Detects incident light in both visible and NIR wavelengths, producing precise color and monochrome images for security applications

By Alex Pluemer, contributing writer

OmniVision
Technologies, Inc.
recently released a 2.9-micron, 2-megapixel (MP)
image sensor designed to detect incident light in visible and near-infrared
(NIR) wavelengths and deliver high-quality images for security applications in
all lighting conditions. The OS02C10, with “breakthrough”
ultra-low-light (ULL) technology thanks to the company’s proprietary
dual-conversion-gain technology, also uses OmniVision’s Nyxel NIR technology.
The Nyxel technology enables the image sensor to provide 2× to 4×
greater quantum efficiency (QE) than its closest competitors while delivering
an estimated 3× reduction in system-level power consumption, according to the
company.

The OS02C10
provides a QE of 60% at 850 nm, a light level typically associated with outdoor
security cameras, and a QE of 40% at 940 nm, a light level invisible to the
human eye in dark indoor environments that requires NIR tech to derive precise
images. Producing high-quality images in ultra-low light allows indoor security
cameras to remain almost undetectable to intruders while avoiding being a nuisance
to sleeping residents.

The image sensor
also features a three-frame staggered shutter that provides a high dynamic
range of 120 dB while limiting motion artifacts. The OS02C10 provides high-definition
1,080p images and can be adjusted to accommodate 2K/4K resolution as customers
upgrade their security systems. The sensor also touts a superior low-noise
design with a SNR1 of 0.16 lux.

“Surveillance
cameras with AI functionality need the highest possible resolution in all
lighting conditions for accurate facial recognition,” according to Brian Fang, business development director at OmniVision.
“These next-generation, intelligent-sensing surveillance systems are being
enabled by our new sensor’s top imaging performance, with industry-best
detection capabilities under both extremely low visible light and infrared
light in complete darkness.”

According to the NIR
SNR1 metric used to measure the amount of NIR light that a device needs to capture
high-quality images, the OS02C10 needs less light (23 nw/cm2 at 850
nm and 31 nw/cm2 at 940 nm) than its competition, allowing designers
of security cameras that operate in total darkness to reduce the amount of
power that their designs consume by 2× to 4× in identical environments over equal
image-detection ranges.

The
OS02C10 is available now. For product samples or a demo, please contact an
OmniVision sales representative at sales@ovt.com.