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New wide dynamic range CMOS image sensor from Texas Instruments offers high image quality, exceeding conventional CCD sensors, for advanced video surveillance cameras

Sensor from Texas Instruments Japan Ltd. was co-developed with Tohoku University

Sep 11, 2008

TOKYO (September 11, 2008) - Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) (NYSE: TXN) today announced the availability of a high sensitivity Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) CMOS image sensor for the video surveillance camera market. The TC922 provides a higher-quality image than conventional charge coupled devices (CCD) by keeping the advantages of both sensitivity and wide dynamic range field of vision for improved bright and low-light performance. For more information, please visit focus.ti.com/lit/ml/jajt045/jajt045.pdf.

The TC922 offers SVGA resolution (800 x 600), which exceeds conventional CCTV cameras in both horizontal and vertical lines, offering 560 TV lines. The TC922 also contains a High Response Amplifier in the pixel and Reset Noise Reduction circuit that provides CCD-level high sensitivity and high signal to noise ratio, which has not been achieved by conventional CMOS sensors. The TC922-based security camera achieves these qualities while the wide dynamic range capability allows for the capture of high resolution, more detailed images in high-contrast lighting conditions (for example, between bright light and shade). Furthermore, each pixel has a photodiode and a Lateral Overflow Integration Capacitor (LOFIC), which can hold a large number of photoelectrons for very bright lighting conditions. The LOFIC technology enables the sensor's dynamic range to reach 94 decibels (dB). The remarkable electron capability of TC922 is superior to conventional CCD sensors.

With this sensor architecture, the TC922 constantly maintains its dynamic range, which enables it to provide complete information even in environments with severe variations in illumination. Moreover, since the TC922 has large electron capacity and this single exposure concept can provide simultaneity, it does not generate a synthetic gap problem as can be seen in CCD systems. CCD sensors have only a limited electron well capacity and one of the methods for extending dynamic range is to combine two images with different exposure times. The resulting images usually become blurred and the degredation of image quality can be seen.

TI has been developing the WDR sensor based on LOFIC technology with Tohoku University Sugawa Laboratory. Prof. Shigetoshi Sugawa of Tohoku University states, "Based on the LOFIC technology, fundamental performances needed for high quality image sensors have been dramatically improved upon, not only for wide dynamic range but also in high sensitivity, low dark current, low noise and simultaneity. The TC922 is an image sensor that is effectively able to handle the photo-signals from several to approximately 200,000 electrons by single exposure. As a result, a surveillance camera application that needs to record images with great certainty will benefit from the TC922. I truly hope that the LOFIC technology will help support establishing a secure and safe society."

Additionally, the TC922 has been adopted by SANYO Electric Corp LTD for their next generation Wide Dynamic Range Camera products, the VCC-W8774 and VCC-WD8874. Mr.Shigekazu Morikawa, Senior Manager of Digital System Company in SANYO Electric Corp. LTD, states, "The TC922 is an epoch-making image sensor, which is a single exposure system that can secure a wide dynamic range and it has very high basic performance. SANYO developed these new cameras and original image-processing engine based on well-established graphic processing technology in order to utilize the impressive performance offered by the TC922, which allows this surveillance camera to be as effective as human eyes."

SANYO Electric Co. Ltd, will make a demonstration of the next-generation wide dynamic range camera with their new engine at ASIS International 2008. (ASIS will be held from September 15 - 18, Atlanta, Georgia, US.)

Furthermore, TI will offer an Internet Protocol (IP) network camera reference design with the TC922 based on the TMS320DM355 DaVinci&#8482 digital media processor. The DM355IPNC-TC922 includes the hardware and software required for developing functions of a Wide Dynamic Range IP network camera in order to reduce the time required for camera design and development. The DM355IPNC-TC922 will be demonstrated in the ObjectVideo booth at ASIS International 2008, Booth # 3235.

Price and distribution

The TC922 will be available from TI and TI authorized distributors. Order entry is currently open for the DM355IPNC-TC922 IP network camera reference design and is provided from APPRO Photoelectron Inc. For more information, please visit www.ti.com/ipnetcampr.