Onsemi Introduces Hyperlux Image Sensor Family for Next-gen ADAS
With a keen focus on high dynamic range, the new image sensor family is designed to make ADAS even more equipped for any lighting condition.
One of the hotly debated topics in the world of autonomous vehicles is which sensors are needed to achieve Level 5 autonomy. At one point, Tesla believed that cameras (image sensors) alone would suffice to reach Level 5, but the company has since conceded to adding radar to its vehicles. Beyond Tesla, other developers of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) tend to use some combination of image sensing, radar, and LiDAR.
Even if cameras aren’t a standalone solution for achieving greater vehicle autonomy, there is no question that they are an integral part of the equation. Recently, Onsemi pushed the state of ADAS-focused image sensing forward with the announcement of a new family of ADAS image sensors.
Onsemi's new Hyperlux sensor AR0823AT. Image courtesy of Onsemi
In this article, we’ll look at the role of cameras and high dynamic range in ADAS and explore the two inaugural releases in Onsemi's Hyperlux portfolio.
Cameras and HDR for ADAS
Image sensors enable some of the major ADAS features that exist in vehicles today, such as lane departure warnings, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking.
In these applications, the image sensor captures visual information from the environment that can then be used as input into machine learning (ML) models. These models can then make sense of the images, identifying pedestrians, obstructions, lane lines, and more to inform driving decisions and make driving safer for the occupants. Here, the accuracy and quality of the captured images have a huge impact on the performance of the ADAS system.
To achieve high performance, image sensors for ADAS have several unique hardware requirements compared to image sensors for other applications—high dynamic range (HDR) being a crucial one.
HDR is a measure of the light intensities an image sensor can capture. Image courtesy of BenQ
HDR refers to an image sensor’s ability to capture a wide range of light intensities. An image sensor with a high dynamic range can capture images in a wide range of lighting conditions, ranging from very dark to very light. Since vehicles operate in a variety of lighting conditions, from the dark of night to the glare of a sunny day, ADAS image sensors need a good HDR for proper safety.
Onsemi Introduces the Hyperlux Family
Yesterday, Onsemi announced a new family of image sensors designed specifically for ADAS applications.
The new family, called Hyperlux, is a set of 2.1 µm super-exposure pixel image sensors. With the announcement of the Hyperlux image sensors, Onsemi released the first two members of the family: AR0823AT and AR0341AT. The AR0823AT is a 1/1.8-inch CMOS digital image sensor that offers a resolution of 8 MP thanks to an array of 3840 pixels (H) by 2160 pixels (V). AR0341AT is a 3 MP version of the same sensor.
Images captured without Hyperlux (left) vs. with Hyperlux (right). Image courtesy of Onsemi
While more technical specs are not currently available, Onsemi claims that the Hyperlux family offers “the industry’s lowest power consumption and smallest footprint… by using up to 30% less power and having up to 28% smaller footprint than competing devices”. Both sensors boast an HDR of 150 dB without exposure adjustment and offer other important features, such as integrated LED flicker adjustment. Additionally, both sensors have been designed according to the ASIL-D design process, allowing them to meet the most stringent level of safety requirements.
With these new sensors, Onsemi believes it can provide ADAS designers with more robust and reliable image sensor options that can operate across a wide range of lighting conditions and on a low-power budget.