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New 'Avocet' CMOS Image Sensor Technology & Products from Sensata Technologies for Automotive and Vehicle Safety Systems

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ATTLEBORO, Mass., October 20, 2008: Sensata Technologies is launching a new vision for automotive, commercial and off-road vehicle safety with the introduction of its new CMOS-based Avocet image sensor that will be available in monochrome, RGB, and RGBi versions. The new Avocet CMOS imager enhances the company's wide dynamic range (WDR) technology, Autobrite and now offers a dynamic range up to 154dB to render clear and detailed images in both bright and low light conditions. The new image sensor allows the engineering of new high quality, cost effective advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) solution for any application.

With this announcement Sensata Technologies is bringing CMOS imaging to a range of new vehicle alert and avoidance systems such as night vision, lane departure warning, collision mitigation, blind spot monitoring and enhanced back-up displays.

Sensata is offering this technology within three product configurations: a single box complete solution, Vision Systems Platform (VSP); a standard video camera for 2 box solutions; or as an imaging module for engineers building their own camera.

Enhanced Dynamic Range

This latest version of Autobrite technology in the Avocet imager provides wide dynamic range up to 154dB that enables the Avocet imager to "see" details in bright light and shadows that are missed by traditional CCD and CMOS cameras that have dynamic ranges between 60dB and 72dB. Adding the Avocet with Autobrite wide dynamic range to back-up cameras will enable drivers to see pedestrians normally obscured when silhouetted by bright sun or hidden in the shadows. Images of objects and people captured in real world wide dynamic range scenes can be clearly distinguished without the "blooming" or "saturation" caused by the headlights of oncoming traffic. The next generation of night vision, lane detection, collision avoidance systems, and rear view cameras can now operate effectively in extreme and dynamic lighting conditions.

Avocet sensitivity and the improved Autobrite dynamic range also means that advanced driver assistance systems can readily distinguish objectives of dramatically varying light intensity within the same image. For evening driving, for example, an Autobrite-enabled system can distinguish between harsh, brightly lit sources such as headlights or traffic lights and less bright, illuminated surfaces such as traffic signs or dimly lit painted lane stripes.

RGB Imaging Opens New Markets

"Offering Avocet in RGB and RGBi configurations with our Autobrite-enhanced CMOS technology means we're giving new 'eyes' for the next generation of vehicle vision, safety and driving aids where the benefits of wide dynamic range RBG couldn't previously be realized," said Tom Charbonneau, Vision Sensing General Manager, Sensata Technologies.

Sensata's Avocet imager in monochrome, RGB or RGBi versions with Autobrite WDR can be deployed across a range of platforms, automotive, off-road, and construction vehicles for their next generation vision based safety and driver assistance applications:

  --  Detecting color traffic lights, warning road signs or red tail lights
      can greatly improve the next generation of collision avoidance, lane
      detection or adaptive cruise control systems.
  --  Avocet-based RGBi solutions provide superior near IR sensitivity and
      color discrimination for forward looking and rear view cameras. An
      Avocet-based rear view camera when coupled with active breaking
      enables back over prevention in both day and night environments.
  --  Monochrome systems will continue to dominate in night vision
      applications. Although the use of color enhances the human machine
  --  Color and monochrome vision-based solutions are also improving the
      safety and operation (blind spot monitoring) for construction and
      heavy equipment operating in harsh environments.

  Sensata Offers Wide Product Portfolio and Application Support:

This innovative and industry leading technology from Sensata is available in a range of products including:

  --  Vision Systems Platform (VSP); complete camera solution including the
      DSP for application processing
  --  Standard Video Camera (SVC); camera solution that interfaces to the
      centralized application processor
  --  Avocet-based imaging module; image sensor and aligned optics
  --  RapidView; Avocet-based evaluation and development platform that
      interfaces to your Windows-based PC.
  --  RapidView also includes Sensata's Vision System Support Library (VSSL)
      that accelerates application development and optimizes performance.

For more information on Avocet, Autobrite, RapidView, please go to SENSATA, or call Sensata Technologies at 1-888-438-2214.