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Camera module with low power consumption in small package

Posted: 02 Mar 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:stmicroelectronics? st? vga camera module? vs6524?

STMicroelectronics (ST) introduced its latest single-chip VGA camera module for entry-level mobile phones and other portable devices. According to the company, its new VS6524 leverages three of its main imaging strengths: advanced optical packaging, the latest 3.6?m pixel design and SoC integration expertise.

The VGA (640 x 480-pixel) camera subsystem with low power consumption is housed in a 7-by-7-by-4.5mm package and is targeted at high-volume mobile platforms such as entry-level mobile phones, PDAs and videophones.

"Entry-level mobile phones increasingly feature an embedded camera in order to enable such popular services as MMS or picture messaging," said Jean-Yves Gomez, the company's GM for its Imaging Division. "Our latest VGA all-in-one camera module is a perfect match to our customers' requirements for cost-sensitive high-volume phone platforms. It provides outstanding image quality in a tiny module easy to integrate in their design."

The new chip is manufactured using ST's 0.18?m CMOS Imaging process, which enables integration of a high-sensitivity pixel array with 1/6-inch optical format, a digital image processor tailored to the pixel characteristics, and analog system functions on a single chip.

The VS6524 produces an industry-standard ITU-R BT.656-4 compliant digital video stream at up to 30fps, while the embedded Image Signal Processor (ISP) provides best-in-class picture quality utilizing the company's proven algorithms for pixel defect correction, lens shading compensation, sharpness enhancement, gamma correction, demosaicing, downscaling and color space conversion, said the press release.

In addition, the low-height dual-element plastic lens with the 50 horizontal field-of-view and a minimum focus distance of 20cm facilitates macro image capture. The integrated camera controller supports automatic exposure control, white balance control, display flicker elimination and flashgun control in both automatic and user-defined operation modes.

The full range of power management features, including power switches, power-safe pins, power-on reset cell and core-voltage regulator, enables straightforward camera activation and a standby current of 10?A. The module operates from a main power supply ranging from 2.4V to 3V, and the camera interface signals use a separate 1.8V or 2.8V supply rail.

Engineering samples, as well as evaluation kits (USB 2.0 camera) are already available, with volume production of the VS6524 scheduled in Q2 2005. The complete camera module with flexible printed circuit and board-to-board connector is priced at $6 in large quantities.

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