Sharp has developed a two megapixel sensor with a 2x optical zoom to be used in camera phones. The first model will be the high end LZ0P3738 phone, which is launching this month. However, Sharp is still some way behind Samsung which launched a 3MP 3x zoom camera phone in July.

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Press Release:

Sharp Develops 2M-pixel CCD Module for Camera Phones

October 1, 2004 ( TOKYO) -- Sharp Corp introduced a new 2-megapixel CCD camera module featuring a 2X optical inner zoom lens.

Intended for use in high-end, camera-equipped mobile phones, the new LZ0P3738 will be available in quantity beginning in October 2004.

Cameras designed to be embedded in mobile phones have been moving toward ever higher pixel counts beyond the megapixel range in response to user demands for greater functionality and higher image quality on a par with ordinary digital cameras. At the same time, there are demands for more compact and thinner camera modules to provide this greater functionality and higher image quality without altering the form factor of mobile phone handsets.

Sharp already is marketing the LZ0P3731 2-Megapixel CCD Camera Module with auto-focus function. But to provide even greater functionality, Sharp has successfully equipped this new module with an optical zoom lens that is switchable between normal and 2X zoom. In addition, the use of an inner zoom in which the lens section does not protrude from the module body achieves a compact module size that can be incorporated into folding "clamshell" style mobile phone handset designs.

The sample price is 25,000 yen (consumption tax not included). Volume shipments are to start in October 2004, with planned monthly production of 400,000 units.