ST Microelectronics have announced their first high-dynamic-range CMOS camera specifically tailored for the vision-based driver-assistance segment of the automotive market. The new sensor combines the company’s world-class expertise in automotive markets together with leading-edge CMOS imaging technology.
The role of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) is to increase the driver’s awareness of conditions around their vehicle, detecting dangers and providing support in hazardous situations. It is estimated that more than 90% of all automobile accidents involve human error and many could be eliminated with automatic warning systems.
The extended range of the new CMOS sensor from ST Microelectronics provides quality images even in extreme illumination conditions, providing real-time information for active safety systems. The CMOS sensor complements the dedicated vision-processor family developed by the company through the collaboration with Mobileye, and increases ST Microelectronics’ automotive IC portfolio for the fast-growing ADAS market.
The new VL5510 sensor feeds the decision-making vision processor that activates functions such as active braking and lane-departure warning. These are features that are already being rolled out on passenger vehicles and is planned to be mandatory in Europe for heavy vehicles from 2013, as a part of the European Commission’s drive to reduce road fatalities.
According to Marco Monti, General Manager, Powertrain and Safety Division, ST Microelectronics’ Automotive Product Group, said that the VL5510’s detection capabilities increase the reliability of vision-based advanced driver assistance systems in the most difficult environmental conditions.
This new VL5510 sensor has a 1024x512-pixel format, making it suitable for wide-angle products, which are common in the automotive environment. The VL5510 also combines a very high level of performance with the flexibility and reliability expected for this market.
Specifications of the new VL5510 sensor include:
- 5.6 x 5.6-micron pixel size
- high sensitivity (7.14V/lux)
- low dark current of 33aA/pixel at 25 degrees C
- high QE (Quantum Efficiency) at ‘near infra-red’
Additionally, system flexibility offers ADAS manufacturers the opportunity to tune the system optimally for each application, with features such as fully programmable output image size and frame rate (up to 34 fps); video delivered through 12-bit parallel interface or serial interface (RAW 8/10/12 format).
Anti dark sun and defect pixel correction algorithms are also integrated, together with an image histogram is embedded in the delivered image. The high dynamic response of the sensor is fully programmable: 10 knee points are available to tune pixel response.