updated 11:00 am EDT, Mon June 7, 2010
OmniVision OV5640 sensor does 1080p in smartphones
OmniVision had unusual timing today as it launched a new 5-megapixel camera sensor designed with smartphones in mind. The OV5640 is a full system-on-a-chip that combines the sensor and processing hardware in a footprint small enough for a thin phone; at a third of an inch wide and 0.2 inches thick, it can fit into tight areas. Even with the smaller size, the sensor can still handle up to 1080p at a full 30FPS as well as 720p at up to 60FPS.
Regardless of whether it shoots moving or still images, the sensor has its own built-in image stabilization and support for automatic control over common image settings like exposure and white balance.
The company is already delivering production samples of the OV5640 and expects full-scale production to start in the second half of the year. Customers haven't been named, but Apple is one of OmniVision's regular customers and uses their sensors in current iPhones. Whether or not it will be used for the next iPhone isn't known: Apple is expected to have a 5-megapixel camera but may be using an earlier sensor instead.