Conexant claims smallest CMOS image sensor

AUGUST 22--Conexant Systems Inc. (Newport Beach, CA; www.conexant.com) has introduced what it claims is the first 0.18-μm CMOS image sensor.

AUGUST 22--Conexant Systems Inc. (Newport Beach, CA; www.conexant.com) has introduced what it claims is the first 0.18-μm CMOS image sensor. The company also claims it is the smallest and lowest-power 640 x 480 video graphics adapter (VGA) available.

According to the company, its third-generation CMOS image sensor, known as the CX20490, allows image capture for low-power portable devices such as wireless handsets, personal digital assistants (PDAs), PC cameras, and digital still cameras. The device includes an integrated 10-bit analog-to-digital converter and timing circuitry. It operates from a single 3.3-V power source with less than 50-mW power consumption at full frame rate, the company said.

The device uses a 4-μm pixel, providing a 1/5-in. optical format. It outputs full-VGA-resolution RGB Bayer data up to 30 frames/s using an external 12-MHz input clock. Subsampling and programmable window-of-interest allows output resolutions such as CIF (352 x 288) and QVGA (320 x 240).

"Driving down CMOS imager process lithography is crucial to creating smaller, high-optical performance pixels," said Kevin Strong, senior vice president and general manager for Conexant's digital imaging business unit. "This allows for the building of smaller and lower-power image sensors."

According to research by Cahners In-Stat Group, the imaging-products market, which consists of digital still cameras, PC cameras, handsets, and PDAs, will generate worldwide shipments in excess of 150 million annually by 2005.

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