A number of chip makers have already started stocking parts intended to be used in production of Apple's next-generation iPhone, according to industry sources for DigiTimes. Qualcomm and Broadcom are said to be producing 4G and Wi-Fi chips using a 28nm process at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. OmniVision is also said to be hunting for production at TSMC's 12-inch fab, contributing to limited production capacity. OmniVision specializes in camera components, and has supplied cameras for Apple handhelds in the past.
Chipworks shows familiar parts in new iPad
The new iPad is borrowing familiar parts and suppliers to reach its goals, Chipworks and UBM TechInsights found separately in new examinations on Friday. Apple's back camera is using the OmniVision OV5650, the same five-megapixel CMOS sensor used in the iPhone 4. Any improvements in image quality come mostly from the lens elements, which come from the more recent iPhone 4S.
OmniVision hints big mobile camera wins for 2012
OmniVision might have given hints as to plans for one or more mobile companies after a rebound in the winter. Its revenue was down to $185.2 million from $265.7 million a year earlier, but it had unexpectedly beaten outside targets that were nearly $10 million lower. Expectations for the spring were considerably higher than both what it achieved in the winter and what analysts were expecting, with a target of between $195 million to $215 million instead of a previously predicted decline.
OmniVision OV9724 improves 720p mobile cameras
OmniVision on Thursday brought out a new 720p camera sensor tailored just towards shrinking the size of camera-equipped mobile devices. Its OV9724 uses the compan's most recent 1.4-micron, backside-illuminated pixels to make a dense sensor just slightly under 0.1 inches thick. A smallert option, the OVM9724, is available for tablets or ultralight notebooks where the thinness is the same but the overall footprint is more important again.
OmniVision accused of hurting shareholders
Law firm Milberg has revealed several proposed class action lawsuits against camera sensor maker OmniVision over the iPhone 4S. They accuse OmniVision of keeping secret news that it had lost a camera sensor deal for Apple's phone to Sony. Publicly, it had only vaguely hinted at the loss, leading to both a steep drop in share price then and a second crash after teardowns on the iPhone's October 14 launch revealed that OmniVision had lost at least some of Apple's business.
OmniVision hints phone or tablet customer loss
OmniVision raised questions about future smartphones and tablets after it dropped its guidance for its just-finished quarter. It now expected to make $212 million to $217 million in revenue instead of the $255 million to $275 million it predicted in August. An "unexpected cutback" in orders for camera sensors for "certain key projects" was sparking the shortfall, the company said.
iPhone 4S look shows switch in camera suppliers
A deeper investigation into the iPhone 4S' camera has confirmed Sir Howard Stringer's claim that Sony was supplying next-generation iPhone cameras. Chipworks used an infrared microscope to check the normally hidden chip markings and found a conspicuous "Sony" on the image sensor. X-rays also show that the sensor layout itself is different and that it's not just a direct upgrade to the earlier OmniVision sensor.
Sources hint at RAM, display identical to iPhone 4
The only next-generation iPhone in production is a mild upgrade known as model N94, sometimes nicknamed the iPhone 4S, says Concord Securites' Ming-Chi Kuo. Based on sources, the analyst suggests that there are no signs of a redesigned iPhone 5 in Apple's supply chain. He moreover claims that the new phone will continue to use 512MB of RAM and a 3.5-inch display, despite repeated reports of a larger LCD measuring at least 3.7 inches. Kuo adds that the camera module's height should be almost the same as the iPhone 4's; Sony alleged started shipping sensors to Apple manufacturers in July, and help from OmniVision is expected to come in September or October.
OmniVision outlook hints Apple supplier switch
OmniVision may have lent support to hints that Sony is making iPhone cameras. The sensor company was expecting its revenue for the fall to drop compared to the summer to between $255 million and $275 million, considerably below the $306 million average that industry analysts had been expecting. No context was given for the prediction.
