CMOS image sensors offer VGA for surveillance cameras and drive recorders

July 15, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Toshiba Electronics Europe’s TCM3211PB is a 1/4-inch VGA CMOS area image sensor for security cameras, surveillance cameras and drive recorder applications that enables high sensitivity video capture even in low light conditions.

The sensor has large 5.6 µm pixels, improving low light sensitivity. Even in moonlight, where lighting levels reach just 0.2 lux, bright images can be captured. The sensor also incorporates a single frame HDR (High Dynamic Range) function that realises high dynamic range of 108 dB. The HDR function is based on an algorithm developed by Toshiba that simultaneously applies different exposure times to each line of an image and incorporates them into a single image.

False colouration, where sensors produce colours not true to the imaged objects, is reduced and the sensor faithfully reproduces dark and bright areas in high contrast images. The TCM3211PB's high frame rate of 60 fps at full resolution enables smooth and seamless capture of video images in a 4:3 aspect ratio. Available in a PBGA (plastic ball rid array) package, the system contributes to the downsizing of camera surveillance systems.