Will Nikon be out of business in 5 years?

Started Oct 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 55,357
Re: I wonder about computational imaging

Eamon Hickey wrote:

But I was thinking last night about the posts that Jeff and I made on this thread yesterday, and it occurred to me that computational imaging may be a significant threat to Nikon. Nikon is a precision optical manufacturer -- their value proposition revolves around making high-precision lenses and machines. And I wonder if the rise of computational imaging may have a big impact on the market for high-precision, and consequently costly, optics.

I think it's another tool in the precision imager's arsenal. That is, if you can include computation in the imaging chain then you can do things not possible without it, so long as the optical part is designed to match - that is the optical and computational parts form part of an integrated system. It means essentially designing the optics to provide the optimal starting point for the computation. I mentioned that my son is an optical engineer, sometimes he'll phone me up asking my opinion on the feasibility of the electronic and computational part of the system (I suppose paternal pride makes me provide input to his employer for free). My impression now is that there is not much specialist optical design that goes on without considering the electronic and computational part of the system. If Nikon adapts to that, they'll thrive. Their precision department does already, part of what Nikon does there is computational components which correct for the inevitable deficiencies in the extreme optics of modern photolithography equipment. Their software works even on other vendors equipment, so is a possible source of revenue.

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