SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA: Dongbu HiTek has begun volume production of high dynamic range (HDR) CMOS image sensor (CIS) chips for BYD Microelectronics, a subsidiary of BYD Company Limited, a leading Chinese manufacturer of diverse products ranging from rechargeable batteries to electric automobiles. Processed at the 130nm node, BYD’s image sensors will initially target security surveillance applications, including door monitor systems.
Specifying a broad dynamic range of luminance between the brightest and darkest areas of real world images, BYD’s image sensors can accurately sample and process intensity levels that range from direct sunlight to dim moonlight. The announcement spotlights the specialized image sensor processing technologies that Dongbu HiTek’s foundry has been offering to fabless companies since 2009.
BYD’s imaging chip is a good example of the specialty CIS devices that Dongbu HiTek has been processing at its world class foundry to attain higher profit margins. By some estimates, the current average selling price of specialized CIS devices is up to four times greater than those serving the more mainstream camera phone and digital camera applications.
The Korean company confirmed that it is processing specialized chips for both X-ray and Endoscope systems in the medical field as well as imaging systems that can operate in harsh automotive and industrial environments. As for serving the more common imaging applications, Dongbu HiTek will soon be expanding its processing portfolio for VGA and 1.3-to-3.0 Megapixel chips with a 5.0 Megapixel entry.
Specialized processing for specialty chips
The HDR CIS chips that Dongbu HiTek is now manufacturing for BYD represent but one example of the Korean foundry’s specialized processing to implement best-in-class specialty chips. Other examples can be found in advanced BCDMOS chips the company has implemented for consumer electronics, communications, computing and industrial applications.
Dongbu HiTek is currently sampling chips for automotive applications that are implemented with its proprietary UHV 700V BCDMOS process. By focusing its development on high-voltage analog, image sensor, and mixed-signal processing, the company aims to maintain profitable growth despite abrupt changes within various segments of the global semiconductor market.