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Advanced image signal processor for high-end mobile introduced by ST

STMicroelectronics has introduced a new high-performance, stand-alone
Image Signal Processor with dual-camera support that brings DSC-like
performance to mobile imaging applications. Capable of controlling the
entire imaging subsystem in a mobile phone, ST's newest digital image
processor supports a wide range of camera modules including SMIA-compatible
(Standard Mobile Imaging Architecture) sensors with up to 5-megapixel
resolution.

The STv0986 mobile imaging processor implements a fully-featured image
correction chain (from noise reduction to smooth digital zoom) and includes
a dedicated hardware JPEG encoder with programmable quantization tables and
compression factors. The advanced processing algorithms enable the STv0986
to deliver images of exceptional quality. The image signal processor
supports special image-orientation effects such us mirroring, flip and
rotation, as well as color features including sepia (brown-shade) and black
& white.

The STv0986 supports continuous video streaming rates of up to 20 (12.5)
frames per second at 3 (5) mega-pixel resolution, making the implementation
of multi-shot, best picture and anticipation acquisition modes very
straightforward. In the anticipation mode, the camera takes snapshots before
and after the shutter button is pressed, allowing the user to select their
preferred shot from a sequence of pictures.

The STv0986's unique twin-video-processing pipe architecture eliminates shutter delay to ensure that the still image captured matches the current
viewfinder frame what you see is what you get. The dual-pipeline
architecture also delivers a true full-frame rate camcorder mode with
simultaneous local viewfinder support and video capture through an optional
4x smooth digital true zoom.

The advanced autofocus (AF) control loop enables the STV0986 to provide
still and video autofocus with a very fast lock time of 0.6 seconds. The AF
system is able to control various actuator technologies including
voice-coil, piezo and stepper motors. The STv0986 provides support for image
stabilization through a combination of automatic light-sensitivity control
(Auto-ISO control) and best-picture identification. ST also offers full
system support for LED or Xenon flash solutions.

In addition to mobile phones, the STv0986 is suitable for use in PDAs,
mobile games, security cameras and video phones.

The STv0986 can be combined with ST's camera modules to create a complete
mobile imaging system. A possible two-camera configuration includes ST's
newest image signal processor in combination with the VB6851, a
SMIA-compliant QXGA auto-focus camera with best-in-class module size
(8.5×8.5×5.9mm) and image quality, and the VS6555, an ultra-low power VGA
reflowable camera module with the lens design optimized for video
conferencing applications.

The STv0986 mobile imaging processor is in volume production now, with
samples priced at $4.

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