Smartphone Camera Module Able To Simultaneously Output Recorded Images And Depth Data
Published on: 7th Jan 2014
By: David Ng
Toshiba says that it has developed the industry's first dual camera module able to simultaneously output recorded images and depth data.
The TCM9518MD's twin camera modules and a dedicated companion LSI chip simultaneously deliver deep focus images in which foreground and background, and all points in between, are in focus with depth data provided for each object in the picture.
The module is designed for use in smartphones, and other mobile devices.
"We expect the TCM9518MD to drive new applications for smartphone, tablets and mobile devices including refocus and defocus; highlighting objects in a scene and then editing, cropping etc.; as well as image and gesture operation," says Andrew Burt, vice president of the Image Sensor Business Unit, System LSI Group at TAEC. "Not only does the dual camera module enable these advanced capabilities with fast digital focus and little shutter lag, the device doesn't require any focus motors, so it can be built much thinner than today's 13-megapixel camera modules."
The TCM9518MD incorporates twin 1/4 inch optical format 5-megapixel CMOS camera modules (5 megapixels x 2 arrays). The dedicated companion LSI chip of the TCM9518MD measures and appends depth data to objects in the image. This data can be used for a variety of applications. The LSI also generates 13-megapixel images by up scaling images taken by the twin 5-megapixel cameras, resulting in a lower module height than that of conventional 13 megapixel camera modules.
Computational cameras create images impossible to realize with the standard camera module by combining optical hardware technology -- the lens and diaphragm -- with digital signal processing technology.