OMNIVISION Unveils TheiaCel Image Sensor for Superior Smartphone HDR

OV50K40 image sensor raises the bar for high dynamic range achievable with a single exposure

OMNIVISION, a leading global developer of semiconductor solutions, including advanced digital imaging, analog, and touch & display technology, launched its new OV50K40, the first smartphone image sensor with TheiaCel™ technology. The OV50K40 is reaching human eye-level high dynamic range (HDR) with single exposure. It sets a new high-performance bar in the industry for flagship rear-facing main cameras. 

OMNIVISION’s new TheiaCel technology harnesses the capabilities of lateral overflow integration capacitors (LOFIC) to provide the best-in-class single-exposure HDR, regardless of lighting conditions. The TheiaCel™-based OV50K40 50-megapixel (MP) image sensor features a 1.2-micron (µm) pixel in a 1/1.3-inch optical format with high gain and correlated multiple sampling (CMS) for optimal performance in low-light conditions. 

“Consumers have hit their limit with the quality of photos and video from mobile phones on the market today, especially for images taken during sunrise, sunset and at night with bright lights in the background. But today, OMNIVISION has disrupted the mobile phone industry with our new TheiaCel™ technology,” said Arun Jayaseelan, senior product marketing manager, OMNIVISION. “Our OV50K40 image sensor offers the highest single exposure HDR image capture in mobile phones.

” According to Gerrit Schneemann, founder and principal analyst, Ascendo Advisors, “With the launch of the OV50K40 image sensor, OMNIVISION is addressing a key challenge in smartphone photography today: images in challenging lighting conditions. Improvements in these situations are critical for smartphone OEMs to differentiate their handsets from the competition as overall camera quality has improved.

The OV50K40 enables OEMs to integrate a sensor with enhanced HDR capabilities to deliver clear pictures in challenging lighting – all with a single exposure.”  The OV50K40 supports 4-cell binning for 12.5MP at 120 frames per second (fps) and 60fps with HDR, with 4x sensitivity for flagship-level low-light performance. Quad phase detection (QPD) enables 2×2 phase detection autofocus (PDAF) across the sensor’s entire image array for 100% coverage, resulting in ultra-fast autofocus performance. An on-chip QPD re-mosaic enables full 50MP Bayer output, premium-quality 8K video and 2x crop-zoom functionality. The OV50K40 is built on OMNIVISION’s PureCel®Plus-S stacked-die technology, enabling high resolution with 1.2µm pixels. 

Jayaseelan added, “We initially launched the TheiaCel™ technology last year to the automotive market, and we are excited to bring this revolutionary technology to the consumer smartphone industry today. We look forward to applying the TheiaCel™ technology to additional mobile image sensors as well as new markets in the future. With TheiaCel™ technology, the possibilities are endless.” 

The OV50K40 has now entered the mass production phase. For more information, contact your OMNIVISION sales representative: