How SMARTEK Vision goes the CMOS way and enables tailor-made industrial cameras

Damir Dolar, Head of Development, talks about the transition process, SMARTEK’s roadmap and the advantages of a modular European camera production.
How SMARTEK Vision goes the CMOS way and enables tailor-made industrial cameras (PresseBox) (Taufkirchen, ) Mr. Dolar, how did SMARTEK react when the discontinuation of Sony’s CCD technology was announced?
At SMARTEK Vision, we are an innovative European camera manufacturer and it’s our passion to meet our customers’ requirements best and to adopt game-changing industry trends quickly. Sony’s announcement to discontinue the CCD sensor production was quite surprising but was as well a confirmation for an already paved way. Just two years ago, CCD sensors were still leading in areas where CMOS can provide better features and results now. With the heavily improved image quality thanks to low noise, low dark current characteristics and a high dynamic range combined with Global Shutter, a high quantum efficiency, much higher frame rates, no blooming or smearing effects and a better cost structure, CMOS is cutting-edge technology.

Which advantages can your customers benefit from the change to CMOS?
Many of our customers are from the manufacturing, medical or traffic surveillance area. These industries benefit the most from CMOS’ progress in higher speed, lower noise and higher resolution. Improvements in CMOS chips ensure that today's CMOS sensors achieve the same or even better sensitivity than CCD sensors. The higher dynamic range leads to clear details and contrast in difficult light situations. The combination of high CMOS frame rates and GigE Vision or USB3.0 Vision, allow to transfer application data fast and efficient on long distances and to enhance the entire system.

Sony is providing new CMOS Pregius sensors to the market. What about your portfolio integration plans?
We are very proud to be one of the first camera manufacturers to implement Sony’s IMX174 in our flagship GCP1931 camera for our customers. For more price-sensitive applications requiring less speed, we have already implemented IMX174’s little brother IMX249 in our GC1932. Mid-October the first camera samples with next IMX sensor generation IMX250 and IMX 252 with increased resolution up to 3 and 5MP are available. Featured by a revised pixel architecture with further optimized low dark current characteristics and low noise, both sensors will be available in the GCP 2061 and GCP 2461 models, mass production will start by the end of the year. On top of that, we are planning to have Sony’s high-resolution models IMX253/255 ready for the market mid-next year.

How does SMARTEK Vision adapt to individual customer and application requirements during this transitional phase?
Besides the further development of our standard camera series with a dedicated CMOS focus, fulfilling individual customer requirements is our top priority as well. With our development and production ability in Europe, we have proven how quickly and flexible we can react with high quality and efficiency. At the same time we can always rely on our broad product portfolio with different housing types, board level cameras and integrated sensors types and functions. Due to our experience, state-of-the-art lightning products and strobe controllers (IPSC and HPSC series) as well as integrated lightning, we are confident of achieving tailor-made solutions beyond sheer camera development.

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