There is an enormous demand for low power, highly integrated image sensor systems. CMOS based Active Pixel Sensor (APS) technology enables this progression. We demonstrate a very low power, highly integrated, programmable, complete digital camera-on-a-chip based on CMOS APS technology. It features on-chip analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) in addition to full timing and control. All analog references required for proper imaging and digitization are generated on-chip with programmable digital to analog converters (DACs). Thus the camera has a complete digital interface. It can be programmed to support a variety of imaging operations and interface configurations through a single digital input pin, facilitating integration with external systems. The integration of this circuitry on the sensor does not degrade 8-bit imaging at normal operating speeds. A variety of power reduction features make it an ideal candidate for power constrained, portable, miniaturized applications. It is currently scheduled to be included in a highly miniaturized (<2 inch2) battery operated digital camera with a wireless interface.
June 01, 1997