The image sensor (or sensors, in the case of a stereo array for depth discernment purposes) is perhaps obviously a key part of any embedded vision system. This is why, for example, my first technical article published on the Embedded Vision Alliance website covered them. It's why Apical has also discussed them at length in a series of technical writeups. Why Xilinx covered interfacing to them in a tutorial video. Why two BDTI engineers devoted an Embedded Vision Aliance Member Summit technology trends presentation to them, with one of the engineers reprising (and updating) his role at last month's Embedded Vision Summit. And how the Alliance was able to successfully transform the technology trends presentation into a multi-part cover story published in EDN Magazine.
As such, I'm delighted to announce the Alliance's first (but likely not the last) image sensor manufacturer, Aptina Imaging. Some of you may know Aptina as the supplier of both of the image sensors in Microsoft's Kinect. Others of you in the automotive industry may have encountered Aptina due to the company's strong focus on various ADAS applications, as was explained to me when I met with Aptina representatives last week. And if your company designs laptops, cameraphones, tablets, or digital still or video cameras, I suspect you've had a meeting or few with Aptina, too.
More generally, here are some relevant statistics from the 'about' page on the company's website:
- Aptina is one of the world's leading suppliers of CMOS imaging solutions, so our customers are assured of quality and supply.
- Aptina solutions are designed into one of every three camera phones in the world, and we’ve partnered with every leading handset maker on Earth.
- Aptina was the first imaging solutions company to develop a 2.2µm pixel architecture, a 1.75µm pixel architecture, a 1.4µm pixel architecture, and a 1.2µm pixel architecture. These milestones mean that our customers gain a competitive advantage and can design smaller and thinner camera systems.
- Aptina was the first imaging solutions company to demonstrate a functional, reflowable wafer level camera module, enabling our customers to design ultra-slim camera phones.
- Aptina’s automotive CMOS image sensors are in production automobiles in North America, Asia, and Europe, in vehicles like the HUMMER H2 Limited Edition, Daihatsu’s Move, the Volvo XC90, and many other vehicles, assuring our customers of our commitment to this industry.
- Aptina has led the industry with the development of stereo vision imaging solution, opening the door for high-performance, depth-sensing camera systems.
- Aptina image sensors can be found in every major brand of PC camera in the world, and in multiple embedded designs.
- Aptina’s CMOS process is derived from memory processes rather than logic processes, meaning that our pixels have better fill factors, greater sensitivity, lower noise, and better image quality than most of our competitors.
- Aptina leads the industry in micro-lens technology, so our customers can design systems with aggressive chief-ray angles without fear of lens distortion or loss of image quality.
- Aptina has the greatest breadth of imaging solutions in the marketplace so our customers, large or small, can find the right solution for their application.
- Aptina offers customers complete image processing solutions from stand-alone companion chips to integrated SOCs.
- Aptina leads the CMOS imaging solutions industry in high-speed image capture, allowing for new features in DSC or DVC applications, high-speed machine vision systems, and even customs sensors that capture HD video in excess of 300 fps.
Welcome, Aptina Imaging!