TheiaCel technology is basis for automotive image sensor for flicker-free cameras

At this week’s AutoSens Brussels (19 to 21 September) Omnivision has unveiled a small, low power consumption image sensor which uses TheiaCel technology. The OX08D10 is an automotive image sensor for LED-flicker-free exterior cameras, said the company.
The 8Mpixel OX08D10 CMOS image sensor with TheiaCel technology is claimed to enhance automotive safety with enhanced resolution and image quality in exterior cameras for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving (AD).
The OX08D10 features low light performance and low power consumption in a compact size that is 50 per cent smaller than other exterior cabin sensors in its class, said Omnivision. It is the first image sensor to feature the company’s new 2.1 micron TheiaCel technology. This technology combines lateral overflow integration capacitors (LOFIC) and Omnivision’s DCG high dynamic range (HDR) technology to eliminate LED flicker regardless of lighting conditions, said Omnivision. The technology enables the OX08D10 to achieve HDR image capture at up to 200 meters, to balance SNR1 and dynamic range and which is optimal for automotive exterior camera applications, said Omnivision.
According to Paul Wu, Omnivision’s automotive product marketing manager, the  OX08D10 image sensor is a single device that combines features including low-light performance, LED flicker mitigation (LFM), small size and low power, eliminating OEMs to meet performance/design compromises to address LED flicker.
TheiaCel technology is also introduced at AutoSens. “TheiaCel brings a new era to single-exposure HDR . . . . that yields dramatic improvements in image quality,” Wu added.
Anas Chalak, technology and market analyst, imaging at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, said LFM, HDR and high resolution are prerequisites in modern automotive image sensors to achieve higher autonomy vehicles and that Omnivision’s TheiaCel DCG + LOFIC solution fulfill these criteria, aligning with the trend of implementing more exterior cameras per car in the upcoming years.
Flicker from LED traffic lights poses a serious challenge for imaging solutions, preventing ADAS and AD systems from correctly detecting lighted traffic signs.  The 2.1 micron single pixel TheiaCel technology delivers high LFM without sacrificing image quality, said Omnivision. TheiaCel leverages next-generation LOFIC capabilities together with the company’s proprietary HDR technology (patented DCG and split-diode technology), which captures extremely high contrast scenes for optimum content and image quality. Omnivision claimed that the TheiaCel DCG + LOFIC achieves a wider dynamic range than earlier single-exposure HDR architectures.
LFM dynamic range is 3.3 times higher and total dynamic range is nearly three times higher than the company’s non-LOFIC-based predecessor. It features upgraded cybersecurity to comply with the newest MIPI CSE version 2.0 standards, which adds functional safety to automotive image sensor data streams. The TheiaCel device also uses Omnivision’s a-CSP package technology for a small form factor.
Samples are available now, and the OX08D10 will be in mass production in the second half of 2024.

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