OmniVision has developed a 1/6-inch, native HD, 2 megapixel CMOS sensor capable of delivering full 1080p high definition video at 30 frames per second. Likely headed for webcams, notebooks and video conferencing technology later in the year, the tiny OV2720 sensor is also claimed to provide best-in-class low light sensitivity and is capable of removing image contamination.

The new native HD 2 megapixel OV2720 color CMOS sensor has a z-height of just 3.5mm (0.14 inch), one whole millimeter smaller than Samsung's S5K5B3 HD CMOS sensor announced a little while back. It's able to support the delivery of full 1080p high definition video at 30 frames per second (fps) thanks to the company's proprietary OmniBSI 1.4-micron pixel backside illumination technology, which also helps it to achieve "best-in-class low light sensitivity of 680-mV/lux-sec."

The 1932 x 1092 active array also supports video capture of 720p at 30 fps, VGA at 120 fps and QVGA at 240 fps and is said not to "suffer from degradation or image artifacts due to scaling or cropping." In addition to programmable exposure control, white balance and defective pixel cancellation through the serial camera control bus interface, the sensor can improve image quality by eliminating such image contamination annoyances as fixed pattern noise and smearing.

Looking to future device application of the OV2720 sensor, which boasts compatibility with multiple platforms and controllers on both parallel and MIPI interfaces, OmniVision's Brian O'Rourke said: "In 2010, we expect over 70 percent of mobile PCs to ship with embedded cameras, and the availability of sensors such as OmniVision's OV2720 will make high definition video conferencing more popular in the notebook and netbook PC segments."

Device manufacturers have been sent samples of the new sensor and OmniVision is looking to start mass production in June 2010. We'll be watching with interest to see if this tiny sensor lives up to its claims once operating inside third party devices.