IC Media Corporation today introduced the ICM-202 single-chip camera for cell phones and PDAs. While a backend controller can be added for digital still camera designs, this hassle-free camera chip features built-in automatic color balancing and digital YUV output so system integrators can save valuable space by not adding a backend controller for PDAs and cellular phones. IC Media Corporation also released an evaluation system for the ICM-202 based on the iPAQTM PDA.
One of IC Media’s customers has added a custom miniature lens module to the ICM-202 camera chip, making a subsystem that measures under 8mm x 8mm. This subsystem has been successfully introduced and is being designed into cell phone and PDA products.
The ICM-202 provides CIF resolution (352 x 288 pixels) for still or full-motion video at up to 30 frames-per-second (fps). The QCIF format (176 x 144 pixels) is also supported. The ICM-202 chip utilizes 6×6-micron pixels and integrates IC Media’s 1/7-inch sensor for high picture quality and better low-lux performance. Running at 2.8V to achieve 15fps, the power consumption is less than 35mW, the lowest power consumption available on the market today.
“Cell phone and PDA manufacturers are challenged to add new features yet make their products smaller than ever,” stated Dr. Ben Wu, president and CEO of IC Media. “This makes the ICM-202 the ideal solution with the smallest footprint by far, especially considering that no extra digital processing controller is required.”
A Complete Solution
The ICM-202 is a highly integrated single-chip camera. Each pixel is covered by a color filter, which forms an industry-standard Bayer pattern. Correlated double sampling is performed by the internal ADC (analog-to-digital converter) and timing circuitry.
Depending on the brightness of the scene, the raw data can be adjusted by the digital gain for all pixels, using the built-in automatic exposure control circuit, or it can be adjusted separately for the four Bayer pattern pixels manually by an external controller. To eliminate the flickering caused by the 50Hz or 60Hz light source normally found indoors, an anti-flickering control circuit is built-in.
The color interpolation module converts each pixel to RGB values using automatic white balancing to correct and enhance the color. If desired, white balancing and color correction can be performed by an external controller.
After gamma correction is performed, the images can be output in formats including 8/16-bit YUV or YcbCr, 24-bit RGB, and 8-bit raw data that can be fed to optional DSP, color processing or compression chips.