updated 02:25 pm EDT, Wed May 18, 2011
OmniVision OV5690 5MP camera to help slim tablets
OmniVision gave hope for a major improvement to the iPad and other thin tablets with a new camera sensor designed with them in mind. The OV5690 is its first five-megapixel camera using its second-generation backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and manages to get low light performance while measuring 20 percent thinner than the company's older sensor. Its camera would help with "slimmer tablets" along with smartphones, OmniVision said.
The sensor's internal processing is fast enough to record 1080p movies at full speed with stabilization as well as 720p video at a double-speed 60 frames per second.
OmniVision planned volume production in the second half of 2011 and was already giving test samples to "key customers."
The design and production strategy lend strong support to the OV5690 as a potential inclusion in the iPad 3. Apple is routinely one of OmniVision's largest customers for mobile cameras and uses the sensors in the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, with rumors that it would continue this trend in the next iPhone.
One of the most common criticisms leveled at the iPad 2 has been the poor camera quality dictated partly by the thickness. A new sensor could address the issue with the expected iPad 3 release in early 2012.