OmniVision Readies 'World's Smallest' Native 1080p Sensor

OmniVision Technologies, a developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, is about to unveil what it calls the world's first 1/6-inch native 1080p/30 CMOS image sensor specifically designed for PC webcam and video-conferencing applications.

The image sensor ("OV2720") is formulated from OmniVision's proprietary 1.4 micron "backside illumination technology." The 1080p sensor was designed to deliver "video conference [HD] quality" in a form factor tiny enough to meet the module size and height requirements of relatively thin PC laptops.

The HD sensor with native 1080p resolution is still in beta-testing mode by some longtime "tier one" customers and is set to enter mass production by June.

Consumer demand for HD video on an array of large and small devices "has never been greater," according to the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company. Virtually all play-formats are moving to the 16:9 aspect ratio inherent for HD, it says – noting that broadcasters are fully embracing it, as are download services, and social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

Technically speaking, OmniVision said its 1.4-micron pixel achieves a breakthrough low light sensitivity of 680-mV/lux-sec -- while enabling super-thin modules with a z-height of 3.5 mm.