OmniVision intros OV5680 sensor for 1080p phones
Launching its second mobile camera sensor this week, OmniVision brought out a new model focused heavily on smartphone video. Its OV5680 shoots stills at a pedestrian five megapixels but is more powerful for movies: it can capture 1080p at 30 frames per second using the full frame, using a scaler that both cuts out lag and allows software-based stabilization. Pixel-binning also lets it capture 720p at 60 frames per second or half of a 3D picture when combined with another sensor.
OmniVision OV9770 may be bound for Apple gear
OmniVision might have given a clue as to Apple's mobile plans for the near future. The OV9770 is still designed to exactly fit a 720p widescreen resolution but uses the same new-generation sensor technology as much larger sensors like the OV8850. The upgrade gives it about 20 percent better performance in low light and improves the sensor's overall color quality and noise levels.
OmniVision OV8850 caters to thin phones, tablets
OmniVision brought out a new camera sensor on Thursday that it hoped would lead to even thinner phones and tablets as well as better photo quality at the same time. Its OV8850 still shoots at the now common eight megapixels but, as the first from the company to shrink pixels down to 1.1 microns, gets a much reduced size. The autofocus elements are about 20 percent thinner and lead to a design just 4.7mm (0.19in) thick, or good enough for 'ultra-slim' devices.
Shimoon pleads guilty to slipping iPad info
One-time Flextronics development head Walter Shimoon on Tuesday pled guilty to leaking iPad trade secrets and others. In return for a lighter penalty, the former executive admitted to passing along information about Apple's plans to at least Broadband Research and is believed to have sent on information to a minimum of ten other hedge funds. Shimoon will be convicted of conspiracy and securities fraud but won't learn his exact sentence until 2013.
iPhone 5 may upgrade to dual LED flashes
Apple's commitment to the iPhone as a camera phone might have grown as a rumor late Wednesday said it might jump to a dual LED flash. Edison Opto, Everlight Electronics, and Lite-On have all been raised as possible candidates. Both Edison and Lite-On have been stepping up their shipments of LED flashes to major phone designers, Digitimes heard, making them ideal candidates.
iPhone 5 hits AP testing stage
New details reportedly emerging Monday have the next iPhone at the very last stage before production. The new design is supposedly at the AP stage, the very last stage at which the hardware is production-ready and good enough for both Apple and carrier executives to use as secret day-to-day models. The 9to5Mac tip lined up with talk of production starting in July followed by a release in September.
Largan hints 8MP camera plans for iPhone
Largan Precision in a shareholder meeting Thursday gave more official hints that it was supplying eight-megapixel iPhone cameras. CEO Lin En-ping said that camera lens orders had been increasing to a number of Largan's clients, including Apple, HTC, Nokia, and RIM. Most were upgrading from five to eight megapixels, so those later orders were growing faster, he said.
OmniVision still mostly in charge for iPhone 5 cam
Talk of Sony pitching in to make eight-megapixel cameras for the iPhone 5 was at once validated and upturned by purported details from the supply chain. OmniVision would still make the CMOS-based sensor and would be responsible for 90 percent of production, but 10 percent would come from Sony. The orders Digitimes was told about would be large enough that OmniVision's contract chip manufacturer, the already large TSMC, would be boosting its wafer production by 40 percent between spring and summer.
OmniVision alludes to Apple, maybe Nintendo deals
OmniVision in its quarterly results call Thursday night dropped clues as to its possible iPhone production plans as well as a key console deal. The camera sensor maker said it was transitioning much of its smartphone work to eight-megapixel sensors and was seeing strong orders from "key customers in the smartphone market" for the next few months ahead. It also clarified plans for its next-generation eight-megapixel sensor, the OV8830; it planned to ship the sensor to "premier brand name" smartphone creators when it was ready in the second half of the year.
OmniVision OV5690 5MP camera to help slim tablets
OmniVision gave hope for a major improvement to the iPad and other thin tablets with a new camera sensor designed with them in mind. The OV5690 is its first five-megapixel camera using its second-generation backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and manages to get low light performance while measuring 20 percent thinner than the company's older sensor. Its camera would help with "slimmer tablets" along with smartphones, OmniVision said.
