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Friday, December 05, 2008
Samsung Offers New PC Camera CMOS Image Sensor System-on-Chip for Real-time HD Video

Samsung has expanded its portf

Developed with a focus on real-time high-definition (HD) video capture, Samsung?s new S5K4AW sensor has immediate applications in areas such as business video conferencing, Internet video sharing, direct to web scanning, biometrics and security.

Instead of developing a sensor with 1.3Mp, which is better suited for still image capture, Samsung?s new S5K4AW CMOS image sensor SoC addresses the specific needs of HD video applications. By incorporating a technique called binning in 2x2 pixel groups, the S5K4AW?s 1.2Mp resolution (1280x960 pixel format) also can display standard VGA format without the need for cropping. In doing so, Samsung has eliminated the annoying problem of losing the top or the bottom of a scene while video conferencing or video file sharing on social media networks such as YouTube.

Real-time video capture presents other challenges for sensor designers, including how to deal with low light sensitivity. The same binning technique used by Samsung?s new S5K4AW sensor for video resolution also improves the imager?s sensitivity to low light. The industry?s typical method of binning results in an improved sensitivity of approximately 1.2x. Samsung?s breakthrough in binning shows a sensitivity improvement of nearly 3x. This is critical when the only illumination on the scene might be from the computer screen itself.

Samsung has designed the new S5K4AW imager as a 1/4-inch SoC that uses a 2.8um pixel size, supports 720p HD video at 30 frames per second, and captures VGA video at up to 60 frames per second.

Samsung is currently sampling its S5K4AW CMOS image sensor SoC to select customers. Mass production is expected in the first half of 2009.

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