Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pixim Announces Seawolf Sensor

Pixim introduced its Seawolf imager, claimed to be "the world's first single-chip, enterprise video camera solution. For the first time, security camera manufacturers will be able to use a single, digital chip, rather than more complicated mixed-signal, multi-chip sets." The Seawolf chip is said to provide 10 times the low-light performance of previous generation security camera chip sets as well as the greatest WDR and accurate color performance at half the hardware build cost.

Boasting 690 HTVL effective, Seawolf is said to deliver "the highest usable resolution to the CCTV end user". Users of IP cameras will benefit from Seawolf's global electronic shutter, progressive scan image capture, and full D1 resolution at 30fps.

SecurityInfoWatch site published an article about the new Seawolf chip.

Update: PRWeb: From the picture it appears that Seawolf is actually an integration of imager and ISP dice in a single package:

13 comments:

  1. From a technical perspective, I wonder why, if you can make an imager and an ISP that fit comfortably in one chip package, you wouldn't just make one chip. Maybe they are using a cutting-edge process for the imager and a (much?) cheaper process for the ISP.

    From a market perspective, I've noted that blog posts about image sensors for mobile handsets from big-name companies generate a lot of activity here. On the other hand, posts about Pixim and other companies that are smaller or in niche markets frequently go unremarked.

    I suspect that a large part of the image sensor market is flying under the radar, probably because companies and staff are legally obligated to keep their mouths shut. And, in all likelihood, some of the most interesting technical work is taking place there. The rest of us just don't get to hear about it.

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  2. There is a number of good reasons to separate ISP from image sensors:

    1. ISP can use cheaper and more advanced pure logic process.
    2. FSI imagers typically use 3-4 metal layers for better optical efficiency, while ISP die can benefit from 6-7 layers.
    3. ISP power would not heat sensor die.

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  3. This is not elegant.

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  4. 3. ISP power would not heat sensor die.

    of course it would, it's still in the same package, package will heat up and so will teh IS die.

    1&2 are valid though

    -wicky-

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  5. What about switching noise?

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  6. @ "What about switching noise?"

    You are right, this is another incentive to split the dice.

    @ "package will heat up and so will teh IS die."

    Still, a correct thermal design can reduce the sensor die heating.

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  7. MCP should be stacked. Not side by side.

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  8. "MCP should be stacked. Not side by side."

    good luck with the heat

    -wicky-

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  9. A couple of other possibilities are that the imaging chip isn't vanilla CMOS or that the company wants to be able to offer a range of imager and ISP chip choices in the same package.

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  10. The main reason is that Pixim has no designers capable to make a single-chip design. So a MCM just gives you some illusion of design activities ...

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  11. If they can do 2 chips, why not 1? Didn't they already have a single chip solution and then move to a double chip?

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  12. these two chps are the old designs ....

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  13. In the high end surveillance camera business, CCD is king, and so 2 chip solutions are the norm. Even for mobile phones, a single chip solution is known to be lower quality than a two chip solution, since the two chip solution has more image processing power (especially since you can put your image processing on a more advanced CMOS node).

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