TI Offers New Wide-Dynamic-Range CMOS Image Sensor

TOKYO /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Instruments Inc. (TI) announced the availability of a high-sensitivity wide-dynamic-range (WDR) CMOS image sensor for the video surveillance camera market. The TC922 provides a higher quality image than conventional charge coupled devices (CCD) by keeping the advantages of both sensitivity and wide-dynamic-range field of vision for improved bright and low-light performance.

The TC922 offers SVGA resolution (800 x 600), which exceeds conventional CCTV cameras in both horizontal and vertical lines, offering 560 TV lines. The TC922 also contains a high-response amplifier in the pixel and a reset noise reduction circuit that provides CCD-level high sensitivity and high signal-to-noise ratio, "which has not been achieved by conventional CMOS sensors." The TC922-based security camera achieves these qualities while the wide-dynamic-range capability allows for the capture of high-resolution, more detailed images in high-contrast lighting conditions (e.g., between bright light and shade). Furthermore, each pixel has a photodiode and a lateral overflow integration capacitor (LOFIC), which can hold a large number of photoelectrons for very bright lighting conditions. The LOFIC technology enables the sensor's dynamic range to reach 94 dB. The remarkable electron capability of TC922 is superior to conventional CCD sensors.

With this sensor architecture, the TC922 constantly maintains its dynamic range, which enables it to provide complete information even in environments with severe variations in illumination. Moreover, because the TC922 has large electron capacity and the single-exposure concept can provide simultaneity, it does not generate a synthetic gap problem as can be seen in CCD systems. CCD sensors have only a limited electron well capacity, and one of the methods for extending dynamic range is to combine two images with different exposure times. The resulting images usually become blurred, and the degradation of image quality can be seen.

TI has been developing the WDR sensor based on LOFIC technology with Tohoku University Sugawa Laboratory. Prof. Shigetoshi Sugawa of Tohoku University states, "Based on the LOFIC technology, fundamental performances needed for high-quality image sensors have been dramatically improved upon, not only for wide dynamic range but also in high sensitivity, low dark current, low noise, and simultaneity. The TC922 is an image sensor that is effectively able to handle the photo-signals from several to approximately 200,000 electrons by single exposure. As a result, a surveillance camera application that needs to record images with great certainty will benefit from the TC922. I truly hope that the LOFIC technology will help support establishing a secure and safe society."

Additionally, the TC922 has been adopted by SANYO Electric Corp Ltd. for their next generation wide-dynamic-range camera products, the VCC-W8774 and VCC-WD8874. Mr.Shigekazu Morikawa, Senior Manager of Digital System Company in SANYO Electric Corp. LTD states, "The TC922 is an epoch-making image sensor, which is a single-exposure system that can secure a wide dynamic range and it has very high basic performance. SANYO developed these new cameras and original image-processing engine based on well-established graphic processing technology to use the impressive performance offered by the TC922, which allows this surveillance camera to be as effective as human eyes."

SANYO Electric Co. Ltd. will demonstrate the next-generation wide-dynamic-range camera with its new engine at ASIS International 2008, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., from September 15 to 18.

Furthermore, TI will offer an Internet Protocol (IP) network camera reference design with the TC922 based on the TMS320DM355 DaVinci digital media processor. The DM355IPNC-TC922 includes the hardware and software required for developing functions of a wide-dynamic-range IP network camera to reduce the time required for camera design and development. The DM355IPNC-TC922 will be demonstrated in the ObjectVideo booth (# 3235) at ASIS International 2008.

Price and Distribution
The TC922 will be available from TI and TI authorized distributors. Order entry is currently open for the DM355IPNC-TC922 IP network camera reference design and is provided from APPRO Photoelectron Inc. For more information, please visit the company's Web site.

About TI
Texas Instruments Inc. helps customers solve problems and develop new electronics that make the world smarter, healthier, safer, greener, and more fun. A global semiconductor company, TI innovates through manufacturing, design, and sales operations in more than 25 countries.

DaVinci is a trademark of Texas Instruments. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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