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OmniVision Technologies has released details of its OmniStar Cam, a miniature camera module targeted at 2 Gigahertz, 2.5G and 3G mobile phones.

OmniVision Technologies has announced its OmniStar Cam, a miniature camera module targeted at 2 Gigahertz, 2.5G and 3G mobile phones and other portable digital devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs).

The new camera module, based on OmniVision’s OV6645 CMOS image sensor operates on 3V and has a CIF (352×288) resolution. The 24-lead, LCC-packaged camera chip is enclosed along with a lens in a small 12mm x 12mm x 7mm plastic housing.

The entire assembly is mounted on a small flexible circuit that provides a 20-pin, 0.5mm pitch interconnect enabling the use of industry-standard flex circuit connectors. The flex circuit’s length and shape can be tailored to meet specific requirements of high volume users.

The housing and flex circuit are completely shielded from local sources of electro-magnetic interference (EMI) that are commonly encountered in mobile phone handsets. The shielding also protects the cell phones’ sensitive receiver circuits from interference that could be generated by the digital camera.

Image/video processing and encoding is done on-chip in the analog domain, reducing the power required for operation. Current consumption is listed at 45 milliwatts. Standby current is rated at less than ten microamps.

Other on-chip circuits include automatic white balance, automatic gain control and automatic exposure control. If needed, the module offers built-in sub-sampling down to QCIF (176×144) resolution.

While the standard digital colour output is in the YUV 422 color space, YCrCb and raw RGB data is available by simple chip programming over a two-wire serial control interface. The same serial control interface allows the designer control over chip operation, including output configuration, and control of image parameters such as contrast, saturation and hue.

Samples of the production version are now available to qualified OEMs. Volume production is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2001. Also available is a USB-based evaluation platform that interfaces directly to the new module using a flex circuit connector.

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