Binary pixel sensor tech to boost smartphone image quality
Improved sensor technology from U.S. company Rambus looks promising for mobile photography.
The company says its newest CMOS sensor advances will lead to mobile video and still photography with ultra-high dynamic range (HDR) and improved low-light sensitivity, more effectively capturing both highlights and dark details within a high-contrast scene.
Using "binary pixel" sensor technology, Rambus image sensors force pixels to stop recording once they've received a certain amount of light, then reset and in effect restart the exposure. The result is significantly expanded dynamic range from a single-shot exposure. Further innovations assist in better low-light recording as well.
Rambus lists the key advantages of Binary Pixel sensors as follows:
Ultra-High Dynamic Range
• Optimized at the pixel level for DSLR-quality dynamic range in mobile and consumer cameras
Single-Shot HDR Photos & Videos
• Operates in a single exposure period to capture HDR images real-time with no post processing
Improved Low-Light Sensitivity
• Spatial and temporal oversampling reduces noise and graininess
Works with Current Mobile Platform
• Designed to integrate with current SoCs, be manufactured using current CMOS technology, and fit in a comparable form-factor, cost and power envelope
Rambus has demonstrated the technology using a low resolution (128 x 128 pixel) sensor, and says it can easily be incorporated into CMOS sensors using current manufacturing methods. In principle, the technology should work equally well for all sensor sizes.
You can learn more about the technology behind Rambus binary pixel sensors on dpreview.com.