By Amanda Kim
Senior Director of Emerging Markets, OmniVision (Photo by OmniVision)
Please start by giving us a short history of OmniVision.
Founded in 1995 by Shaw Hong and Raymond Wu, we went public in July 2000. In fiscal 2008, we reached record revenues of nearly US$800 million (51 percent over fiscal 2007).
Please tell us about OmniVision¡¯s recent developments.
In May 2008, we have unveiled OmniBSITM architecture, a novel sensor that adopts a different approach to traditional CMOS image sensor technology. Using Backside Illumination (BSI) enables us to continue offering improved image quality while extending its pixel roadmap down to 0.9 micron pixels, which is the key to continued miniaturization of digital imaging technology we have developed.
BSI methodology involves turning the sensor upside down so that it collects light through what was previously the backside -- the silicon substrate. This approach differs from conventional Front Side Illumination (FSI) image sensors, where the amount of light reaching the photo-sensitive area is limited, in part, by the multiple metal and dielectric layers required to enable the sensor to convert photons into electrons.
As a leading CMOS sensor provider, please tell us about how CMOS sensor is applied to IP-based security.
We provide highly-integrated SoC digital camera systems (sensor+ISP+YUV-output) for surveillance camera systems, thereby reducing the complexity and cost of IP cameras.
Please update us on current market trend of CMOS.
According to TSR (Techno Systems Research Co., Ltd.), a third-party research firm located in Japan, the surveillance camera market will continue to fuel growth for CMOS image sensors. The trend toward CMOS from CCD solutions is expected to grow from 33 percent in 2008 to 44 percent in 2012.
Please introduce OmniVision¡¯s products that are adopted by IP-based security camera.
¡Ü OV7720: It is a high-sensitivity digital VGA sensor designed specifically for security and surveillance applications. Unlike conventional analog security cameras, it produces high-quality digital output eliminating the need for A/D converters to ease post-processing for use in smart security systems and IP or 3G cameras.
¡Ü OV7725: It is a highly integrated CMOS sensor that provides the full functionality of a VGA camera and image processor on a single chip. The OV7725 is a 1/4-inch VGA CameraChip sensor built on OmniVision¡¯s proprietary OmniPixel2 technology for unparalleled performance in low-light conditions, which is an extremely important factor for today¡¯s security applications.
¡Ü OV9710: It is a high-performance, low-power, 1-megapixel CMOS image sensor that offers high-quality HD (720p or 800p) video performance at 30 frames per second (fps). It incorporates OmniVision¡¯s proprietary OmniPixel3-HS technology in a 3x3 micron pixel to enable best-in-class low light performance.
¡Ü OV10620: The single-chip OV10620 offers security camera manufacturers significant cost-savings over existing multi-chip CCD camera solutions with HDR capability as well as superior performance versus competing CMOS color HDR systems.
What are OmniVision¡¯s strengths in the IP-based security market?
We offer a wide range of image solutions to the IP-based security market including VGA, Megapixel, and HDR. In addition, we partner with other industry-leading companies to provide complete reference designs for IP cameras.
What is the next challenge OmniVision is facing?
Although IP camera¡¯s adoption for CMOS imaging solutions has been slower than expected, due to industry¡¯s delayed-migration from existing CCTV infrastructure solutions, we are very well positioned, through our broad product offerings and industry partnerships, to ride the IP camera wave that¡¯s projected to experience tremendous growth in the coming years as demand for high-quality surveillance solutions continue to climb.
Amanda Kim is Editor of SecurityWorld INT¡¯L. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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