Samsung announced the launch of the automotive-grade image sensor ISOCELL Auto 4AC. It can provide 120 decibels high dynamic range images (HDR) and supports light-emitting diode (LED) flicker suppression function. In other words, it is suitable for high-definition resolution (1280×960) vehicle-mounted surround view image systems or rear view cameras. This new sensor is Samsung’s first integrated imaging solution for automotive customers.
The ISOCELL Auto 4AC comes with a CornerPixel technology. The latter has a unique pixel structure. There are two photodiodes in one pixel area. Among them, one 3.0μm pixel is used to obtain images under dark light, and one 1.0μm pixel is placed in the corner of the large pixel to obtain images of a brighter environment. Two photodiodes acquire images under different exposure conditions at the same time. Through the synthesis process, the output image has characteristics of 120dB HDR. Also, it has a minimal effect of motion blur. So the sensor’s exposure transition in complex brightness environments such as dark light to high brightness is smoother. But at the same time it preserves more details of the road ahead.
“Various lighting situations on the road may pose obstacles to the driver. Quick transitions from a low-lit environment to a brighter one, such as exiting a tunnel, may require a few seconds for the driver’s eyes to adjust. Also, flickering from LED headlamps or road signage, such as street lamps and traffic lights, could become increasingly noticeable on the automotive system’s camera screen.”
Samsung said that by extending the exposure time of small pixels, the ISOCELL Auto 4AC can reduce image defects caused by LED light source flicker. This provides more accurate image data for the automatic driving system. So it can recognize information such as LED lights and LED traffic lights.
ISOCELL Auto 4AC Parameters
The Samsung ISOCELL Auto 4AC has a 1/3.7-inch photosensitive area, a 1.2MP resolution (1280×960), a 3.0μm pixel size, and a built-in ISP image processing function. The latter can output YUV422, RGB888, and RGB565 image data.
“The new ISOCELL Auto 4AC combines Samsung’s innovative and market-proven image sensor technologies with a unique CornerPixel™ solution for advanced HDR and LFM capabilities, offering exceptional viewing experiences regardless of lighting conditions,” said Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of sensor business at Samsung Electronics. “Starting with the ISOCELL Auto 4AC, we plan to expand our automotive sensor lineup to areas such as camera monitor systems (CMS), autonomous driving and in-cabin monitoring.”
The Samsung ISOCELL Auto 4AC has obtained an AEC-Q100 Grade 2 certification. Its operating temperature ranges from -40 C to +125 C. It is currently in mass production.