STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM – news) has introduced a highly integrated digital color microcamera module highly suited for the next generation of cellular phones, personal digital assistants and other portable communications devices.
The Digital Camera Module occupies just 10 x 10 x 7.5mm, an important factor in space starved portable gear. To conserve power – another key requirement for portable operation – the module operates from just 2.8V, drawing 50 mW at an image refresh rate of 15 frame/sec. The module captures both still and moving images at Common Intermediate Format (CIF, 352-x-288-pixel) and Quarter CIF (QCIF, 176-x-144-pixel) resolution.
The highly integrated, ceramic multichip module consists of STMicroelectronics’ unique CMOS-based ColourMOS sensor, a dedicated coprocessor, a low-profile lens assembly, and a 20-pin flex connector. The CMOS sensor is the only one to combine low power, small size, single supply voltage and high image quality. Moreover, by including its own lens assembly, the Digital Camera Module requires no assembly of optics.
The camera module, through an I2C interface, can be configured to perform automatic gain control, automatic exposure control, automatic white balance and automatic black/dark level calibration. The module can also implement an automatic flicker detection and correction scheme, which lets the module move between 50-Hz and 60-Hz voltage supplies without degrading performance. The output of the module is an 8-bit Y-Cb-Cr digital video signal with optional CCIR Rec656 timing, programmable horizontal and vertical synchronization, and data qualification clock.
As a recognized leader in high-volume semiconductor manufacturing, ST can offer both the high volumes and quality required by emerging portable applications, reducing customer risk.