OmniVision Announces OV8850 - 1/4” 8-Megapixel Sensor With 1.1µm Pixelsby Saumitra Bhagwat on August 4, 2011 11:51 AM EST
Today, OmniVision announced a new 1/4” 8-megapixel sensor based on their 1.1 µm OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. The OV8850 is 20% thinner than any other 8-megapixel sensor in the market and paves the way for devices with even slimmer designs.
Per Rosdahl, Senior Product Manager at OmniVision said the new sensors offer significant improvements over the previous 1.4 µm sensors, with a 35% increase in low light sensitivity, a 20% improvement in peak quantum efficiency across all color channels and a 45% increase in full-well capacity, all whilst maintaining an extremely compact and power efficient package. The OV8850 fits in an 8.5 x 8.5mm enclosure with a height of 4.7mm. Sampling begins in August with mass availability expected in Q1 2012.
OmniBSI, which is similar to Sony’s Exmor technology, moves the metal wiring and circuit elements in the sensor behind the photo diodes, thereby making them more sensitive to incoming light. OmniVision currently supplies the 5-megapixel sensor found in the iPhone 4 which is based around it’s older 1.4 µm OmniBSI technology. Given Apple’s obsession with thinness, the OV8850 could very well find its way into the next iPhone, but would inevitably be a downgrade in terms of pixel size and light sensitivity when compared to the iPhone 4 which uses an OV5650 sensor. (Thanks ltcommanderdata!)
Our own Brian Klug explained backside illumination in our iPhone 4 review. CNET also has an explanatory article or you can check out OmniVision’s own video here.