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Omnivision launches a world-first 1.0 micron 64MP sensor for smartphones

Omnivision launches the OV64A. (Source: Omnivision)
Omnivision launches the OV64A. (Source: Omnivision)
Omnivision has announced its new high-end mobile camera sensor, the OV64A. It is 64MP, which is nothing new to this manufacturer; however, this one has pixels of a ground-breaking 1.0 micron in size. This may enhance its sensitivity compared to its predecessors.

Omnivision is, like Samsung and Sony, a manufacturer that supplies its image sensors to smartphone OEMs. Recently, it has provided Xiaomi with the 48MP main cameras for its Mi 10 Ultra premium device. Now, it has announced the OV64A, a potential upgrade in 64MP modules.

Currently, it is estimated that image sensors of 50MP or greater resolution will represent 322 million unit shipments in 2021. Omnivision intends to grab its piece of that pie with the OV64A, a new CMOS sensor with 1 micron pixels (whereas those of its predecessor the OV64B are 0.7 microns). Its maker asserts that this will improve on functions such as low-light shooting in the newer sensor compared to previous 64MP counterparts.

The new module is made with Omnivision's latest PureCelPlus-S stacked die technology, and also has an on-chip, 4-cell (4C) color filter array. This may make for clear, real time 64MP Bayer output and 8K video. These new specs also allow for 4C half-shield phase detection, rated for fast autofocus (AF).

The OV64A has a 1/1.34-inch optical format, whereas the OV64B is 1/2-inch and existing counterparts such as the Sony IMX686 and Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 are 1/1.72-inch. The new Omnivision component is also rated for pixel-binning for 16MP images with 4C binning at 60 fps; 8K video at 30 fps; 4K/2K video at 120 fps; 1080p at 240 fps and 720p at 480 fps.

Then again, as with its predecessor, optical image stabilization (OIS) never figures in its specs. Omnivision has stated that OV64A samples are already in the hands of mobile device OEMs, and that it will go into mass production by the last quarter of 2020.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2020-10-15 (Update: 2020-10-15)
Deirdre O'Donnell
I became a professional writer and editor shortly after graduation. My degrees are in biomedical sciences; however, they led to some experience in the biotech area, which convinced me of its potential to revolutionize our health, environment and lives in general. This developed into an all-consuming interest in more aspects of tech over time: I can never write enough on the latest electronics, gadgets and innovations. My other interests include imaging, astronomy, and streaming all the things. Oh, and coffee.