Painstakingly detailed work to reconstruct the circumstances of traffic accidents will soon be a thing of the past, at least in Japan. Sharp has developed a black box for the domestic market that can record up to six hours of travel. The heart of the high-tech travel recorder is a 2 MP CMOS sensor in 1/4 format, combined with a 180° lens in order to record what happens across the entire width of the road. The black box system comes in two versions, one for rear-view and the other for the front-view applications.
CCD and CMOS modules are also becoming increasingly popular in Europe as sensors for camera-supported driver assistance systems. Sharp will be offering optimised CCD and CMOS automotive camera modules within the next one to two years for this extremely fast-growing market (42% annual growth).
The state-of-the-art devices in cameras for passive driver assistance systems that serve primarily as visual aids for the driver are the highly sensitive CCD modules as offered by Sharp. They deliver beautifully clear images, thanks to their light sensitivity of just 1.8 lux the equivalent of the ambient light of a moonlit road. Through improved software, the next generation of Sharp CCD modules will superimpose automatic guidelines that will mark the danger zone, e.g. when reversing. CCD modules are still ahead at the moment, due to their light sensitivity but, in the long term, CMOS modules will be used more and more as rear-view cameras. Once the CMOS sensors have achieved the necessary image performance in dark environments, they will also bring a whole host of further advantages with them, such as lower costs, higher resolution and, above all, a more compact design, as the image processor can be integrated directly onto the camera chip.
CMOS is the technology of choice for sensors for active driver assistance systems that intervene automatically in driving if there is a hazard. High frame rates and dynamics (greater than 100dB) are required, particularly for front cameras, in order to get clear images under even the most extreme light/dark contrast conditions. Equipped with roller shutters, the next generation of Sharp CMOS camera modules for active driver assistance systems achieves shutter speeds of up to 30 images a second with a dynamic range of 100 dB. As a comparison: the human eye can take in around 14 images a second with a dynamic range of 105 dB.
Sharp Microelectronics Europe
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About Sharp Microelectronics Europe
Sharp Microelectronics Europe, Hamburg, Germany, is a divisional company of Sharp Electronics (Europe) GmbH, which is a subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, Osaka, Japan. Sharp is a worldwide developer of core digital technologies that are playing an integral role in shaping the next generation of electronic products for consumer and business needs. Sharp Microelectronics Europe offers groundbreaking solutions in the areas of memory products, LCD, Opto Components, CCD, RF/IR, IC and LSI components, along with packaging and integration skills that help design engineers throughout Europe to bring their ambitious ideas to market. Sharp Microelectronics Europe is dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of advanced technology and a commitment to innovation, quality, value and design.
Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.