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CONEXANT DEBUTS LOWEST-POWER CMOS CAMERA MODULE FOR WIRELESS.

Conexant Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq:CNXT), Newport Beach, Calif., a worldwide leader in semiconductor system solutions for communications applications, has introduced the world's lowest power CMOS camera module products for wireless handsets and other mobile devices.

Building on its pioneering expertise in video graphics array (VGA) resolution (640 x 480) image sensors using leading-edge 0.18-micron CMOS process technology, Conexant has achieved a complete embedded-camera system solution that meets the size, cost and quality requirements of cell phones and other hand-held devices.

Conexant's high-performance CMOS sensor is the first of its kind to enable VGA resolutions in a small, one-fifth-inch optical format. Its highly sensitive, low noise 4.0-micron pixel takes excellent images in low light conditions.

Together with Conexant's companion camera processor chip, the sensor solution outputs VGA-size images at up to 30 frames per second (fps) in YUV or compressed motion JPEG output. The sensor and processor devices are available individually or in complete front-end module and sensor-only module configurations, and are supported by a comprehensive suite of reference design kit tools to speed product development.

"Packing this level of image quality into a compact module less than 7mm tall is an industry first. Our modules give cell phones the point-and-shoot camera capabilities that consumers want without making the handset bigger," said John Gerard, director of marketing for Conexant's Digital Imaging Group. "Handheld devices have very demanding quality, size and cost constraints."

"High-quality optics and small modules cannot be achieved with large-pixel solutions," Gerard added. "Our VGA module, with its industry-leading one-fifth optics, enables handset manufacturers to offer consumers high-quality picture-taking capability without making their phones larger to accommodate the camera. Manufacturers no longer have to compromise image quality to keep their phone thin."

According to Cahners In-Stat, the imaging-products category (including digital still cameras, PC cameras, handsets and PDAs) will generate worldwide shipments in excess of 150 million annually by 2005.

"Until now, lower-resolution imaging solutions used in handheld wireless communications products have not met the quality expectations of consumers. VGA imaging is considered the `Holy Grail' for these applications," said Brian O'Rourke, senior analyst, multimedia service with Cahners In-Stat.

"Next-generation, imaging-enabled wireless products will need the bandwidth of third-generation, or 3G, services, as well as small, low-power VGA embedded-camera modules. Conexant has taken a first important step down that road."

Technical Details

The heart of Conexant's embedded-camera chipset is the CX20490-31 CMOS image sensor, which is based on Conexant's third-generation VGA sensor with a 4.0-micron pixel size fabricated in Conexant's imager-optimized 0.18-micron CMOS process. The CX20490-31 operates from a single 2.7- to 3.6-volt power source with less than 45mW power consumption at full frame rate.

It features an integrated 10-bit analog-to-digital converter, timing devices, and all other support circuitry to enable highly integrated camera designs. Sub-sampling and programmable window-of-interest (WOI) techniques allow output resolutions including QCIF (176 x 144), CIF (352 x 288) and QVGA (320 x 240).

The companion CX11646-21 camera processor chip interfaces directly to the CX20490-31 CMOS image sensor to form a complete front-end camera solution with YUV 4:2:2 component output and JPEG compressed output. Conexant has created two feature-rich camera modules. The MK00-D160 solution is a complete two-chip front-end camera module, while the MK00-D170 solution is a sensor-only module.

Pricing and Availability

Conexant's VGA embedded-camera solutions and modules are sampling now. Volume production is scheduled to begin in the first calendar quarter of 2002. The CX20490-31 CMOS image sensor is priced at $9.50 per unit in volumes of 10,000.

The CX11646-21 camera processor is packaged in a 48-pin leadless grid array (LGA) package and priced at $4.75 in volumes of 10,000. Module pricing is $21.50 for the complete front-end solution and $15.90 for the sensor-only solution in volumes of 10,000.

About Conexant

Conexant Systems, Inc. is a worldwide leader in semiconductor system solutions for communications applications. Conexant leverages its expertise in mixed-signal processing to deliver integrated systems and semiconductor products through two separate businesses: Conexant and Mindspeed Technologies.

Conexant's personal networking business is focused on wireless communications, digital infotainment and personal computing products that are used in mobile communications and the broadband digital home. Mindspeed Technologies designs, develops and sells a complete portfolio of semiconductor networking solutions that facilitate the aggregation, transmission and switching of data, video and voice from the edge of the Internet to linked metropolitan area networks and long-haul networks.

Conexant, headquartered in Newport Beach, Calif., delivered revenues of $1.1 billion for fiscal 2001, and has approximately 6,900 employees worldwide. The company is a member of the S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 indices.

To learn more, visit us at www.conexant.com or www.mindspeed.com or call 949/483-1148.
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Comment:CONEXANT DEBUTS LOWEST-POWER CMOS CAMERA MODULE FOR WIRELESS.
Publication:Imaging Update
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2002
Words:785
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