Omnivision has announced a variety of new sensor breakthroughs at CES 2022 that will soon find their way into the next generation of smartphones, webcams, VR headsets, and other devices. Here’s what you can expect from the company.
Smartphone cameras and 144Hz screens
Perhaps most notable among these breakthroughs is a smartphone camera sensor called OVBOB that features a record-breaking 200 megapixels. To accomplish this, Omnivision has created the world’s smallest pixels, each a mere 0.61 microns in size. It also integrated a 16-cell color filter array for increased preview and video quality, as well as a 100% quad phase detection system to improve autofocus performance.
We’re expecting to see the first batch of 200MP-capable smartphones in 2022, though we don’t know what specific manufactures will be using them yet. Omnivision did tell Digital Trends that the 200MP sensor is intended for flagship devices, so we can make a reasonably educated guess that it’ll come to all the top-tier phones from manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, Motorola, and others.
Omnivision is also creating new and improved display tech with the TD4377, a touch and display driver that boosts the touch report rate with 1080p resolution and 1a 44hz display frame rate. To be clear, that’s how the smartphone sees your input, not the resolution and refresh rate that you, the user sees. Essentially, this boils down to the TD4377 being significantly more responsive to user input than other touchscreen interfaces.
Better webcams and VR
Another interesting camera that Omnivision announced is the OV02C webcam, which is the first 1/7-inch 2MP for Full HD video. This is important because it means the OV02C is a camera that’s small enough to fit into extremely small spaces such as ultrathin laptop bezels while still providing relatively high resolution recording. Dell has picked this sensor up for its next-gen Latitude laptops, specifically the Latitude 5000, 7000, and 9000. Hopefully, this camera will help put an end to the long-standing poor quality of nearly all laptop webcams.
Of interest to virtual reality (VR) enthusiasts is the OCOTA camera, which is the first fully integrated backside illuminated sensor (BSI) eye-tracking camera. The camera has a global shutter, and is the smallest eye-tracking camera module currently available. Omnivision is developing the OCOTA in coordination with Tobii, one of the leaders in eye-tracking technology. This camera has big implications for VR, as well as augmented reality and mixed reality applications
Smart home improvements
Other announcements from Omnivisian include a new security camera designed in collaboration with Ajax Systems that utilizes an ultra-low-power HDR sensor designed for lowlight conditions, fast boot speeds, and a high degree of autonomy for use in remote areas. Omnivision also unveiled new cameras for use in cars for such purposes as surround view cameras, electronic mirrors, and driver behavior monitoring.
The overall takeaway here is that Omnivision is pushing the boundaries of electronic imaging to add novel and unprecedented capabilities to a wide range of devices. Considering that these cameras are designed to be integrated into so much of our lives, the company’s name is certainly appropriate.
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