Overcoming single-exposure HDR and automotive imaging challenges with OMNIVISION

Hear from Eiichi Funatsu, Vice President of Technology at OMNIVISION and expert in the image sensor domain, encompassing design, wafer process, algorithm development, and camera system integration. In this interview Eiichi explores the current challenges in HDR imaging for ADAS ahead of AutoSens USA 2024.
  1. What are the primary challenges faced by CMOS image sensors in achieving high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging, particularly in automotive applications?

The challenges primarily revolve around achieving consistent performance in terms of dynamic range, flicker mitigation, and low-light performance. LED flicker, especially from sources like traffic lights, poses a serious challenge for HDR solutions in automotive applications, affecting driver-assistance and autonomous driving systems.

  1. Could you explain how existing HDR imaging techniques struggle with LED flicker mitigation (LFM) and the impact this has on automotive applications?

Existing HDR techniques often rely on adjusting exposure time to capture scenes with varying levels of brightness. However, in short exposure times, the sensor may miss capturing pulse-width modulation type of the light source like LEDs, if that short exposure timing falls in between the LED pulses. This results in incomplete frames, which can affect the detection of critical signals like traffic lights, compromising safety in traffic scenarios.

  1. How does LOFIC technology address the challenges associated with LED flicker mitigation and HDR imaging in automotive applications?

LOFIC (lateral overflow integration capacitor) technology plays a crucial role in LED flicker mitigation by achieving wide dynamic range in a single exposure and without short exposure time. By storing overflow electrons in large capacitors within each pixel, LOFIC enhances the sensor’s ability to capture high-dynamic-range scenes, including flickering LED signals, without compromising image quality.

  1. What role does TheiaCel™ technology play in enhancing single-exposure HDR performance in automotive image sensors?

TheiaCel™ technology combines LOFIC capabilities with proprietary HDR technologies like DCG (dual conversion gain) and split-diode architecture. By optimizing dynamic range and sensitivity while minimizing noise, TheiaCel™ ensures superior image quality across a wide range of lighting conditions, making it particularly well-suited for automotive applications.

  1. How does TheiaCel™ technology ensure a balance between dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in automotive imaging, especially in low-light conditions?

TheiaCel™ technology is engineered to maintain a high dynamic range while also preserving signal clarity in low-light environments. By optimizing the transition between different conversion gains and leveraging LOFIC technology, TheiaCel™ achieves a remarkable balance, ensuring that images captured in challenging lighting scenarios retain both detail and accuracy.

  1. In what way does OMNIVISION’s TheiaCel™ technology differentiate itself in the realm of HDR imaging solutions for automotive applications?

TheiaCel™ technology combines LOFIC capabilities with OMNIVISION’s proprietary HDR technology, including DCG and split-diode technology. This integration results in superior LFM dynamic range without sacrificing image quality, offering the best-balanced performance available on the market.

7. What are the key benefits and features of the OX08D10 CMOS image sensor utilizing TheiaCel™ technology for automotive applications?

The OX08D10 sensor offers unmatched performance with 8-megapixel resolution, wide dynamic range, and flicker-free imaging capabilities. Its compact size, low power consumption, and high sensitivity make it ideal for various automotive applications, including driver assistance systems, mirrors, and front-view cameras, ensuring safety and reliability on the road.

Don’t miss OMNIVISION at AutoSens USA, where Boyd Fowler, CTO, will be joining us for a panel discussion on ‘Future-Proofing Functional Safety Strategies for Emerging Technologies and Compliance Demands’. Click here to see the full agenda.

Don’t miss key conversations at AutoSens USA this May. Get your pass here.

About Eiichi Funatsu

Vice President of Technology, Office of the CTO, OMNIVISION

Dr. Eiichi Funatsu has over thirty years of expertise in the image sensor domain, encompassing design, wafer process, algorithm development, and camera system integration. He received the M.E. degree in physical engineering (1991) and the Ph.D. in the field of intelligent image sensors (2005) from Tokyo University, Japan. Joining OMNIVISION in 2012, Dr. Funatsu currently serves as the VP of Technology in the Office of the CTO. In this capacity, he leads the image sensor technology development direction across various sectors, such as mobile phones, automotive, security, and medical applications, including the architecture of the recently unveiled TheiaCel products.

Scroll to Top
2024 ADAS Guide

The state-of-play in today’s ADAS market

With exclusive editorials from Transport Canada and SAE;  the ADAS Guide is free resource for our community. It gives a detailed overview of features in today’s road-going vehicles, categorized by OEM, alongside expert analysis.