New automotive image sensors claim performance advantage

December 10, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Automotive image sensors claim optimal autonomous driving performance
OmniVision Technologies (Santa Clara, CA) has announced the first two members of its new automotive image sensor platform.

The 8MP front-view OX08A is claimed to feature the automotive industry's best HDR, while the pinout-compatible OX08B is claimed to add a new benchmark in LED flicker mitigation (LFM) performance, enabled by the sensor's on-chip HALE (HDR and LFM engine) combination algorithm. The optimal clarity and range offered by this platform, says the company, in combination with integrated ASIL-C features, is vital for front-view automotive applications such as ADAS and level 3+ autonomous vehicles, where the ability to accurately detect people and objects from far away in all lighting conditions is safety-critical.

"These new image sensors utilize OmniVision's dual conversion gain (DCG) technology to achieve 82dB dynamic range on the first exposure, whereas competitors' image sensors only provide a dynamic range of 60dB or less," says Celine Baron, staff automotive product marketing manager at OmniVision. "Unlike DCG, the competing method, known as staggered HDR, relies on additional passes that introduce motion artifacts and diminish range, especially in low light."

"Additionally," says Baron, "OmniVision's 3D stacking technology allowed us to integrate our unique HALE algorithm into the OX08B. The result is that this sensor platform provides an industry-leading 140dB HDR, along with the best LFM performance and high 8MP resolution for superior front-view captures, regardless of external lighting conditions."

The company says the new HDR sensors were inspired by cases where scenes have very dark and very bright areas, such as when exiting a tunnel with the sun low on the horizon. In addition, with LEDs becoming omnipresent on the road - including illumination, traffic lights, road signs, and bus displays - having a sensor with an LFM solution is a must for automotive applications to extract all the necessary information in front of a vehicle, the company says.

With its four-cell technology, the company says it can offer the industry's best LFM with optimal low-light performance in a 1/1.8" optical format that has a 2.1 micron pixel pitch. In addition,

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