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New camera phone processor announced
Mark Peters : May 6th 2008 - 10:14 CET
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Silicon ImageNew camera phone processor announced : Silicon Image, a manufacturer in semiconductors for the secure storage, distribution and presentation of high-definition content, announced the availability of its 12 megapixel (MP) camera processor IP core for integration into system-on-a-chip (SoC) semiconductors. This technology delivers professional picture quality and advanced camera functionality once only found in digital still cameras (DSCs), but now conveniently integrated into mobile camera phones, digital cameras, portable multimedia players (PMPs), ultra mobile PCs (UMPCs) and security cameras. Versions of this technology have already been licensed by five of the world's leading mobile phone SoC suppliers.
New Camera Phone

12 Megapixel camera phone processor
Until now, mobile devices had fewer features and lower picture quality than available in standalone cameras. With the release of Silicon Image's 12MP camera processor IP core, users of mobile devices can now experience imaging with the highest resolution and color quality from small form factor mobile devices. The 12MP version is the latest addition to Silicon Image's family of sophisticated low-power camera processor IP cores which includes 2, 3, 5 and 8MP resolutions. In addition to JPEG encoding and image scaling, the image signal processor supports the following features:

- Continuous digital zoom
- Auto exposure
- Autofocus
- Lens shade correction
- Chromatic aberration correction
- Bad pixel detection and correction
- Image stabilization

Camera phone processor
"Our latest 12 Megapixel camera processor design reinforces our market position in high-quality, low-power camera processors for mobile implementations," said Ron Richter, director of IP products at Silicon Image. "Our experience with delivering high-performance, low gate-count and CMOS sensor flexibility for SoC solutions enable our customers to maintain and grow their market presence. Today's reality is people can have the high image quality in a very small form factor."

High quality photo camera
Benefits of the 12MP camera IP core design include a lower gate count, a smaller die size requiring less space on a baseband processor, faster picture processing and compatibility with any complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensor as well as reduced power consumption. The camera processor is designed to accommodate any CMOS sensor by allowing the SoC or device manufacturers to utilize Silicon Image's tools to generate software loadable parameters, ensuring high image quality and eliminating the need for hardware redesign. This is important to developers designing today's mobile cell phones and looking to develop a single SoC design which can be used with CMOS sensors from multiple suppliers.

Professional photo quality
For baseband and SoC manufacturers, the 12MP camera IP core is readily incorporated into new and existing chip designs and works with a full camera feature set, in addition to supporting popular mobile interfaces including the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI). Manufacturers can seamlessly integrate this technology into any mobile device with a camera lens and CMOS sensor to take both still and moving pictures at a rate of up to 30 frames per second. This ensures a professional quality image with every click.

Competing software based camera solutions
Silicon Image's unique camera processor design incorporates image signal processing, post processing and image compression in several efficient hardware blocks, requiring little software support. Compared to competing software based camera solutions, only about one million instructions per second (MIPS) in software processing is required to process each image, resulting in no noticeable wait time between pictures. In addition to high-quality, low-power camera processors for mobile device implementation, Silicon Image provides low-power HDMI Transmitter IP cores for use in mobile phones, portable multimedia players, high-definition digital camcorders security SoCs.

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