STMicroelectronics unveils ST BrightSense for enhanced camera performance globally


STMicroelectronics has introduced a set of plug-and-play hardware kits, evaluation camera modules and software that ease development with its ST BrightSense global-shutter image sensors. The ecosystem lets developers of mass-market industrial and consumer applications ensure superior camera performance by designing-in ST BrightSense image sensors. By sampling all pixels simultaneously, unlike a conventional rolling shutter, global-shutter sensors can capture images of fast-moving objects without distortion and significantly reduce power when coupled to a lighting system.

ST BrightSense CMOS global-shutter sensors implement advanced backside-illuminated pixel technology, manufactured at ST’s own foundry in France, ensuring high image sharpness to capture fine details such as in barcode reading. Their high sensitivity enhances low-light performance and permits fast image capture, enhancing responses such as obstacle avoidance in mobile robots and face recognition in personal electronics. The sensors’ advanced 3D-stacked construction allows an extremely small die area, easing integration anywhere space is limited especially in the final optical module, while enriching the products with advanced on-chip image processing for auto-exposure, correction, and calibration. Their MIPI-CSI-2 interface makes them ideal for embedded vision and edge AI devices.

Historically only offered to qualified customers, ST’s cutting-edge sensor technologies are now available in a wide variety of markets through the ST BrightSense portfolio, highlighting industrial-grade products and 10-year longevity commitment.  Widespread access to these sensors, whose qualities are proven with over one billion units shipped on market, now lets developers bring high-performance machine vision to applications that face strict size and power constraints and challenging operating conditions. These include factory automation, scanning, domestic and industrial robots, VR/AR equipment, traffic monitoring, and medical devices.

ST’s new mass-market offering includes evaluation camera modules that integrate image sensor, lens holder, lens, and plug-and-play flex connector to enable instant integration of the image sensors. The modules offer a selection of tiny form factors down to 5mm2, various lens options to suit different application requirements, and a plug-and-play connector that allows easy swapping. A series of hardware kits helps developers integrate the sensors with various desktop and embedded computing platforms. Complementary software tools are available for free download on ST’s website, such as a PC-based GUI and Linux drivers that assist integration with popular processing platforms including STM32MP2 microprocessors.