OmniVision Takes Samsung's Crown of World's Smallest 1080p Camera

All of these companies get passed around so much, from providing one thing to another, that it can be hard to keep up. Samsung, which just last month announced that they had the smallest 1080p camera module on the market, have now just been usurped. And, sure enough, it's from OmniVision, which probably got bumped out of the iPhone HD game by LG Innotek. It's a vicious world, the tech world, but we're happy that we're viewing it from the looking glass.

OmniVision have officially announced today the unveiling of their own in-bezel proposition for future camera needs of mobile products. With a z-height a full one millimeter smaller than Samsung's version (3.5mm versus 4.5mm), we've got to say that the crown's officially been taken. The big question, though: how'd they get it done? The company had to use their own 1.4 micron OmniBSI backside illumination technology, which incidentally makes it so that the their OV2720 CMOS sensor has double the low-light performance of similar sized VGA sensors.

Unfortunately though, OmniVision didn't come clean on what products would be using the new set-up, but they did say that mass production should kick off starting next month, in June. They believe their 1080p camera is perfect for stand-alone webcams, as well as netbooks, but we hope someone figures out how to put this in a phone. You know, like the iPhone HD?

Press Release:

OmniVision Releases World's Smallest 1080p HD Camera Solution

New OV2720 Utilizes 1.4-Micron BSI Pixel to Enable Ultra-Compact HD Video Solutions for Notebook, Netbook, Webcam and Video Conferencing Applications

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today introduced the OV2720, the world's first 1/6-inch, native 1080p/30 high-definition (HD) CMOS image sensor designed for notebook, netbook, webcam and video conferencing applications. Based on OmniVision's 1.4 micron OmniBSI™ backside illumination technology, the new 1080p sensor delivers video conference quality HD video recording in a small enough form factor to meet the module size and height requirements of today's thin notebook designs. The OV2720 is currently sampling with multiple tier-one customers and is slated to go into mass production in June 2010.

"Increased broadband capability, inexpensive high-quality image sensors and the increasing availability of high-quality external and embedded PC web cameras will drive both consumer and business video conferencing," said Brian O'Rourke, principal analyst at In-Stat. "In 2010, we expect over 70 percent of mobile PCs to ship with embedded cameras, and the availability of sensors such as OmniVision's OV2720 will make high definition video conferencing more popular in the notebook and netbook PC segments."

"Consumer demand for HD video has never been greater. Display formats are moving to a 16 by 9 aspect ratio, TV broadcast is embracing HD, and social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook are supporting HD," said Nick Nam, product marketing manager at OmniVision. "With the OV2720, OmniVision continues to lead the industry in bringing to market innovative, high performance HD solutions, addressing the growing demand for the HD video-enabled devices of the YouTube generation. With the broadest portfolio of HD video products in the industry, we enable our customers to find the right solution for their price, performance and size requirements."

The OV2720 is the first 1/6-inch sensor to offer native 1080p HD resolution. Native HD enables full field of view video with optimized image quality, sensitivity, color reproduction and clarity because no scaling or cropping is required to achieve HD resolution. The 1.4-micron OmniBSI pixel achieves best-in-class low light sensitivity of 680-mV/lux-sec, while enabling extremely thin modules with a z-height of 3.5 mm. Moreover, the OV2720 can use binning to further increase its low-light performance to double that of similar-sized VGA sensors. The OV2720's outstanding low-light performance and slim form factor combine to make it an ideal choice for tier-one notebook manufacturers.

The OV2720 CMOS image sensor supports multiple platform architectures and controllers with both parallel and MIPI interfaces. It allows system designers to leverage the same opto-electrical design across various products and multiple market segments to reduce product development time. Exposure control, white balance and defective pixel canceling are programmable through the serial camera control bus interface. In addition, the OV2720 uses proprietary sensor technology to improve image quality. By reducing or eliminating common lighting or electrical sources of image contamination, such as fixed pattern noise and smearing, the sensor can generate a clean, fully stable color image.

About OmniVision

OmniVision Technologies (NASDAQ: OVTI) is a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions. Its award-winning CMOS imaging technology enables superior image quality in many of today's consumer and commercial applications, including mobile phones, notebooks, netbooks and webcams, digital still and video cameras, security and surveillance, entertainment devices, automotive and medical imaging systems. Find out more at

Safe-Harbor Language

Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the expected benefits, performance, capabilities, and potential market appeal, as well as anticipated timing of mass production, of the OV2720 are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties, which could cause the forward-looking statements and OmniVision's results to differ materially, include, without limitation: potential errors, design flaws or other problems with OV2720, customer acceptance, demand, and other risks detailed from time to time in OmniVision's Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including, but not limited to, OmniVision's annual report filed on Form 10-K and quarterly reports filed on Form 10-Q. OmniVision expressly disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement.

OmniVision® is a registered trademark of OmniVision Technologies, Inc. The OmniVision logo and OmniBSI™ are trademarks of OmniVision Technologies, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

SOURCE OmniVision Technologies, Inc.