Automotive image sensors offer LED flicker mitigation and 140dB high dynamic range

December 09, 2019 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Automotive image sensors offer LED flicker mitigation and 140dB high dynamic range
Image processing systems for vehicles require sensors that not only offer a high resolution and frame rate. In order for such systems to meet the requirements of automated driving, they must also have a high dynamic bandwidth and be insensitive to the flickering of LEDs in sign bridges. Omnivision has now launched two sensors that meet these requirements.

Automotive cameras have be able to equally capture dark and very bright areas alike such as it is the case when exiting a tunnel with the sun low on the horizon. For such situations, the sensors need to cover a very high dynamic range (HDR). In addition, LEDs are becoming omnipresent on the road, including illumination, traffic lights, road signs and bus displays. Having a sensor with an LFM solution is therefore a must for automotive applications to extract all the necessary information in front of a vehicle.

With two new digital imaging sensors, the OX08A and OX08B, OmniVision Technologies, is hitting the market of automotive vision systems for ADAS and level3+ automated driving systems. The OX08A features the automotive industry’s best HDR, while the pinout-compatible OX08B claims to add a new benchmark in LED flicker mitigation (LFM) performance, enabled by the sensor’s on-chip HALE (HDR and LFM engine) combination algorithm.

 

The image sensors utilize OmniVision’s dual conversion gain (DCG) technology to achieve 82dB dynamic range on the first exposure, whereas competitors’ image sensors only provide a dynamic range of 60dB or less. Unlike DCG, the competing method, known as staggered HDR, relies on additional passes that introduce motion artifacts and diminish range, especially in low light. Additionally, the vendor’s 3D stacking technology allowed them to integrate their HALE algorithm into the OX08B. As a result, the sensor platform provides 140dB HDR.

With its 4-cell technology, OmniVision claims to offer the industry’s best LFM with high low-light performance in a 1/1.8” optical format that has a 2.1 micron pixel pitch. Furthermore, OmniVision’s PureCel Plus-S stacked architecture enables each pixel to perform optimally via higher full-well capacity for improved HDR.


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