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Camera kit includes 'first USB three-in-one camera processor'

Posted: 28 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:stmicroelectronics? st? usb camera? uxga? ultra extended graphic array?

STMicroelectronics (ST) announced its latest 2Mpixel (2MP) tri-mode USB camera that includes the company's UXGA (Ultra eXtended Graphic Array) image sensor with improved low-light performance, and what is touted to be the first USB video-class-compliant three-in-one camera processor, designed for use in webcams, digital still cameras (DSCs) and camcorders.

The vc6700 cmos image sensor produces digital video data at up to 20fps at UXGA resolution (2MP). According to the press release, it provides a cost-, power- and size-saving alternative to Charge Coupled Device (CCD) sensors, while delivering approximate CCD image quality with superb performance in low light and bright light environments.

Meanwhile, the STV0684 digital camera processor is designed to support ST image sensors of 2MP to 4MP, and can be used to implement three different low-cost CMOS camera products: a web camera, a DSC and a video camera recorder. Due to its USB video-class-compliance, the processor enables webcam operation with no need to install any drivers on the host PC.

Marc Vasseur, GM of ST's Imaging Division, commented, "Our sensors are equipped to preprocess the image using dark calibration or defect correction, while the video processor of the STV0684 benefits from the company's latest image-processing developments, such as the patented noise reduction and anti-vignetting algorithms. With these technologies, our sensors deliver the superior image quality that increasingly sophisticated consumers now demand from their digital cameras."

The ST20 32bit core of the camera processor provides an opportunity for OEMs to enhance customer experience by designing advanced user interfaces. This core contains an embedded ROM boot-loader for code storage in a cost-effective NAND flash memory.

Audio capability of the kit is supported by the inclusion of audio record and playback circuitry in the processor, coupled with an on-board audio pre-amplifier, integrated in the image sensor. The reduced footprint of the processor, shipped in a tiny BGA 12-by-12mm package, enables manufacturers to create digital cameras as small as credit cards.

The chipset, currently available in engineering samples, is supported by a complete reference design, including the sensor and the co-processor, firmware and software drivers. The kit is ready for volume production, at a price of $10 in large quantities.

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