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3-Mpixel imagers are ready for close-ups

This article was posted on 02/26/2009 and scheduled for print publication in April 2009.

3-Mpixel imagers are ready for close-ups

 1/4-in.-format, raw Bayer sensors keep in focus from less than 6 in. to infinity with built-in software-based lensing

The first imaging chips with integrated extended- depth-of-field (EDoF) capability, the 3.15-Mpixel VD6803 and VD6853 provide sharp images at focus distances from infinity down to just 15 cm (5.9 in.), letting them be used for, say, ultra-short-distance optical character recognition, bar-code reading, or macrophotography. The chips can be integrated into camera modules as small as 6.5 x 6.5 mm for use in cell phones, laptops, toys, or machine-vision applications.

The 1/4-in. optical-format CMOS sensors combine a 1.75-μm-pixel process with so-called Software Lens technology — image enhancement filters, including four-channel anti-vignette, that can balance uneven illumination or correct defects on the fly — to optimize image quality and reduce tuning complexity.

The VD6803 has a 10-bit parallel (legacy) interface and is controlled over a two-wire I2C interface, while the VD6853 provides a fully compliant SMIA 1.0 profile-0 serial interface and is controlled over a two-wire CCI interface. Both are able to deliver full-resolution (QXGA) raw Bayer images at 20 fps (80 MHz).

Either type sensor is available as a chip-on-board die or in a through-silicon-via, wafer-level package. (From less than $5 samples, demo kits available now; prod qty 3rd qtr.)

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