Imaging sensing provides exciting new capabilities to a number of products. In its “Advances in Image Sensors” report, Frost & Sullivan projects image sensor technologies will contribute to imaging requirements in several applications. Key areas include digital cameras, mobile phones and automotive, as well as industrial machine vision. The requirements in these applications are driving new technology developments.
In Portable Consumer Products
The consumer area has both high accuracy requirements in high-end digital cameras and higher but affordable performance where the camera is an embedded technology in a product such as a cell phone or PDA.
For medium format digital photography, DALSA Corp. introduced an image sensor built on a 6-micron pixel platform.
To provide higher resolution and high color fidelity for camera phones, Aptina Imaging, a division of Micron Technology, introduced its MT9P111. The System-on-Chip (SoC) CMOS design reduces optical form factor and size critical to the cell phone while providing 5 megapixel speeds with 1.4-micron pixel technology.
Automotive applications are not necessarily the newest of the high-volume vision sensing applications but they certainly have some of the toughest requirements. The 2009 BMW 7 Series has three vision sensing-enabled driver assistance functions: Speed Limit Information (SLI), High Beam Assist (HBA) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
The system uses a highly dynamic range digital CMOS camera developed and produced by Continental and a high-performance image processing chip called the EyeQ1 from Mobileye.
In the Factory
Vision system suppliers such as Cognex realize a successful industrial vision sensing application requires more than a good image sensor. With its VisionView 1.1 operator display panel, Cognex provides a simple, low-cost operator interface that does not require the vision sensors to connect to a PC.