MUNICH, Germany For applications in vision-based driver assistance systems, STMicroelectronics (Geneva, Switzerland) has developed a CMOS image sensor with high dynamic range.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) provide the driver with informations about conditions around the vehicle and thus help to prevent accidents. ST's VL5510 vision sensor is designed to be used in such systems. In order to supply these safety-relevant informations even under extreme illumination conditions, the sensor supports a very high dynamic range.
The sensor complements ST's vision processor family which has been developed in cooperation with Dutch driver assistance system vendor Mobileye. With the device, ST aims at the market for real-time driver assistance systems such as active braking or lane departure warning features already available in passenger cars and probably mandatory in Europe for heavy vehicles from 2013, as part of the European Commision's measure catalogue to reduce road casualties.
In context with the announcement, ST quotes market researcher Strategy Analytics predicting that by 2013 up to 32 million camera sensors will be used in ADAS applications.
The sensor's 2:1 image format along with its resolution of 1024 x 512 pixel supports wide-angle applications which in automotive environments are very common. Other technical data include a very high sensitivity of 7.14 V/lux for low-light environments and a frame rate of up to 34 fps, providing real-time video images to the assistance system. The dynamic range is programmable.