Thursday, January 29, 2009

iSuppli Teardown: Omnivision is in BlackBerry Storm

Business Week cites iSuppli reverse engineering of another cult phone of these days - BlackBerry Storm. The reverse engineering revealed that Storm uses Omnivision 3MP sensor. iSuppli estimates the AF-enabled camera module cost is $13.

13 comments:

  1. Love your site.

    Up for finishing that conversation about TrueFocus?

    Did you catch the article at Ars Technica about the Palm Pre? I don't know if you've heard, but the Pre can't do autofocus, only EDoF. The article confirms that it's the STM/DXO chip, which can't do autofocus but only EDoF.

    http://arstechnica.com/hardware/news/2009/01/ars-talks-to-palm-gets-under-the-hood-with-the-pre-ces-2009.ars

    How important do you think it is that TrueFocus can autofocus internally while hardly anyone can even put out a non-mechanical solution, much less one that can autofocus internally?

    Figures 5 and 7 describe TrueFocus's internal autofocus engine: http://www.freepatentsonline.com/20060269150.pdf

    Your site's amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. iSupply might want to open up another Storm - OVT are not the only source...

    STM seem to be popping up more and more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. > STM seem to be popping up more and more.

    I was expecting such a response. In fact, I was surprised to see Omnivision in Storm, knowing about ST design wins in RIMM.

    > How important do you think it is that TrueFocus can autofocus internally while hardly anyone can even put out a non-mechanical solution, much less one that can autofocus internally?

    As a matter of fact, there is another internal AF out here - Varioptic-CSI one. And Varicoptic even works on optical image stabilization now. I agree that having internal AF gives some benefits, but I'm not sure how big they are. I think cost is the most important factor in EDoF adoption. If EDoF is cheap enough - we'll see a lot of use of it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, but Liquid Lens can't do EDoF, leaving it at a disadvantage.

    I agree that EDoF is a good fixed-focus substitute, but from the reviews I've seen, people still like AF.

    If EDoF isn't cheaper than fixed-focus, is it really worth it to pay up just to have a wider aperture?

    ReplyDelete
  5. There is a good discussion of related AF issues from the 2007 International Image Sensor Workshop. It might be helpful. See:

    http://www.imagesensors.org/Past%20Workshops/2007%20Workshop/2007%20Papers/006%20Gutierrez%20et%20al.pdf

    -EF

    ReplyDelete
  6. EDoF solutions make images look very flat and increase significantly the cost of the silicon :-( Cost for the optics is roughly the same.

    I truly believe digital (non mechanical) AF is the future. WFC using phase modulation might not best way to go though.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Are there any other solutions that can EDoF/fixed-focus AND autofocus without light or resolution loss like Wavefront Coding can? I can't find any.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is ... I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I doubt refocus is for cell phones tho. Not unless you'd want to put a full blown PC CPU in there.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Light-field based Digital Refocusing leads to loss of resolution and additional costs for the optics and the post-capture processing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Chris,

    Check this out

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ENfPYpkHp4

    ReplyDelete
  12. Anonymous,

    This technique requires sequential multiple exposures (up to 9 in their demo) to capture the light-field at full sensor resolution --> will not work unless you have little-to-no movement in the scene and an extremely steady hand :-0

    ReplyDelete

All comments are moderated to avoid spam.