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Nic Rossmüller : May 27th 2006 - 00:43 CET

InvenSense Camera Phone Image Stabilization

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InvensenseInvenSense Camera Phone Image Stabilization : InvenSense, the leading provider of motion sensing solutions for mobile applications, today announced it is addressing image quality problems in the high-growth camera phone market with its miniature image stabilization system, due out in the second half of this year. Global camera phone sales are skyrocketing, and are projected to be the common capture device in the world within a few years. Gartner Group estimates that over nearly 300 million camera phones were shipped in 2005, while Infotrends/CAP Ventures projects that number to reach one billion units by 2010. However, the market has a major hurdle to overcome. Especially when jitter is magnified by autofocus and zoom features.
InvenSense Camera Phone Image StabilizationInfoTrends - Image stabilization
Consumers accustomed to digital still cameras (DSCs) are dissatisfied with camera phone image quality, which suffers from blurring caused by natural hand jitter. According to InfoTrends/CAP Ventures, the result is only half as many photos taken as with DSCs; only one fifth the number of images printed; and little wireless sharing of photos. The challenge is that while DSCs have room to integrate image stabilization systems, camera phone circuitry is tightly packed, requiring tiny and inexpensive components. Up until now there have been no image stabilization systems small enough or cost effective enough to deploy in handsets.

Inteminds LLC study - Improved image quality
The financial stakes are high. Service providers have a unique opportunity to differentiate themselves with new capabilities. These providers, as well as image processing businesses (printing and storing services, printer makers, imaging software developers), have so far been unable to capitalize on the rapid growth of the camera phone market. Yet at the same time, a 2005 study by Interminds LLC found that 50 percent of camera phone users would increase wireless image sharing with access to improved image quality, that 40 percent would pay more per month for their wireless plan to include automated image correction, and that 63 percent of owners would consider changing carriers to gain access to automated image correction features.

InvenSense - Smallest dual-axis gyroscope
InvenSense has created the world's smallest dual-axis gyroscope, which answers the camera phone industry need to accurately sense natural hand jitter. As a single-chip silicon device based on MEMS technology, InvenSense's solution is over 5 times smaller than the smallest competing devices that typically use an older piezo-type technology, enabling the InvenSense product to fit into any camera phone. Proprietary wafer-level integration allows the gyroscope to meet the high-performance requirements for image stabilization applications while meeting the strict size and cost requirements of mobile handset manufacturers.

Scott Smyser about camera resolution
"The resolution of the camera phones continues to increase every year, with 1 mega pixel representing the majority of camera phone shipments this year, and 4 mega pixels forecasted to represent the majority of shipments in 2010," said Scott Smyser, director and principal analyst for Communications and Consumer Electronics at iSuppli, an El Segundo, Calif.-based market research firm. "However, while resolution of camera phones continues to increase, other technical necessities for better image quality, such as image stabilization, continue to be overlooked. Adding image stabilization to camera phones will help the usage of camera phones further."

Steve Nasiri about 3 and 5 Megapixel image sensors
"With the introduction of 3- and 5-mega pixel image sensors by all major sensor providers and the eagerness of handset makers to introduce new features that differentiate their products, image stabilization has taken a front seat. A number of camera module makers are trying hard to offer solutions in the coming months," said Steve Nasiri, president and chief executive officer of InvenSense. "The one key obstacle has been the lack of a tiny, high-performance and low-cost gyroscope suitable for sensing hand motion. InvenSense's IDG-1000 product family offers an integrated dual-axis gyro solution that can overcome these challenges for module makers." The company is ramping production of its dual-axis gyro products for the digital still camera market with volume shipments for autumn 2006 models, and is sampling image stabilization devices for camera module makers.

About InvenSense
InvenSense is the leading provider of motion sensing solutions for mobile applications. The company's motion sensing technology addresses emerging mass-market applications such as image stabilization, mobile navigation, location-based services and smart user interfaces that use hand motion and gesture-based commands. InvenSense obtained series A funding of $8 million from leading Silicon Valley venture firms in 2004. InvenSense's corporate offices are located in Santa Clara, Calif.

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