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Omnivision Technologies has introduced a 1/6in, native 1,080p/30 high-definition (HD) CMOS image sensor designed for notebook, netbook, webcam and video conferencing applications.

Based on Omnivision’s 1.4-micron OmniBSI backside illumination technology, the OV2720 sensor delivers video-conference-quality HD video recording in a small enough form factor to meet the module size and height requirements of today’s thin notebook designs.

The OV2720 is currently sampling with multiple tier-one customers and is slated to go into mass production in June 2010.

Brian O’Rourke, principal analyst at In-Stat, said: ‘Increased broadband capability, inexpensive high-quality image sensors and the increasing availability of high-quality external and embedded PC web cameras will drive both consumer and business video conferencing.

‘In 2010, we expect more than 70 per cent of mobile PCs to ship with embedded cameras, and the availability of sensors such as Omnivision’s OV2720 will make HD video conferencing more popular in the notebook and netbook PC segments,’ he added.

According to Nick Nam, product marketing manager at Omnivision, display formats are moving to a 16 x 9 aspect ratio, television broadcast is embracing HD and social media platforms such as Youtube and Facebook are supporting HD.

The OV2720, he added, addresses the growing demand for the HD video-enabled devices of the Youtube generation.

Native HD enables full field-of-view video with optimised image quality, sensitivity, colour reproduction and clarity because no scaling or cropping is required to achieve HD resolution.

The 1.4-micron OmniBSI pixel achieves a low light sensitivity of 680mV/lux-sec, while enabling extremely thin modules with a Z height of 3.5mm.

The device can use binning to further increase its low light performance to double that of similar-sized VGA sensors.

The OV2720’s low light performance and slim form factor combine to make it suitable for tier-one notebook manufacturers.

The CMOS image sensor supports multiple platform architectures and controllers with both parallel and MIPI interfaces.

It allows system designers to leverage the same opto-electrical design across various products and multiple market segments to reduce product development time.

Exposure control, white balance and defective pixel cancelling are programmable through the serial camera control bus interface.

The OV2720 uses proprietary sensor technology to improve image quality, according to the company.

By reducing or eliminating common lighting or electrical sources of image contamination, such as fixed pattern noise and smearing, the sensor can generate a clean, fully stable colour image.

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