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Standard module lowers camera costs

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Nokia and STMicroelectronics (distributed by Braemac ) have released a comprehensive specification for camera modules, aimed at standardising this increasingly important component in mobile devices.

The specification, dubbed Standard Mobile Imaging Architecture (SMIA), will cover all aspects of the modules, including their electrical, mechanical and functional interfaces, and will also address other key areas such as characterisation, optical performance and reliability. The SMIA specification is offered for free from www.smia-forum.org.

The SMIA standardisation effort is said to address the emerging new mobile imaging requirements and enable mobile handset vendors to work with multiple suppliers. SMIAs target is to address the task of specifying functional and optical behaviour of camera modules and to truly enable cost-efficient multiple sourcing of the module at the phone level.

The camera phone market will increase rapidly with cameras entering into key product segments of mobile devices, explains Janne Haavisto, a director with Nokia Technology Platforms. [The company] recently estimated that the camera phone market would exceed 200 million units this year.

SMIAs target is to streamline and accelerate the camera module development.

According to Marc Vasseur, GM of STs Imaging Division, both ST and Nokia have worked on the specification for more than two years and are contributing significant intellectual property into SMIA.

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