SMALL FOOTPRINT ENABLES DROP-IN UPGRADE FOR 2-MEGAPIXEL CAMERA PHONES
SUNNYVALE, CA — June 14, 2007 — OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading independent supplier of CMOS image sensors for high-volume applications, today launched the OV3640, the first fully integrated 3-megapixel CameraChip™ sensor in a ¼-inch format. Based on the new 1.75- micron OmniPixel3™ architecture, the OV3640 is small enough to fit the standard 8 x 8 mm sockets used in 2-megapixel camera phones, making it an ideal drop-in upgrade for existing handset designs.
The highly integrated OV3640 features a high-speed two-lane mobile industry processor interface (MIPI) to enable the fast transfer of large blocks of data, which is critical to making effective use of increased camera resolutions. In addition, the new sensor incorporates advanced image signal processing and onboard JPEG compression to allow existing baseband processors without MIPI to support a camera upgrade to 3-megapixels at 15 frames per second in full resolution.
In addition to MIPI, the OV3640 also incorporates advanced image stabilization functionality similar to that used in digital still camera (DSC) and camcorder products. In low light situations, cameras need a longer exposure time which, in turn, requires the photographer to keep a steady hand. Camera phones with an OV3640 sensor will automatically sense the slightest camera shake and activate the image stabilization function to help prevent image blur and produce sharper images.
The new features and improvements incorporated in the OV3640 are focused specifically on improving image quality and camera performance, both critical drivers for market acceptance of higher resolution cameras in the handset market. These new features and improvements include a new read-out circuit for significantly reduced noise; improved high resolution image signal processing for better overall camera performance and image quality; a black level follower for stronger image contrast; easy black level calibration to eliminate the need for gain adjust; integrated auto-focus control for 8.5 x 8.5 mm auto focus camera modules, and improved scaling to facilitate smooth zoom function.
“OmniVision has always had a commitment to bringing the consumer advanced features that make camera phones more user friendly and deliver performance and picture quality comparable to DSCs,” said James He, Chief Operating Officer at OmniVision. “By integrating advanced features into the sensor, including a high-speed interface, while delivering it in the compact ¼ inch footprint, the OV3640 provides handset manufacturers with a very attractive solution for next generation thin handset designs.”
The OV3640 is the first product launched by OmniVision based on the recently-announced OmniPixel3 architecture which, at 1.75 microns, is among the smallest currently commercially available. OmniPixel3 is designed to focus light onto the sensor more effectively, allowing the pixels to capture significantly more light and thus make more effective use of the smaller pixel’s active area. The resulting improved fill factor and increased sensitivity deliver more vibrant and true-to-life color reproduction. OmniPixel3’s optimized pixel symmetry avoids color distortion and offers improved dynamic range of up to 65dB. New process technology optimizations help OmniPixel3 achieve ultra low dark current (30 e/sec) and low defect density, making this technology ideal for use in low-light and variable light conditions. Further innovations include a new transfer gate design process and contact technologies that achieve lag-free operation throughout the signal range. Eliminating read-out lag ensures that no ‘ghost images’ or unwanted noise are present in the imaging process.
The OV3640 is currently available for customer sampling. Volume production is expected by Q4 of 2007.
Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the performance, achievements and capabilities of the OV3640 CMOS image sensor, markets for which the OV3640 is targeted and timing of volume production, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties, which could cause the forward-looking statements and OmniVision’s results to differ materially, include, without limitation: potential errors, design flaws or other problems with the OV3640 CMOS image sensor; risks associated with building customer acceptance of and demand for the OV3640; the development of the market for CMOS sensors in the camera phone market as well as in markets for other portable applications incorporating image sensors; the rapid changes in technical requirements for camera phone products; competitive risks; as well as other risks detailed from time to time in OmniVision’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including, but not limited to, OmniVision’s most recent annual report filed on Form 10-K and quarterly report filed on form 10-Q. OmniVision expressly disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forwardlooking statement whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.