Friday, October 24, 2014

Nvidia FlexISP Promises Image Quality Improvements

Nvidia Research publishes its paper and presentation "FlexISP: A Flexible Camera Image Processing Framework" by Felix Heide (UBC), Markus Steinberger (TU Graz), Yun-Ta Tsai (NVIDIA), Mushfiqur Rouf (UBC), Dawid PajÄ…k (NVIDIA), Dikpal Reddy (NVIDIA), Orazio Gallo (NVIDIA), Jing Liu (UC Santa Cruz), Wolfgang Heidrich (KAUST), Karen Egiazarian (TUT), Jan Kautz (NVIDIA), Kari Pulli (NVIDIA), to be presented at SIGGRAPH Asia in December 2014.

While conventional ISP pipelines are usually defined as a series of cascaded modules, each responsible for addressing a particular problem, FlexISP promises to achieve everything in a single step. Vimeo video explains:

OIS for Curved Sensor

While Sony is commercializing its first curved sensors, Microsoft applies for a patent US20140301728 "Anti-shake correction system for curved optical sensor" by Brian Guenter and Neel Joshi, a continuation of a similarly named granted patent US8699868. The main idea is that the curved sensor or lens need to be rotated with respect to each other, rather than shifted like in a regular flat sensor OIS:

CMOSIS Receives Flemish Government Award

CMOSIS receives ‘De Prijs van de Vlaamse Regering voor de Beloftevolle Onderneming’ award. The Flemish government aims with this award to recognise companies with clear growth potential.

First and foremost, CMOSIS stands out due to its technological excellence. The company has a technology that competes at the highest level, evidenced by its prestigious clients which are known worldwide and their loyalty to the company, and this award. In addition, CMOSIS still has significant growth potential that can be realised through new applications of existing technologies and continuous innovation. Finally, we opted for CMOSIS because this innovative company plays an exemplary role, and is an excellent ambassador for entrepreneurship in Flanders. Its management never rests on its laurels, and has a drive that can only inspire other companies”, says Geert Noels, memberof the Jury.

Resently, CMOSIS also got ISO 9001:2008 certification for the design, development, manufacturing, testing and sales of CMOS image sensors.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Melexis Announces 0.005 lux Automotive Sensor

Melexis introduces its 3rd generation automotive image sensor, the MLX75421 Blackbird. The new 1.35MP 1/3-inch HDR sensor is aimed to automotive safety applications like automatic emergency braking (AEB), electronic mirrors/camera monitor systems (CMS) and autonomous evasive steering. The device is also highly optimized for next generation viewing applications like surround/rear view systems with object detection functions.

The 1344x1008 pixels MLX75421 features a 4 stabilized kneepoint HDR response curve which provides up to 125dB of HDR inside every frame. The HDR full frame rate is 45fps, while 60fps can be achieved when capturing image data from 800 rows. This makes the image sensor also compatible with 720p applications. The device runs fully automatically in HDR mode without the need for a companion chip.

The MLX75421 Blackbird has a dark leakage of less than 5 electrons/s at 25°C and dark temporal noise of less than 4.4 electrons for a 1/30s exposure time. This results in an SNR1 illuminance value of 0.005 lux for light with a wavelength of 535nm over a 1/30s exposure time. The device has a wide operating temperature range of -40°C to +115°C, which benefits its temperature robustness.

For almost every automotive camera function, car manufacturers and their technology partners are telling us that they need markedly improved low-light performance on what is currently available from image sensor suppliers. Drivers who have earlier generation camera systems in their cars generally want to see more at night. Also upcoming New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) 5-star car ratings are expected to include night conditions for pedestrian and bicycle detection. That’s why we made camera sensitivity and low noise design paramount when developing the Blackbird series. The result is best in class low-light and HDR behavior,” says Cliff De Locht, Product Marketing Manager at Melexis.

The MLX75421 Blackbird sensor has 4 versions: monochrome, RCCC, color RGBG and color RGBC. Production start is planned for early 2015.

Fuffr Places Array Camera Around Smartphone

If Fuffr's (Stockholm, Sweden) user interface idea succeeds, the smartphone image sensor market would multiply its size. ARMdevices' Youtube video shows the concept:


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sony CCD and CMOS Global Shutter Sensors Compared

Point Grey publishes a white paper comparing EMVA1288 measurements of Sony ICX274 CCD with global shutter CMOS sensor IMX174:


Point Grey also promises to reveal Sony's new generation global shutter CMOS sensor, the IMX249, in its pre-Vision Show Youtube video.

Device-ALab Announces 80x80 Pixel LWIR Sensor

Grenoble, France-based Device-ALab presents an affordable compact thermal imaging camera module for proof of concept makers and medium volumes application makers. SmartIR80 is the perfect learning tool, tanks to the integrated USB 2.0 interface with 14 bit streaming video.


Thanks to AC for the link!

