Image Sensor Shines Under All Lighting Conditions

Image sensing has always been a critical, if not a downright interesting application in the sensor arena. Many things need to be considered, while many tradeoffs and compromises are made when it comes to juggling performance, size, weight, power consumption, and cost. Then there’s the 21st century initiative to integrate as much functionality in a single device as possible, a.k.a., squeezing 20 lbs. of provolone in a one-pound bag, adding further grief and grunt work for the device designer.


Challenges being what they may, there are those companies that seem to meet them head on with stellar results. Such is the case with ON Semiconductor’s AR0144 0.25-inch, 1-Megapixel 1280 x 800 resolution CMOS digital image sensor. Setting high performance bars, the sensor promises clean, accurate images with no artifacts in both bright and low light conditions. Its high shutter efficiency and SNR minimize ghosting and noise effects, thereby improving overall image quality.

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The 3-μm pixel device employs a unique global-shutter design, optimized to address demands for accurate and fast capture in static and moving scenes. It is available in both monochrome and color versions and in either 5.6 mm x 5.6 mm chip scale or bare die form factors.


For static applications such as bar code scanners, the AR0144 is reportedly easy to integrate within a handheld design. For dynamic applications such as drones, the sensor’s low-power characteristics extend the time between charging, and its imaging performance supports better mapping of the environment for trustworthy collision avoidance. Additionally, in 3D camera and augmented/virtual reality designs, the sensor proves to be a cost-effective alternative for capturing dual images for 3D mapping or depth sensing.


Other features include a choice of master/video, trigger/single frame, and auto trigger operating modes. Exposure time is controlled via a two-wire serial interface and configuration of both window size and blanking times allows user adjustment of the resolution and frame rate up to 60 fps at full resolution to cover a particular region of interest. Customization options include tuning, windowing, adjustable auto-exposure control, and auto black level correction.


The AR0144 monochrome device is in production now, available in a 5.6 mm x 5.6 mm 69-ball CSP and as a bare die. As per the company, the color version will available later this year. For more details, a datasheet and a product overview are available. ON Semiconductor,

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