updated 09:40 am EDT, Thu April 14, 2011
OmniVision OV12825 brings 12.6MP to phones
OmniVision chose Thursday to show a new camera sensor destined for high-end smartphones. The OV12825 packs 12.6 megapixels but also is fast enough to push high quality video. It can not only record 1080p video at 60 frames per second but has enough pixel and performance headroom to use pixel-shift image stabilization.
As a CMOS sensor, the new technology is both low-light sensitive and relatively fast. Although not usable for video, it can capture the full 4224x3000 resolution at 15 frames per second and could lead to fast continuous still image shooting that remains rare on most smartphones.
OmniVision is unusually promising a quick turnaround and has said the sensor is already set for test samples and should be in mass production before the end of spring.
No customers have been named so far. Apple has usually been OmniVision's main customer but is rumored to be switching to Sony for the iPhone 5's camera sensor to address supply issues. Most talk has also centered around an eight-megapixel sensor reaching the device with no mention of a 12.6-megapixel upgrade. The timing would nonetheless give Apple room to implement the OV12825 if talk of a September iPhone 5 release is accurate.