Apple shifts from iPhone 4 to 4S as LTE ruled out
Insiders claimed Wednesday that the absence of LTE on the next iPhone, widely thought of now as the iPhone 4S, was owed to one manufacturer. Qualcomm is reportedly having problems getting sufficient chip yields for the part Apple would want and thus not enough for production. As most have been predicting, Apple was deemed likely by Digitimes' sources to be pushing a 4G iPhone to 2012.
Production slated to begin in third quarter
The iPhone 5 should begin production in the third quarter, and have two key enhancements over the iPhone 4, industry contacts tell FBR Capital Markets. The first is that the device will use an 8 megapixel camera, based on a CMOS sensor supplied by OmniVision. Sony could be a backup provider, FBR says, in spite of skepticism from other analysts. The company is among other things allegedly unable to produce as many parts as OmniVision.
iPhone 4S camera parts support separate flash
A case manufacturer's claims that the next iPhone would have redesigned cameras was supported late Saturday with a new sighting. Coming once more from a California source for Apple.pro, the shot shows what's described as "iPhone 5" camera parts but visibly different than what's available today. The rear camera's part is the most telling as it no longer has a flash directly attached to the sensor and reinforced a new claim that the flash would be at the opposite top corner.
Lazard says OmniVision still iPhone camera maker
Lazard Capital Markets analyst Daniel Amir on Tuesday told investors that he didn't expect Apple to turn to Sony for iPhone cameras. He still believed OmniVision, the long-time camera sensor maker for Apple, had a "significant" opportunity with its Apple deal. The firm was unique in scaling from the very low end to advanced cameras and still had one of the best backside-illuminated camera sensors in its BSI-2-based chips.
OmniVision OV12825 brings 12.6MP to phones
OmniVision chose Thursday to show a new camera sensor destined for high-end smartphones. The OV12825 packs 12.6 megapixels but also is fast enough to push high quality video. It can not only record 1080p video at 60 frames per second but has enough pixel and performance headroom to use pixel-shift image stabilization.
OmniVision seen as likely to maintain grip
OmniVision will get a lock on supplying cameras for the iPhone 5, not Sony, two analysts claim. Needham's Rajvindra Gill insists that people have "grossly misinterpreted" comments by Sony head Howard Stringer, who let slip that shipments of camera sensors to Apple would be delayed. Apple currently relies on OmniVision for iPhone camera sensors.
Sony CEO accidentally backs iPhone 5 camera plans
Sony chief Sir Howard Stringer may have unintentionally given away plans for an eight-megapixel camera in the iPhone 5. During an interview with the WSJ's Walt Mossberg, he claimed that the company's camera sensor plant in Sendai had seen hit by the Japanese earthquake and that shipments of sensors to Apple would be delayed. Apple has so far only sourced cameras from OmniVision, suggesting that Sony was shipping for a future model.
OmniVision may not have 8MP cam in time for iPhone
OmniVision shares were shaken on Wednesday after unofficial supplier checks by Baird analyst Tristan Gerra suggested it might lose out on supplying cameras for the iPhone 5. An eight-megapixel sensor rumored for Apple's smartphone, most likely the OV8820, "may not be ready" for the mid-summer launch. Sony may have to step in and could have "all" of at least the first wave of orders, Gerra said.
OmniVision OV8830 may give iPhone 5 low-light cam
OmniVision this morning quietly detailed a new sensor that might be an ideal fit for an upgraded iPhone. The OV8830 shoots at eight megapixels but with a next-generation version of its backside-illuminated CMOS sensor. The revamp has 35 percent better sensitivity to low light and also has overall improved color and noise reduction.
OmniVision OV10810 10MP camera phone sensor at CES
OmniVision at CES this year brought out a new camera sensor that could give smartphones and point-and-shoots previously unheard of performance. The 10-megapixel OV10810 can shoot burst photos at its full resolution up to 30 frames per second, even while it uses the footage to create 1080p video. It has a unique 16:9 aspect ratio that keeps the video uncropped while still supplying the full quality for stills.
