Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ST Announces 5MP EDoF Sensor Family

Yahoo: ST unveiled its new 5MP CMOS image sensors family based on 1.4um pixels. The 1/4-inch sensors are based on 65/45nm process and said to utilize ST's unique pixel-isolation techniques to maximize the sensor's SNR.

The sensors allow 5MP cameras within dimensions of 6.5 x 6.5mm and a low module height of typically 5mm to enable ultra-low-profile handset designs. From the announcement it's not clear if EDoF and ISP are integrated onto the sensor die or they are separate. It appears that ST prepares a large product family with different types of integration and feature sets, including EDoF and AF VCM drivers.

All the sensors will include single-line or dual-line 1GHz Camera Serial Interface (CSI-2), as defined by the Mobile Industry Processor Interface (MIPI) alliance, and the 650Mbit/s Compact Camera Port (CCP2) interface defined by the Standard Mobile Imaging Architecture (SMIA) group.

ST will offer standard-die and Through-Silicon Via (TSV) packaging in the 5MP family. The standard packaging will support cameras combining Chip-On-Board (COB) sensor connection and discrete optical components. TSV enables emerging technologies such as Wafer-Level Camera (WLC).

Engineering samples of the first of these sensors are available now, and the roadmap will continue with new product introductions throughout the remainder of 2009.

Reportedly these ST's 45/65nm based FSI pixels deliver better QE and SNR10 performance than BSI. This presents a problem for Omnivision to justify the added BSI complexity.

8 comments:

  1. WHose EDOF is this? DXO?

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  2. The 3.15mp DxO WLC version sensors in Nokias are integrated.

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  3. ST has been integrating the EDoF IP on chip for a while. I would be surprised that the new sensor generation don't come with it.
    ISP is pretty clear: 'with options including raw Bayer or System-on-Chip (SoC) sensors'

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  4. 45/65nm. Hmmmm ... does STM have a 12" fab? Are they going fabless with this design?

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  5. ST has a 12" fab in Grenoble France, at the Crolles2 site.

    Not sure if they produce CMOS sensors there, but it would be a good guess since ST only has 1 production ready 12" fab.

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  6. Wow. 12" wafer starts are pretty expensive right now. I wonder if ST will make any money on this? If the part is for Nokia, maybe they don't need to make money as they can get the profit from other places. OTOH, if they actually have to upgrade the fab, it looks like a tough deal for ST.

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  7. Everyone has been talking about EDoF for some years now. STM and DxO are now on their second offering. It would seem they are years ahead others using the Tessera OPTML approach and Omnivision seems to have given up on Wavefront Coding altogether.

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