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First CMOS TrueFocus camera

20 February 2007

At 3GSM in Barcelona OmniVision Technologies launched its first TrueFocus camera with Wavefront Coding technology for the mobile handset market. TrueFocus improves camera technology by offering true ‘point-and-shoot’ capability where the entire image is always in focus and always available for instant one-click capture.

“TrueFocus enables consumers to capture the images they see in realtime, with no waiting for the lens to focus and no missed opportunities. TrueFocus delivers our customers a product that effectively targets the mobile handset market by being small, durable, easy to manufacture and cost-competitive,” said Jess Lee, vice president for OmniVision’s Mainstream Business.

The TrueFocus camera is based on OmniVision’s patented Wavefront Coding technology, which is a method of optically encoding light using a special lens to form an intermediate image on the sensor, and decoding this intermediate image with digital processing to create a picture that is in focus across virtually the entire image. This TrueFocus camera consists of a Wavefront Coded lens; a 3-megapixel CMOS image sensor; and a TrueFocus signal processor.

With traditional digital cameras, a major and frequent consumer complaint is that it is nearly impossible to ‘catch the moment’; because the camera requires one or more seconds to focus the lens on the chosen subject, there is an unavoidable delay between point and shoot. OmniVision believes that TrueFocus cameras are the first to offer true point-and-shoot capability; because the entire image is always sharp and clear, regardless of where the subject is in the camera’s field of view, there is no focus-related time delay.

Because the image is in focus over virtually the entire field of view, with TrueFocus cameras there will be no more pictures lost because the subject has moved before the lens is focused. In addition, TrueFocus cameras are a lot less susceptible to damage when dropped because, unlike conventional AF cameras, there are no moving parts in the lens system.

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