still and video image processing; image quality evaluation and measurement tools and methodologies; and image quality enhancement software for consumers. The company’s key customers and partners include:
• Consumer Electronics Manufacturers such as digital camera and cameraphone vendors
• Imaging components suppliers: camera module manufacturers, sensor and processor vendors
• Demanding photographers, as well as photography journalists and imaging experts

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