updated 10:10 am EDT, Tue August 25, 2009
OmniVision OV2710 1080p
OmniVision today unveiled a new sensor that could make 1080p video capture widespread in mobile devices for the near future. The OV2710 can record the HD resolution at 30 frames per second but is notable for using a 2-megapixel sensor that matches the video format. As a result, a device with the sensor doesn't need the expense and image cropping of a larger sensor and gets better performance in low light and with reduced noise. Through this and using a CMOS sensor instead of CCD, a small camera can still be usable in light levels "well below" 15 lux, or lighting closer to what would be expected in a poorly-lit room.
If scaled back, the sensor can also record 720p up to 60 frames per second and standard definition (640x480) at 120 frames per second. Designed to be small, the OV2710 is compact enough that OmniVision expects the sensor to be used not only in camcorders but also webcams in notebooks and the cameras on cellphones and smartphones.
Volume production starts in September. Although OmniVision is known to be an iPhone 3GS supplier, it's unknown if Apple or other major manufacturers are likely to use the OV2710 in the near future.