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ON Semi uncovers low-light enabled fast auto focus tech

Posted: 02 Mar 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ON Semiconductor? auto focus? micro-lens? smartphone?

ON Semiconductor has unleashed its second generation Phase Detect Auto Focus (PDAF) technology that touts a unique pixel micro-lens technology that allows fast focus at 25 Lux light levels. According to the company, the technology has been implemented on a 13MP test chip with 1.1m pixels and will be used in a novel product for mobile end-market customers later this year.

Traditional smartphone autofocus (AF) algorithms use a contrast detection measurement and multiple frames to adjust the lens focus. This trial-and-error method can take over 1.2s to find focus in an image. ON Semi's PDAF technology uses two pixels to measure phase information from the target image. This phase information is then used to calculate the direction and the amount the lens needs to move to focus in less than 0.3s, depending on focus actuator speed.

Furthermore, ON Semi has implemented a unique pixel micro-lens structure that maintains sensitivity in the PDAF pixels and ensures enough light is captured for PDAF to perform in low-light conditions as low as 25 Lux (similar to a dimly lit room). Competing technologies on the market employ methods that compromise pixel sensitivity and low light auto focus performance, added the company.

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