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Mobile Phone Cameras Get Smaller and Smarter with New Imaging Single-Chip Sensor from STMicroelectronics


STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a world leader in CMOS imaging technology, has introduced marketís smallest single-chip camera sensor for mobile applications. Coupling low space requirements with advanced image processing capabilities, STís latest 2-megapixel mobile-phone camera sensor addresses consumersí appetite for full-featured imaging solutions in ever-more popular thin-profiled handsets.

STís VD6725 is a 1/5-inch optical-format imaging sensor, with an active pixel array of 1600 x 1200 (UXGA), a high-performance image processor and camera control functions on a single chip. The marketís smallest device, the VD6725 fits in phone camera modules smaller than 6 x 6 x 3.8 mm thanks to its 1.75-micron pixel design and STís advanced sensor architecture.

STís latest developments in pixel defect correction, adaptive noise reduction and sharpness enhancement ensure that the embedded Image Signal Processor delivers outstanding picture quality. Advanced anti-vignetting algorithms (balancing uneven illumination) and automatic white-balance control support excellent color rendition in varying light conditions. The camera sensor is also able to identify and neutralize defective (dead) pixels that fail to sense light levels correctly.

The VD6725ís embedded image processor enables the users to apply a wide range of special effects on snapshots, including flipped and mirror-reversed images or pure black-and-white conversion for whiteboard content capture, document extraction and barcode reading.

STís new single-chip camera sensor produces digital video streams at 15 frames per second (fps) at full UXGA resolution and 30 fps at VGA resolution. It supports fast context switching, which means that the sensor switches extremely fast from Ďpreviewí to Ďcapture modeí, minimizing the delay of the capture control.

The VD6725 single-chip camera sensor is available in STís TSV (Through Silicon Via) wafer-level package. This type of package enables the production of reflowable camera modules. These are soldered directly on the phone motherboard, which saves cost, space and time compared with the process of fixing traditional camera modules in the board socket. ST is one of the very few companies that have reflowable camera modules in production.

In addition to mobile phones, the VD6725 can be used in a wide range of portable devices such as laptop cameras, PDAs and mobile gaming platforms.

Engineering samples and demo-kits are available now, with the volume production scheduled for the end of June 2008. Unit pricing is in the $2 range, depending on the production period and quantities. STís VD6725 single-chip camera sensor is available in two package options, as a COB (Chip On Board) die or in the TSV wafer-level package.


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