OmniVision Technologies, a leader in digital imaging solutions has announced at MWC 2010 that they have created the world’s first mobile-centric image sensor that’s capable of shooting RAW pictures. The very small 0.25-inch Omnivision OV5647 is revolutionary in the sense that only expensive Digital SLR cameras are capable of capturing pictures in RAW format. All of the existing phones and PDAs right now are only able to take pictures in the compressed JPEG format. The advent of high-capacity memory cards for smart phones and PDAs is greatly compatible with OmniVision’s OV5647 image sensors. RAW pictures when stored eats up to 10x more file size but since it is uncompressed, mobile gadgets can finally capture true high-resolution photos! OmniVision is betting huge on the rising popularity of smart phones and this RAW-capable OV5647 certainly offers a feature that no other existing image sensors in the market has at the moment.
The Omnivision OV5647 is an affordable 5-megapixel RAW CMOS image sensor based on OmniVision’s 1.4-micron OmniBSI backside illumination (BSI) technology. OmniVision’s 1.4-micron OmniBSI pixel was declared best-in-class in low light sensitivity (680-mV/lux-sec), it has very low profile z-height and a small footprint, making it perfect for the tiny camera modules built on mobile phones and other handheld computers. The addition of RAW file saving makes it a compelling buy for smart phone makers interested in offering DLSR-like photo shooting for their products.
Furthermore, the advanced pixel performance of the OV5647 makes it proficient in shooting 720p High-Definition video at 60 frames per second (fps) and 1080p HD video at 30 fps. It accomplishes this with total user control over formatting and output data transfer. The HD video is captured in complete field of view with 2 x 2 binning — it doubles the lens sensitivity and improves the signal-to-noise ratio. Additionally, a post-binning re-sampling filter option exclusive to the OV5647 eliminates image artifacts around edges and reduces spatial artifacts to deliver sharper, crisper color images!