Near-infrared quantum efficiency provides illumination with fewer LEDS to reduce total system cost and power consumption

By Gina Roos, editor-in-chief

Delivering the
right balance of cost, high-quality imaging, and features, OmniVision Technologies Inc.
touts its new OV9284 1-megapixel (MP) global shutter image
sensor that enables in-cabin camera modules in mainstream passenger vehicles, which
will require smaller and lower-cost driver state monitoring (DSM) and passenger-monitoring
cameras.

Although currently
available only in high-end cars, DSM will move into the more cost-sensitive
mainstream vehicle market over the next few years, according to OmniVision. In
addition, DSM is being used in Level 3 semi-autonomous vehicles to help meet
new safety regulations. It tracks the driver’s eye gaze and enables the vehicle
to take control of the vehicle when the driver is drowsy or distracted.

 

The image
sensor with OmniPixel3-GS technology is provided in an automotive chip-scale
package, which measures 5,237 × 4,463 µm for smaller lens designs. The chip’s 27°
chief ray angle with a low z height
provides a wider viewing angle in a thinner package. This allows for greater flexibility
with camera placement, said OmniVision.

The
OV9284 consumes only 90 mW of power at 60 frames per second (fps), which is 30%
lower than the nearest competitor, according to OmniVision, and provides a 1,280
× 800 resolution at video speeds of up to 120 fps.

OmniVision
claims that the OV9284 offers the industry’s best near-infrared (NIR)
quantum efficiency (QE) in a driver-monitoring image sensor — 12% at 940 nm —
delivering the illumination required with fewer LEDs. The benefits include a
reduction in the total system cost and lower power consumption.

Key
features include:

  • 3 × 3-µm pixel with
    OmniPixel 3-GS technology
  • Automatic black level
    calibration (ABLC)
  • Programmable controls
    for:

o  
Frame rate

o  
Mirror and flip

o  
Cropping

o  
Windowing

  • Support output formats:
    8-/10-bit RAW
  • Fast mode switching
  • Supports 2 × 2
    monochrome binning
  • Two-lane MIPI serial
    output interface
  • DVP parallel output
    interface
  • Supports horizontal and
    vertical 2:1 and 4:1 monochrome subsampling
  • Support for image sizes:

o  
1,280 × 800

o  
1,280 × 720

o  
640 × 480

o  
640 × 400

  • Embedded 256 bits of
    one-time programmable (OTP) memory for part identification
  • Two on-chip phase lock
    loops (PLLs)
  • LED PWM
  • Built-in strobe control

The
OV9284 image sensor is available now.