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OMNIVISION Dual-Camera Reference Designs Bring DSC/DSLR‑Quality Features to Smartphone Cameras
Jan 07, 2017

Combining Color and Monochrome Sensors with Wide-Angle and Telephoto Lenses, Reference Designs Deliver Improved Low-Light Performance, Up to 10x Zoom, and Bokeh Portrait Effects

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — January 7, 2017— OMNIVISION Technologies, Inc., a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today announced from the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) the availability of three new dual-camera module reference designs to bring DSC/DSLR-quality capabilities—such as 10X zoom, Bokeh-effect portrait imaging, and improved low-light imaging—to smartphone cameras. The designs combine OMNIVISION’s OV12A10 image sensor with the OV12A1B, OV13880, and OV20381, to provide smartphone manufacturers the flexibility to choose an ideal option based on compatibility with device designs and product targets.

“Today consumers aren’t only using their smartphones for selfies and simple snapshots. They expect the images they take to be of the same quality they can achieve with complex DSLR cameras and optical lenses,” said Devang Patel, senior product marketing manager at OMNIVISION. “By making three reference designs that combine our image sensors into dual-camera module configurations, we are offering device manufacturers tools they can use in their efforts to deliver advanced features like 10X zoom, Bokeh-effect portraits, and clear images, even in low-light conditions.”

According to a recent market report from Yolé Developpement, dual-camera penetration into the mobile market is expected to reach roughly 20 percent by 2020, driven largely by increasing consumer demand for the advanced features and image-quality improvements offered by this technology.

Monochrome sensors inherently have higher sensitivity compared to their color counterpart. Color and monochrome dual-camera configurations can also improve low-light photography by merging both color and monochrome images into one image, using advanced algorithms.

Zoom features are traditionally achieved in DSC/DSLR cameras using a telephoto lens. By using two sensors and two lenses (one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens), dual-camera solutions can bring zoom to smartphones without sacrificing phone thickness.

The Bokeh effect, produced when an image background is blurred while the subject remains in sharp focus, has typically been achieved in DSC/DSLR cameras using lenses with shallow depth-of-field. In a smartphone camera’s portrait mode, the dual camera is used to generate a depth map, which is then combined with intelligent algorithms to create a blur effect in the background. The depth map can also be used for refocus after an image is taken.

OMNIVISION’s three dual-camera reference design solutions consist of the following configurations:

  • 12-megapixel OV12A10 color and OV12A1B monochrome sensors are combined with a symmetrical lens to enable super resolution and improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in low-light conditions
  • 12-megapixel OV12A10 and 13-megapixel OV13880 are combined with wide-angle and telephoto lenses to achieve up to 10X zoom capability
  • 12-megapixel OV12A10 color is paired with the 20-megapixel OV20381 monochrome sensor to deliver digital zoom capabilities and improved low-light imaging while maintaining a thin form factor


OMNIVISION is a global fabless semiconductor organization that develops advanced digital imaging, analog, and touch & display solutions for multiple applications and industries, including mobile phones; security and surveillance; automotive; computing; medical; and emerging applications. Its award-winning innovative technologies enable a smoother human/machine interface in many of today’s commercial devices. Find out more at

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