ImageOmniVision has been on a bit of a tear introducing new mobile camera sensors this week, and its newest could well have the biggest impact on smartphones in the next year. The OV12830's 12.7 megapixels don't make it as dense as the 16-megapixel sensors we've seen, but it makes up for that with some mighty fast still photography. As long as the attached phone can handle it, the CMOS sensor can snap full-resolution photos at 24 frames per second, or the kind of relentless shooting speed that would make One X and Galaxy S III fans happy. The same briskness musters 1080p video at 60 fps, even with stabilization thrown in. Production won't start until the fall and likely rules out a flood of 12.7-megapixel phones and tablets until 2013, but the OV12830's dead-on match for the size of current 8-megapixel sensors gives it a good shot at becoming ubiquitous -- and guarantees that phones won't need a giant hump on the back for a higher resolution.

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OmniVision Announces 12.7-Megapixel OmniBSI-2™ Image Sensor for High-End Smartphones and Tablets

1/3.2-inch OV12830 Captures 1080p/60 HD Video and Full Resolution High-Speed Photography

SANTA CLARA, Calif., May 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- OmniVision Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OVTI), a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, today announced the OV12830, a 12.7-megapixel CameraChip™ sensor designed specifically to meet the high quality image and video recording standards of next generation high-end smartphones and tablets. The 1/3.2-inch OV12830 utilizes the OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture to capture 1080p high definition (HD) video at 60 frames per second (FPS), and full resolution 12-megapixel high-speed photography at 24 FPS to dramatically reduce shutter lag.

"We are bringing this sensor to market at a time when next-generation smartphone and tablet cameras are moving beyond the 8-megapixel threshold," said Devang Patel, senior product marketing manager at OmniVision. "The OV12830 marks OmniVision's highest resolution 1/3.2-inch optical format offering for mobile devices to date, and fits into the industry-standard module size of 8.5 x 8.5 mm. This combination allows manufacturers to design mobile devices with greatly improved video recording capabilities within the same space constraints required by current 8-megapixel camera modules."

Utilizing advanced 1.1-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture, the OV12830 supports an active array of 4,224 x 3,000 pixels (12-megapixel) operating at 24 FPS, and 4,224 x 2,376 pixels (10-megapixel in a 16:9 aspect ratio) at 30 FPS, minimizing shutter lag from shot-to-shot. An on-chip RAW scaler allows the sensor to record video at 30 FPS while maintaining full field of view. Additionally, the OV12830 is capable of capturing full 1080p HD video with increased sensitivity for low-light recording, and at 60 FPS with additional pixels for EIS. The sensor provides alternate row output from full-resolution at two different exposures, enabling high-dynamic range (HDR) still or video recording.

The OV12830 comes in die format with industry standard 4-lane MIPI interface connectivity. It is currently available for sampling, and is expected to enter volume production in the fourth quarter of 2012.

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OmniVision's 12.7-megapixel OV12830 can shoot 24 fps photo bursts from your smartphone