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Mark Peters : September 28th 2005 - 23:10 CET

OmniPixel2 architecture brings higher resolutions

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OmniVisionOmniPixel2 architecture brings higher resolutions : OmniVision Technologies today unveiled its new OmniPixel2 architecture. OmniPixel2's pixel size of just 2.2 x 2.2 microns is less than half the size of the first generation OmniPixel structures, and represents one of the industry's smallest pixel sizes commercially available. OmniVision OmniPixel2 also features three major new process and technology developments on both the sensor and system level, enabling better performance per area and a further reduction in overall sensor size. In a separate announcement today, OmniVision also introduced the OV3630 chip, its first 3 megapixel CameraChip designed for mobile applications and based on the new OmniPixel2 architecture.
OmniPixel2 architecture brings higher resolutionsHigh resolution camera phones
"With OmniPixel2 already sampling at major customers through our new OV3630, we believe that our 2.2 micron pixel is among the first commercially available, giving OmniVision and its partners a direct competitive advantage, especially in the camera phone market," said Jess Lee, Vice President of the Mainstream Products Business Unit at OmniVision. "We strive to keep our customers highly competitive. Earlier this year we brought 1.3 megapixel image sensors into the mainstream camera phone market. We expect that OmniPixel2 will allow OmniVision to move even higher resolutions into the mainstream, enabling our customers to introduce compact, high resolution camera phones."

OmniVision Technologies - OmniPixel2 sensors
To increase the pixel density within a compact sensor size and to maximize the performance of the smaller pixel, OmniPixel2 features three major technology developments:
First is the research activity that resulted in a proprietary new process and innovative pixel design. This allowed an increase in the fill factor of 40 percent along with more vibrant and truer-to-life color reproduction. Second, OmniPixel2 sensors are designed with a zero-gap micro-lens, eliminating the space between the lenses that are placed over each pixel, thus more efficiently directing the light to the pixel's active area. This allows the pixels to capture over 20 percent more light and therefore make more effective use of the smaller pixel's active area.

OmniPixel2 architecture
Third, the OmniPixel2 architecture brings significant improvements to the pixel's dynamic range through higher quantum efficiency and improved full well capacity. The quantum efficiency, which measures how effectively pixels convert the captured photons to electrons, was improved through OmniVision's new proprietary 0.13 micron process. These process improvements, designed to optimize image performance, also give rise to a further increased full well capacity, which means that OmniPixel2 has even better full well capacity than its larger 3.18-micron predecessor. Combined, these improvements are the key to the new sensors' higher dynamic range, which measures performance in extreme bright or dark conditions.

Pioneers in CMOS imaging
"OmniVision was one of the early pioneers in CMOS imaging," Lee commented, "and we are leading the way with the introduction of OmniPixel2. This enables our customers to develop the smallest, most competitive high-resolution camera solutions. Today, we also launched the 3 megapixel (OV3630) camera chip - the first in a full range of OmniPixel2 products that OmniVision will release in the coming months."

About OmniVision Technologies
OmniVision Technologies, Inc. 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 the website of OmniVision.

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