Developers of image sensors continue their quest to improve resolution, to allow products such as security cameras to achieve greater zoom range and more accurate object identification and facial recognition. OmniVision Technologies, Inc. has announced the OS04A10, a 2.9 micron pixel image sensor with 4 megapixel (MP) resolution. The OS04A10 enables security cameras to maintain high performance in all lighting conditions, in both the visible and NIR (near-infrared) wavelengths to produce more precise color and monochrome images.
OmniVision’s Nyxel® NIR technology enables the sensor to achieve quantum efficiency (QE) of 60% at 850 nm and 40% at 940 nm, which is reportedly 3x to 5x better than sensors without this technology. This performance in turn enables the use of lower power IR illumination in total darkness, resulting in an estimated 3x reduction in system-level power consumption. The 940 nm NIR lighting cannot be detected by human eyes in dark indoor settings, while the 850 nm light is ideal for outdoor security cameras.
With the OS04A10, designers of security cameras that operate in total darkness can reduce IR illumination to consume 2x to 4x less power when compared with the competitors’ sensors, for the same environment and over the same image detection range. The amount of NIR light that a sensor requires to capture high quality images can be quantified with a metric called NIR SNR1, which takes into account the QE (quantum efficiency), pixel size and read noise.
The OS04A10 achieves high SNR1850nm and SNR1940nm performance, which is 2x to 3x smaller when compared with the leading known available competitor sensors. In other words, with the OS04A10, designers of security cameras that operate in total darkness can reduce IR illumination to consume 2x to 4x less power when compared with the competitors’ sensors, for the same environment and over the same image detection range.
This image sensor comes in a small package with a large 2.9 micron pixel size. This combination is enabled by OmniVision’s PureCel®-S die stacking technology, which separates the imaging array and the processing function into two layers to enable additional features with a smaller die size.