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3D camera solution simplifies handset design

Posted: 11 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:3D camera solution? image sensor? processor? cellphone design?

OVM6680, OVM7690

OmniVision Technologies Inc. has unveiled the CameraCube technology, a 3D reflowable, total camera solution that combines the full functionality of a single-chip image sensor, embedded image processor and wafer-level optics in one compact, small-footprint package. OmniVision's approach has enabled the industry's smallest profile and z-height (down to 2.5mm x 2.9mm x 2.5mm), making it a suitable solution for today's ultraslim mobile phones.

The total camera solution also simplifies the supply chain, translating into both cost and time-to-market benefits for mobile phone manufacturers. The company has already engaged with targeted key customers worldwide on the initial two devices, the OVM6680 (400 x 400) and OVM7690 (VGA), both immediately available in volume production. Additional devices based on the new technology are slated for release throughout 2009.

"Today's announcement represents the culmination of years of strategic planning," said James He, OmniVision chief operating officer. "We carefully identified the elements needed to develop a small footprint, total camera solution. We made a strategic investment in the supply chain with VisEra Technologies, brought the expertise required in-house through our acquisition of OmniVision CDM Optics, and collaborated with the industry's leading wafer-level lens suppliers."

Streamlined manufacturing
Because CameraCube technology delivers a complete all-in-one camera solution, mobile phone manufacturing is significantly streamlined. As with any other surface mount device, the reflowable CameraCube devices can be directly soldered to the PCB with no socket or insertion required, eliminating the need for additional components and resulting in reduced cost and faster time-to-market. Unlike traditional camera module designs that combine image sensors and lenses in a barrel, OmniVision devices are assembled using wafer level alignment tools. The lens can be placed directly onto chip scale packaged (CSP) image sensors, which eliminates the need for flex cables and interposers.

Initially targeted at the low-end mobile phone market, the ultrasmall size and thermal tolerance characteristics (up to 260C), make CameraCube devices well-suited for a number of emerging markets including notebook PC, surveillance, automotive and medical cameras. "Consumer demand continues to drive the trend toward miniaturization and lower costs. With the introduction of CameraCube technology, OmniVision is in lock-step with the evolution of the mobile phone," said Pamela Tufegdzic, Consumer Electronics analyst at iSuppli, a leading market research firm. "By leveraging their expertise in CSP packaging and wafer-level optics, OmniVision has developed a viable solution for the highly-competitive mobile phone market, where cost and fast time-to-market is critical."

The new CameraCube devices, which include the OVM6680 (400 x 400 SGA) and OVM7690 (VGA), are immediately available in volume production.

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