RGB-IR image sensor serves both videoconferencing and facial authentication

May 21, 2019 //By Julien Happich
RGB-IR image sensor
OmniVision Technologies has developed a 5 million pixels RGB-IR image sensor for 2-in-1 convertible laptops, which enables a single camera to perform infrared (IR) Windows Hello facial authentication as well as capturing high quality colour (RGB) images for selfies and videoconferencing.

Combining IR and colour imaging in one RGB-IR image sensor allows designers to create more compact, thinner 2-in-1 convertible laptops with greater functionality. “Previously, Windows Hello facial authentication was not commonly found in 2-in-1 convertible laptops, as it required a second camera for IR functionality,” explains Jason Chiang, product marketing manager at OmniVision. “The OV5678 eliminates the need for a second camera by combining RGB and IR capabilities in a single 5MP sensor, saving space while increasing value.”

To ensure high quality colour images, the OV5678 is built on OmniVision’s 1.12 micron PureCel Plus pixel architecture with deep trench isolation for greatly reduced colour crosstalk. Additionally, its buried colour filter array (BCFA) has a high tolerance for collecting light with various incident light angles.

The PureCel Plus architecture also uses thicker silicon to improve quantum efficiency when capturing images using near-infrared light outside the visible spectrum. This is accomplished with only 1.3MP, which is a quarter of the OV5678 sensor’s full resolution. This IR performance enables machine vision applications such as Windows Hello facial authentication. It can also be used to perform eye tracking for reduced power consumption when the user is not viewing the screen. Eye tracking can also enable user warnings about eye fatigue from looking at the screen for an extended period of time.

The OV5678 is available now for samples and volume production, along with an evaluation kit. T

OmniVision - www.ovt.com

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