A child’s football game, a niece’s wedding, or a day at the beach— these are the moments when a DSC is put to the test. Consumers expect to capture memories with a camera that works right the first time.
At Aptina, we help you deliver that experience. To this end, we’ve developed what we believe are the world’s best quality CMOS image sensors and image processors. We’ve combined world-leading pixel technology and analog readout and digitization expertise with proven image processing and system design strategies to help you build the best possible cameras and DVCs. Read on to learn about the specific Aptina® features that can help you gain a competitive advantage with your next DSC or DVC design.
We help you differentiate
We pride ourselves on providing you with the technology and camera features you need to differentiate your designs in the camera market, which according to a November 2007 Gartner report, "is becoming a fierce battleground not only for traditional camera manufacturers but also for vendors with backgrounds in PCs and consumer electronics, which are vying for market share on the world stage."
In the past, the camera market melee was fought with megapixels as each competitor sought to become the first to advance the next highest resolution. But now, according to Gartner, "pixel count is no longer the decisive differentiating factor…recognizing that differentiation is the key to survival in a maturing market, manufacturers have for several years been adding new features to their cameras to increase their appeal and make them stand out."
Using advanced features to win
At Aptina, we’ve long understood that while great image quality and high resolution will always be an important factor in camera design and selection, advanced features and system simplification are the keys to helping our customers succeed in the DSC and DVC markets.
Fast frame rates for pictures
Even mid-range DSC customers are beginning to demand fast camera response times and the kind of fast-motion and advanced features that can adequately capture sports and other fast-moving scenes. Fast frame rates enable just this sort of DSC burst mode and give Aptina customers a real competitive advantage in the marketplace. High frame rates also improve existing features like auto focus and image stabilization. We are the technologists that can help you implement this sort of feature into your next DSC design.
Fast frame rates for video and hybrids
Our speedy CMOS imagers also enable two other key competitive advantages, hybrid cameras and HD DVCs.
Hybrid cameras can take great quality, printable photographs and shoot standard definition or HD video. These cameras offer consumers a two-in-one solution. We’ve long prided ourselves on our high-speed video capabilities and consider high-speed image capture one of our core competencies. In fact, Aptina is one of the market share leaders in high-speed, machine vision CMOS image sensors. We use that technology to build DSC-quality image sensors with frame rates that CCDs can’t match.
All of this speed is also good for DVC designers looking a gain a competitive edge. We’ve designed HD video-specific imagers capable of capturing 720p HD video at up to 60 fps or 1080p HD video at up to 30 fps. By way of comparison, standard television in the U.S., Europe, and Japan only uses about 24 fps. These HD-ready sensors include the MT9P401 and the MT9M002.
We pride ourselves on creating what we believe are the most advanced pixels in the world. The sensitivity of our CMOS image sensors lets them capture vivid pictures that, we believe, compare favorably with the output of CCDs with similar-sized pixels.
Let’s face it; assumptions and stereotypes have created confusion about CMOS image capabilities and quality. Some designers mistakenly think that CCDs are technically superior and take better pictures. But this is no longer true.
What is true is that first-generation CMOS image sensors, like many first-generation technologies, had image noise issues in lower light conditions and generally took poorer images than the incumbent CCD sensors. There were many contributing factors that made those first CMOS sensors noisier than CCDs, including using logic process technology and not using active pixel architecture.
We have overcome both of these challenges and we have a portfolio of image sensors that produce high-quality images. The picture below was taken at night with our 8Mp sensor, which uses our first-generation 1.75µm pixel. Notice that there is virtually no noise in the darkest areas of the image.
- Fast frame rates
- Need a competitive edge for your DSC? Fast frame rates can improve current features like auto focus and image stabilization while enabling DSC burst modes.
- Low-light sensitivity
- Every single day consumers take snapshots in low-light conditions. Learn why our sensors perform so well in low light.
- High-Definition (HD)
- Bright, beautiful HD Video for mobile camera phone and digital camera applications.
DevCam HD DVC Reference Design
Aptina’s DevCam HD is a ready-to-build reference design built with an Aptina 1.6 megapixel image sensor (product number MT9M002) and a video processor (product number A2) from Ambarella, Inc., a leader in low-power, HD video compression and image processing semiconductors. The high-speed imager and processor enable both 1440 x 1080 HD video capture at 30 fps and 720p HD video capture at 60 fps. The design includes a fixed-focus lens, ideal for capturing HD video at the spur of the moment. The design materials list is cost-efficient, enabling an impressive HD camcorder experience at a fraction of the cost compared with higher-end camcorders.
Aptina is applying our expertise in HD and high-speed imaging to help create a richer viewing experience with higher resolution and frame rate, and we're proud to work with our partners and customers to bring quality and affordable video to the mass market.
DevCam product images:
Download a printable version of the DevCam HD specifications (PDF 134KB).
Design Advantages that Offer a Competitive Edge
- Fast Time to Market
- Production-ready solution speeds design time—just encase with your industrial design and manufacture.
- High-Quality HD
- This superior processor/image sensor combination is currently used in high-end DVCs that retail for more than $700.
- Low BOM Cost
- With a low estimated retail price, this design puts HD video within reach of first-time buyers or consumers looking to upgrade from SD/VGA.
- Pocket Size
- The small camera design and highly integrated processor enable an ultra-small form factor.
- Complete Solution
- Bundled PC software enables editing and sharing for a total user experience.
- MT9M002 CMOS image sensor
- Ambarella A2 video processor
- HD video capable
- Simple user interface—HD/SD Record, Play, FF, RW, Pause, Delete, and 2x digital zoom
- 2-inch color LCD
- AV out
- HD video out
- Built-in microphone and speaker
- Removable SD card slot
- Two AA battery operation
- 2.2µ pixel size
- 1/4.5-inch optical format
- RGB color filter
- On-chip 12-bit ADC
- Full Resolution: 1440 x 1080 @ 30 fps
- HD: 1280 x 720P @ 60 fps
- SD: 720 x 480P @ 60 fps
Bundled PC software is installed and ready to use without any OEM modifications and provides a total user experience:
- Video editing
- Movie making
- Video archiving
- Transcode to DVD
- E-mail video
- Upload to Internet sharing sites
How to Buy
The DevCam HD DVC reference design will be available to select camera ODMs the second quarter of 2008. To order, please contact your Aptina representative.