Ambarella Announces H.265/HEVC Processor for IP Cameras

Business Wire: Ambarella introduces S3, a security IP camera SoC family with support for the new H.265/HEVC video standard. S3’s full implementation of H.265 delivers up to twice the compression efficiency of Ambarella’s current H.264 IP camera SoCs. S3 can encode H.265 video at up to 4Kp30 resolution, or H.264 up to 4Kp60. Its latest generation of ISP provides advanced noise reduction to maximize the benefits of H.265, while HDR processing manages challenging high contrast scenes. S3 also includes flexible de-warping hardware for cameras with 180-degree or 360-degree panoramic viewing with dynamic windows and digital PTZ.

With S3, we establish a new standard of H.265 encoding excellence to enable future generations of the highest quality HD and Ultra HD IP cameras,” said Fermi Wang, President & CEO of Ambarella.

The S3 family comprises software-compatible SoCs that range in performance from 1080p60 to 4Kp60 video with support for multiple streams and transcoding between H.264 and H.265 formats. S3 includes a 1.2 GHz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with floating point and NEONTM as well as dedicated DSP subsystems for ISP, video compression and analytics. It also supports comprehensive I/O including high-speed SLVS/MIPI/HiSPI sensor interfaces, USB host and client and gigabit Ethernet. The S3 Linux-based SDK allows designers to create IP cameras with differentiated features including wireless connectivity, cloud services, wide-angle panorama viewing, analytics, edge recording and transcoding.

S3 Feature Summary:

  • H.265 (HEVC) Main Profile encoding up to 4Kp30 video with support for Ambarella SmartHEVC low-bitrate streaming enhancements.
  • H.264 (AVC) Baseline/Main/High Profile Level 5.1 encoding up to 4Kp60 video with support for Ambarella SmartAVC low-bitrate streaming enhancements.
  • Flexible encoder engine supporting multiple streams with independent resolution, frame rate, quality and codec configurations. Support for transcoding between H.265 and H.264, Scalable Video Codec (SVC-T) and sub-frame low-delay encoding.
  • ISP with high-speed SLVDS/MIPI®/HiSPi™ interfaces supporting up to 64MP sensor resolution.
  • Line-interleaved multi-exposure HDR processing up to 4Kp30.
  • Motion-compensated 3D noise reduction with de-ghosting to enhance low-light performance.
  • 1.2 GHz Dual Core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU with floating point, NEON and 1 MByte full speed L2 cache. Intelligent video analytics hardware acceleration.
  • Real-time hardware-accelerated de-warping for 180/360 degree panoramic lenses with up to 4Kp30 performance, multiple window layouts and digital PTZ.
  • AES/3DES/SHA-1/MD5 encryption engines.
  • Support for DDR4/DDR3/DDR3L, gigabit Ethernet, USB 2.0 host and device, HDMI® 2.0, SDXC SD™ Card, and dual sensor interfaces.
  • Low-power 28nm process

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Yole on Medical Image Sensor Market

Yole Developpement releases a "Solid State Medical Imaging: X-ray and Endoscopy" report.

"The solid-state medical image sensors market is driven by two major applications: X-ray imaging and endoscopy. The global Medical Image Sensors market will grow in volume from 2.1M units in 2013 to 6.7M units by 2019, fueled by emerging endoscopy products like camera pills and disposable endoscopes. These emerging products will enjoy broad adoption in clinical practices, owing to incentives being provided in Europe and the U.S. to reduce nosocomial infections.

From a revenue standpoint, the medical image sensors market will grow at a significant 11% CAGR from 2014-2019, and is expected to reach $142M by 2019. X-ray image sensors account for 93% of total medical image sensors market revenue, due to the high cost of X-ray sensors.

The medical image sensors market is characterized by a straight duality between X-ray imaging and endoscopy applications on price and volume. X-ray imaging is a very high-end application with a multitude of players, while endoscopy is a high-volume, low-price point application with a limited number of players.
"

Monday, October 20, 2014

Omnivision Announces Two Automotive Sensors with Red-Clear Filters

PR Newswire: OmniVision announces additions to its portfolio of OmniHDR automotive sensors: the 1.3MP/60fps BSI OV10642 and the WVGA/60fps OV10625. Both the OV10642 and the OV10625 are said to deliver top-level sensitivity and HDR performance in their respective market segments. The sensors also use a special red-clear filter that is required for many forward-looking automotive applications. These benefits ADAS systems, including lane departure warning, blind spot detection and traffic signal detection, among others.

"As more automobiles adopt image sensor technology to enhance safety and the driving experience, the importance of high quality imaging and reliable sensing technology cannot be overstated," said Inayat Khajasha, senior product marketing manager for automotive products at OmniVision. "With industry-leading HDR and ultra-low light sensitivity, these sensors are capable of supporting highly advanced vehicle sensing systems deployed in the latest vehicle platforms."

The 1/2.6-inch 4.2um pixel-based OV10642 fits into a compact 7.4 x 7.2 mm package and supports 120dB HDR mode. The 1/3.2-inch 6um pixel-based WVGA OV10625 too delivers HDR of up to 120 dB and best-in-class low-light sensitivity of 15 V/Lux-sec and fits into one of the industry's most compact and efficient 7.3 x 7.8 mm package.

Both sensors are currently sampling and are expected to enter volume production in Q4 2014.