updated 03:40 pm EDT, Tue August 23, 2011
OmniVision OV9770 may be bound for Apple gear
OmniVision might have given a clue as to Apple's mobile plans for the near future. The OV9770 is still designed to exactly fit a 720p widescreen resolution but uses the same new-generation sensor technology as much larger sensors like the OV8850. The upgrade gives it about 20 percent better performance in low light and improves the sensor's overall color quality and noise levels.
As before, size and native resolution dictate the design. At a sixth of an inch, it can fit into thin MP3 players, tablets, and notebook lids, OmniVision said. Shaping the sensor to the native widescreen ratio cuts back on still photo size but also produces 720p video that doesn't have to be cropped or scaled to fit.
Production samples are already being given out today with production due to follow quickly, in the fall.
Although OmniVision's sensors are used across the industry, Apple is often one of OmniVision's biggest customers and has been using the company's last-generation 720p sensor in both the iPad 2 and the fourth-generation iPod touch. The upgrade could improve the often-criticized camera on both devices without necessarily dictating a larger or more expensive technology that hikes the prices on numerous Android and BlackBerry tablets, which go up to five or even eight megapixels.