A camera is arguably one of the most indispensable features on a smartphone, being a necessary component in certain apps, such as barcode scanners, in addition to providing a simple way to take pictures/video and share them without hassle. The cameras in higher-end smartphones offer a variety of features you won't easily find in less expensive models, and often provide poor images in low light settings. OmniVision aims to change this, however, with its newly announced 5MP OV5645 CMOS sensor.
The OV5645 is a 5MP system on chip (SOC) sensor aimed at the "cost-sensitive" segment of the smartphone market. The sensor features a MIPI port, which replaces a JPEG compressor and DVP interface, making it both smaller and cheaper than other options. This little CMOS sensor features picture-in-picture architecture that provides a dual camera system based on a master/slave configuration, allowing smartphones to offer two cameras via a single MIPI interface.
The OV5645 offers video recording in 720p at 60 frames-per-second, and 1080p recording at 30 frames-per-second. According to the announcement, 720p recordings have improved sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio. A filter function is in place to minimize spatial and zigzag artifacts.
OmniVision's new sensor also features OmniBSI+ technology, which is aimed at providing high quality via low noise levels, low crosstalk, and high sensitivity. The OV5645 supports black sun cancellation, LED and flash strobe modes, anti-shake, and more. Overall, this sensor brings a cost-effective way for smartphones to offer improved video and photos via a higher-sensitivity and better low-light performance without unnecessary hardware and cost.