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OmniVision Announces Image Sensor with Tiny BSI Global Shutter Pixel

By Ken Briodagh
September 09, 2019

OmniVision Technologies, a developer of digital imaging solutions, recently announced what it says is the smallest-ever pixel size of 2.2 microns for a backside-illuminated (BSI), global shutter (GS) image sensor. The new OG01A sensor combines PureCel Plus-S pixel technology and Nyxel near-infrared (NIR) technology reportedly to enable optimal performance and precision along with NIR quantum efficiency (QE). This sensor is designed for a wide range of consumer and industrial applications that need a global shutter to avoid motion blur, along with top NIR performance for low- and no-light conditions.

The OG01A reportedly is well-suited to multiple machine-vision applications, including AR/VR headsets, drones, robots, and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM), as well as facial authentication in smartphones and other consumer electronics. The company said this technology is ideal for automotive in-cabin driver state monitoring and eye tracking.

“The OG01A has the industry’s smallest global shutter pixel and provides the best NIR performance in a GS sensor,” said Devang Patel, senior staff marketing manager for the security and emerging segments, OmniVision. “There is a growing need for global shutter technology to accurately capture images of moving objects, along with excellent NIR performance and small size, in camera applications such as AR/VR headsets, drones, robots and smartphones. The OG01A delivers the industry’s best combination of features for these applications.”

The 1 megapixel OG01A image sensor provides 1280x1024 resolution at 120 frames per second (fps) and 640x480 resolution at 240 fps in a compact 1/5 inch optical format. The sensor’s low-light sensitivity has significantly lower gain than the typical 3.0 micron pixel size for an improved signal-to-noise ratio, according to the release.

The sensor’s high modulation transfer function (MTF) is designed to enable sharper images with greater contrast and more detail, which is especially important for enhancing decision-making processes in machine vision applications. The OG01A also has a high QE of 40 percent at 940nm and 60 percent at 850nm. This QE enables the sensor to see farther and better in low- and no-light conditions, which allows designers to use less IR LED light and achieve lower system-level power consumption. For AR/VR headsets, this reduces heat generation. For industrial and robotics applications, designers can use fewer IR LEDs for lower system cost, or use the same number of IR LEDs to achieve a greater image detection range.


Ken Briodagh is a storyteller, writer and editor with about two decades of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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