OmniVision OV8820 gives 8MP CMOS to smartphones
OmniVision this morning unveiled a new camera sensor that could improve the image quality for the iPhone and other smartphones. The OV8820 upgrades to an eight-megapixel, CMOS-based sensor that can capture well in low light and boasts electronic stabilization to minimize shake. Video is now more of a focus as well, Omnivision said: it can record at 1080p30 or 720p60 with hardware scaling and a minimum amount of the "tower of jello" rolling shutter effect that can creep up in this format.
Report argues for front- and rear-facing cameras
OmniVision has been picked to supply CMOS image sensors for the next-generation iPad, expected to launch in the first quarter of next year, claims research firm Detweiler Fenton. OmniVision specializes in CMOS technology, and has supplied equipment for Apple in the past, including the sensors in iPhones like the iPhone 4. Recent rumors hinted that some of the company's Apple business might be going to Sony instead.
Sony 16MP cameraphone sensor due in months
Sony tonight unveiled camera sensors that it says could overcome many of the traditional barriers for phone cameras. The 16.41-megapixel IMX081PQ is Sony's first Exmor R-based CMOS sensor for a phone and uses the back-illuminated sensor to cut back significantly on noise. A unique photo diode positioning has let Sony achieve high image quality even with photo cells as small as 1.13 micrometers.
OmniVision OV9740 gives 720p to notebooks, phones
OmniVision today put out a rare camera sensor and processor combo tailored just to video. The OV9740's CMOS sensor has a 720p maximum resolution but processes the entire photo or video on the chip itself, simplifying the work needed with the final shot. The design is also very sensitive to low light and thin at just 3.2mm (0.13in).
Other analysts shed doubt on rumors
OmniVision shares slipped on Monday as unconfirmed rumors suggest the company has lost part of its Apple business to rival component maker Sony. The rumors appear to be related to camera sensors in the next version of the iPhone.
OmniVision VGA webcam seemingly Apple friendly
OmniVision today unveiled a new webcam sensor aimed at notebooks and tablets with very thin displays. The OV7727 shoots at just a VGA (640x480) resolution but uses the same backside illumination as larger phone and dedicated camera sensors. Moving to the format keeps it slim enough to fit alongside displays measuring just 2mm (0.08in) deep without sacrificing image quality.
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.
Mass production expected to begin in June
OmniVision has unveiled its latest electronic component, the OV2720 image sensor with support for 1080p video. The compact design is claimed to be the first 1/6-inch, native 1080p/30fps CMOS sensor capable of fitting into the thin housings of netbook lids, netbooks, or other video conferencing devices.
2010 iPhone leans more on parts from Taiwan
Apple has switched up the suppliers in use for the new iPhone, a report by Taiwan's Economic Daily News paper said today. Foxconn will still put together the finished product, but Apple is now believed using three companies for the touch layer: Chimei Innolux is making 15 percent of the panels while the rest is split between Wintek and TPK. The American company is also leaning more heavily on Taiwan as a whole, as quartz maker TXC and laminate maker Taiflex Scientific are moving from less than a fifth of orders to 45 and 65 percent each.
LG already producing new iPhone cameras
LG Innotek is responsible for making the next iPhone's camera, a Korean newspaper claimed today. The electronics maker's plant in Gumi has reportedly started making the 5-megapixel cameras this month and will ramp up production to full speed by the second half of the year. The Chosun Ilbo didn't detail more about the camera but characterized it as "sophisticated."
OmniVision execs hint at new Apple hardware
OmniVision executives today gave JP Morgan analyst Paul Coster hints that they may have deals for cameras in next-generation Apple devices. After a discussion, Coster understood that 'top-tier smart phone companies' would move from three-megapixel cameras to five in the second half of the year. He added that OmniVision was "well-positioned" to provide camera sensors for both the new iPhone and even the next iPad, which in its initial form doesn't have any cameras.
