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CES 2022: Omnivison now more than just image sensors

05 January 2022
A 200-megapixel image sensor will provide a similar resolution to that of digital still cameras but in smartphones. Source: Omnivision

Omnivision Technologies Inc. has long been a developer of image sensors for a variety of markets from mobile devices to automotive cameras. However, the company is now expanding into new markets with analog solutions and touch and display technologies.

At CES 2022, the company is introducing several new devices to the market that scans its six core markets: automotive, medical, security, computing, mobile and emerging technologies.

“We have commonly been known as an image sensor company, but we are also heading in new directions with analog and touch displays,” said Michael Wu, global sales and marketing at Omnivision.

The company is also adding new R&D locations including one in Irvine, California, and Mechelen, Belgium, to expand its global presence.

The company has announced four new devices at CES this week including:

  • OVB0B — What the company claims is the first 200 megapixel resolution image sensor based on 0.61 micron pixel size for smartphones.
  • OX05B — The first 5 megapixel RGB-IR global shutter sensor for in-cabin monitoring systems.
  • OX03D — The first 3 megapixel resolution system-on-chip for automotive cameras.
  • TD4377 — A full HD 144 Hz touch and display driver for next-generation smartphones.

Currently, no smartphone has a camera anywhere close to 200 megapixel in resolution, but Omnivision said 2022 might see the first. Source: OmnivisionCurrently, no smartphone has a camera anywhere close to 200 megapixel in resolution, but Omnivision said 2022 might see the first. Source: Omnivision

Cabin monitoring

Wu said the in-cabin monitoring sensor enables simultaneous driver and occupant monitoring that works in the day or the night. It reduces two sensors to one.

“If the driver is not paying attention to the road or if they are too tired, this sensor will alert the driver or in the future take over for the driver to keep everyone safe,” Wu said.

The OX05B will be used in what Omnivision claims will be the first ASIC with integrated ISP and Occula NPU in a new partnership with Seeing Machines for driver and occupant driver monitoring systems.

Seeing Machines is a software company that needed algorithms to test driver behavior but needed hardware to deliver the feature. Previously, the company used a field programmable gate array (FPGA) but now they are developing an ASIC by Omnivision.

Smartphones and cars

The OVB0B sensor for smartphones is for high-end smartphones and might be the killer image sensor that eliminates the need for digital still cameras. While the 200 megapixel resolution is a big step up from current cameras, Wu believes the market might see some phones with this sensor in the second half of the year.

The OX03D sensor is the first to offer tone mapping and LED flicker mitigation for surround view and rear-view cameras, Wu said. Previously, quarter-inch cameras could only do low resolution, so this is a step up for future vehicles.

CES 2022 takes place January 5-8 in Las Vegas.

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