Friday, December 05, 2008

Samsung Launches HD Sensor for PCs

Yahoo: Samsung announced that it has expanded its portfolio of CMOS image sensors to include a new high-definition 1/4-inch, 1.2MP SoC imager, the S5K4AW, for notebook and desktop computers. Instead of more usual 1.3MP, 1.2MP is better suited for HD video applications. By binning in 2x2 pixel groups, the S5K4AW’s 1.2Mp resolution (1280x960 pixel format) also can display standard VGA format without annoying problem of losing the top or the bottom of a scene while video conferencing or video file sharing on social media networks such as YouTube.

The binning technique used by Samsung’s new S5K4AW sensor for VGA resolution also significantly improves the imager’s sensitivity to low light. Samsung claims that the industry’s typical method of binning results in an improved sensitivity of approximately 1.2x - I'm not sure how they got this number. Samsung’s 2x2 binning shows a sensitivity improvement of nearly 3x. This is critical when the only illumination on the scene might be from the computer screen itself.

The new S5K4AW imager is a 1/4-inch sensor that uses a 2.8um pixels. It supports 720p HD video at 30fps and VGA video at up to 60fps.

Samsung is currently sampling S5K4AW sensor to select customers. Mass production is expected in the first half of 2009.

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