Image sensor promises 'safer driving experience'

July 19, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Automotive image sensor offers 'safer driving experience'
Electronics company Samsung Electronics has introduced its first imaging solution optimized for automotive applications.

The ISOCELL Auto 4AC automotive image sensor is a viewing camera sensor for surround view monitors or rear-view cameras in high-definition (HD) resolution. It offers advanced 120-decibel (dB) high dynamic range (HDR) and LED flicker mitigation (LFM) especially for surround-view monitors (SVM) or rear-view cameras (RVC) at a resolution of 1280 x 960.

"The new ISOCELL Auto 4AC combines Samsung’s innovative and market-proven image sensor technologies with a unique CornerPixel solution for advanced HDR and LFM capabilities, offering exceptional viewing experiences regardless of lighting conditions,” says Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of sensor business at Samsung Electronics. “Starting with the ISOCELL Auto 4AC, we plan to expand our automotive sensor lineup to areas such as camera monitor systems (CMS), autonomous driving and in-cabin monitoring.”

Various lighting situations on the road may pose obstacles to the driver. Quick transitions from a low-lit environment to a brighter one, such as exiting a tunnel, may require a few seconds for the driver’s eyes to adjust. Also, flickering from LED headlamps or road signage, such as street lamps and traffic lights, could become increasingly noticeable on the automotive system’s camera screen.

The ISOCELL Auto 4AC, says the company, offers a safer driving experience with an enhanced field of view for the driver with its CornerPixel technology. The technology features a specialized pixel structure that mitigates LED light over 90 hertz (Hz).

Within a single pixel area, it embeds two photodiodes, one 3.0-µm pixel for viewing low light images, and a 1.0-µm pixel placed at the corner of the big pixel for brighter environments. With two photodiodes capturing images in different exposures simultaneously, the sensor offers up to 120dB HDR with minimal motion blur, allowing smoother transitions between dark and bright areas while preserving more details of the road ahead.

To minimize LED flickering, the smaller photodiode’s exposure time can be extended, preventing pulsing LED light from being displayed as flickering on the camera screen.


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