Sony curved camera sensors could improve smartphone imagery

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We’re always hearing about some new trick to enhance camera sensor performance; sometimes it’s a simple as larger pixels (to take a page from HTC’s playbook), or better isolating pixels from each other, like with Samsung’s ISOCELL tech. Now Sony’s got a new sensor that’s making waves, using a curved CMOS element to more naturally and effectively gather light.

curvediagramhalfcolumnThe problem with flat sensors like we have now is that not every point along their surface is equidistant from the lens – the center of the sensor is going to be slightly closer than the edges. As a result, we need larger lenses to compensate for this discrepancy. By moving to a curved sensor, Sony’s able to allow for the use of lenses that aren’t just thinner, but also able to let more light in, scoring a double win.

Actually, the curved sensor benefits extend even further, offering unexpected bonuses like cutting down on CMOS dark current noise, improving image fidelity. Light sensitivity ends up improved by a factor of 1.4 to 2.

Sony’s developing these sensors for full-sized cameras, but also has a mobile version, which may find itself in future smartphones. While Sony’s not the first company to attempt a sensor design like this, it may be the first to commercialize it, and while we don’t have anything like an ETA, the team working on it says that they’re ready to face that task, soon as the decision’s made.

Source: Spectrum
Via: phoneArena

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!