07/23/2010 12:03 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The Better to See You -- and HD Video You -- With

With high definition video seemingly everywhere, it's about time someone came out with an HD webcam. And Samsung's new S5K4AW is just that: a real-time HD video capture webcam that looks like a surefire breakthrough technology.

The camera is a high-definition 1/4-inch, 1.2 Megapixel (Mp) system-on-chip (SoC) imager, the S5K4AW, for notebook and desktop computers. Developed with a strong focus on real-time high-definition (HD) video capture, the S5K4AW sensor has immediate applications in areas such as business video conferencing, Internet video sharing, direct to web scanning, biometrics and security.

"Embedded display cameras are rapidly becoming a standard feature for PCs and notebook computers, said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, clients and displays for IDC. "With the move to wide format displays, HD video is coming to the PC, making HD formatted cameras developed specifically for this market standard as well."

Instead of developing a sensor with 1.3Mp, which is better suited for still image capture, the S5K4AW addresses the specific needs of HD video applications. By incorporating a technique called binning in 2x2 pixel groups, the S5K4AW's 1.2Mp resolution (1280x960 pixel format) also can display standard VGA format without the need for cropping. Therefore, Samsung has eliminated the annoying problem of losing the top or the bottom of a scene while video conferencing or video file sharing on social media networks such as YouTube.

Samsung is currently sampling its S5K4AW CMOS image sensor SoC to select customers. Mass production is expected in the first half of 2009.