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Omnivision releases its own 48MP sensor for smartphones

Does the Sony IMX 586 have new competition? (Source: Sony)
Does the Sony IMX 586 have new competition? (Source: Sony)
Omnivision has announced the OV48B, this company's first 48MP image sensor. Like the Sony IMX 586, it has pixels of 0.8 microns in size that can bin the data it captures into a high-resolution 12MP image. The OV48B can also record at 4K, 1080p and 720p at several frame-rates.

Omnivision is a components company that makes parts including image sensors for electronics. Its latest example is the OV48B, a 48MP image sensor intended for "high resolution" smartphone camera modules. Judging by its specs and description, it is also clearly aimed at the Sony IMX586, a CMOS currently linked to the apex of mobile photography power.

Omnivision claims that the new OV48B has pixels of 0.8 microns (or micrometers) in size, thus contributing to an optical form factor of 1/2 inches. The company claims that this is the smallest a 48MP sensor can get at present; then again, you can also say that of the IMX586

The OV48B can work through 4-cell binning, by which 48MP data is binned into highly-accurate 12MP images - however, again, this is also a feature of its IMX counterpart.  Omnivision claims that its output formats can thus work out as follows: 48MP at 10 frames per second (fps); binned 12MP at 30 fps; 4K2K video at 60 fps; 1080p video at 240 fps, and 720p video at 480 fps. 

Sony, on the other hand, lists the IMX586's formats as 4K video at 90 fps; 1080p at 240 fps, and 720p at 480 (with cropping). Omnivision's OV48B is also specified as possessing 2x2 microlens phase detection autofocus, (ML-PDAF), which apparently enhances its accuracy, particularly in low light. That of the Sony sensor, on the other hand, is known as image plane phase-difference AF (IP-PDAF). Omnivision does not mention HDR of any kind for its new OV48B, whereas the IMX586 is capable of this property.

All in all, time may tell which of these 48MP sensors is the best - presuming that OEMs take up Omnivision's new offering. The company has indicated that it can send manufacturing samples from now, with full availability of the new OV48B product planned for the last quarter of 2019.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 06 > Omnivision releases its own 48MP sensor for smartphones
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-06-19 (Update: 2019-06-20)