Refreshed internals, lower price point possible.
Omnivision Announces 20% Thinner 8-MegaPixel Camera Sensor for Use in Smartphones
Apple's longtime camera sensor supplier for iOS devices, Omnivision Technologies, has announced a new 8-megapixel sensor which claims to be 20 percent slimmer than any other 8-megapixel module in commercial use today.
"With our new OmniBSI-2 architecture, we have further miniaturized our pixels while delivering a 20 percent improvement in peak quantum efficiency in all color channels, a 35 percent improvement in low-light sensitivity and a 45 percent increase in full-well capacity in an extremely compact and power efficient package," said Per Rosdahl, senior product manager at OmniVision. "This 1.1-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel enables the next generation of miniaturization in mobile cameras, and is key to the high-resolution smartphone camera roadmap."The new camera module should pave the way to thinner smartphone designs which has always been a priority for Apple. Apple has used Omnivision's technology in the past and presently uses it in the iPhone 4. Omnivision has also been heavily rumored to be one of two suppliers for an 8-megapixel camera sensor in the iPhone 5.
Based on the press release, however, this particular sensor may not be ready in time for the iPhone 5's release which is expected in October. Sampling of this new part begins in August with mass production expected in the first quarter of 2012.
For reference this new part has a build height of 4.7mm. The current iPhone 4 5MP back-side camera has been measured to be 6.5mm.