Will this sensor power your next smartphone's camera?

OmniVision's slimmed-down 8-megapixel OV8850 sensor promises to bring full HD video capture with image stabilization to next-gen smartphones and tablets.


OmniVision, a major manufacturer of mobile device imaging sensors (including the iPhone 4's), moves forward in the CMOS sensor pixel design race for smartphones with the 1/4-inch type OV8850 8-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor. (I bet you didn't even know there was a race.)

Without getting too technical, the sensor has a smaller footprint and uses a smaller 1.1-micron pixel, branded OmniBSI-2. The former allows for smaller devices while the latter improves power efficiency, but still provides similar image quality to the company's first-gen 1.4-micron OmniBSI pixel.

The OV8850 supports 8- and 10-bit raw image output and features lens shading correction, defective pixel canceling, black sun elimination, and alternate row exposure for high dynamic range (HDR) video and still image capture. But what's probably important to most of you is this thing's video capabilities.

OmniVision says it can do full HD at 30 frames per second with electronic image stabilization and, thanks to 2x2 binning functionality, 720p/60 HD video recording with EIS. The faster frame rate helps smooth motion when shooting moving subjects.

The sensor is expected to go into mass production the first quarter of 2012. You can read more about the sensor on OmniVision's site.

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