OmniVision OV5647 would take 10-bit photos
OmniVision today unveiled a new sensor that could provide normally unseen levels of quality for phone cameras. Although the OV5647 shoots at a strictly average 5-megapixel resolution, it has a new, back-illuminated CMOS design that can capture images in RAW. The combination both gives the camera much better sensitivity to low light but also 10-bit detail and much more control over the final output, such as its white balance.
Google and MS join image quality initiative
Google and Microsoft have simultaneously joined the Camera Phone Image Quality Initiative in a bid to drive up the quality of handsets. Along with existing partners, the two are helping to create a rating system that will judge cameras on phones through factors beyond just resolution, such as the actual sharpness of the picture, the amount of visible noise, color reproduction and lens artifacts like distortion or chromatic effects ("purple fringing").
OmniVision says iPhone 3GS demand high
OmniVision may have given signs of a large jump in iPhone 3GS production today through a leak of its production demands. Best known for making the 3.2-megapixel camera inside the Apple handset, the mini-camera designer is warning its other customers that supply will be tight until at least late November as Apple is consuming much of its stock. Other sources for DigiTimes add that iPhone 3GS orders for the holidays may have increased by as much as 17 to 20 percent.
Samsung 1GHZ ARM Cortex-A8
Samsung this morning unveiled a pair of components that could give smartphones 1080p video playback and capture. The S5PC110 (not pictured) is based on ARM's faster Cortex-A8 architecture but can run at 1GHz even in the tight space of a smartphone; the feat is achieved through a 45 nanometer manufacturing process that keeps it relatively cool and power-efficient. Running it past even the 833MHz of earlier chips lets it decode and record 1080p video at a full 30 frames per second, including with HDMI 1.3 output of the image at full resolution.
iPod classic Camera Leak
Apple's widely expected camera-equipped iPods could include the iPod classic as well as the already suspected iPod nano and iPod touch, market contacts claimed Thursday. OmniVision, which supplies iPhone 3GS cameras, is reported by DigiTimes as having been picked by Apple to also supply 3.2-megapixel cameras for all three of its iPods with screens, including the hard drive-based classic. All three iPods are also slated for September, coinciding with talk of a September 9th event, and are therefore likely to ship on or shortly after their unveiling.
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.
OmniVision 1080p Phone Cam
OmniVision on Thursday added new camera sensors that could have significance for future smartphones, including the iPhone. The OV5650 can handle 5-megapixel still shooting but is more impressive in video capture, the company says: it can record full 1080p video at 30 frames per second or scale back to 720p in exchange for 60 frames per second. It's also backlit and is roughly 40 percent better in low light than a front-lit system while simultaneously producing a twice as clean signal-to-noise ratio.
2009 iPhone Supplier Leak
The companies responsible for manufacturing parts in the next major iPhone release have potentially been named by industry contacts of DigiTimes that also predict ship dates and numbers. The Taiwan-area site reinforces its previous claim that OmniVision is making a 3.2-megapixel sensor for the Apple handset's camera and now says that Largan Precision is making the rest of the imaging unit. Infineon is continuing to provide the cellular baseband (likely upgraded to 7.2Mbps 3G) as well as the GPS chipset.
iPhone Parts Shipping
The various components that will go into the 2009 iPhone are reportedly being shipped for assembly. The Taiwan-area newspaper Commercial Times claims that multiple suppliers are sending their parts off for the widely assumed June launch and that shipments of iPhones themselves could range between 2-3 million in the quarter following Apple's launch; it's implied that some of these may include old models being cleared out.
3.2MP camera for iPhone
The next iPhone should indeed have a 3.2-megapixel camera, according to a Taiwanese industry report. Market sources claim that OmniVision has received orders from Apple for 3.2-megapixel CMOS sensors, with the specific intent of use in a new iPhone line. Aptina and STMicroelectronics are also said to have been in competition to produce the sensors.