Rambus develops a new image-sensor offering better picture quality
Have you heard of a company called Rambus? Rambus, previously well-known company with its memory chips and patent trolling now offers something completely different – a new image sensor technology allowing capturing the fuller dynamic range of the light and saving the battery power. We all know that despite the continuous improvements, the phones still make not so good pictures. Despite the pixel growth, the phone cameras fail to satisfy consumer needs. At the same time, the average phone size and the electronics inside shrink, leading to decreased ability for capturing the full dynamic range of the light.
Here the Rambus invention can be useful. It can be applied to any phone chip and camera, despite of the size or the software. How the invention works? Rambus sensor measures the level of photons pouring in each bucket – each bucket is checked within 2ms and the sensor corrects the threshold if a bucket is overflowed with light and color information, allowing the sensor to keep on collecting useful data. This is especially helpful in the process of editing and image processing at a later stage. In contrast, the current image sensors don’t measure the level of photons, resulting in over-flown buckets and many details in the light or bright areas are lost forever.
According to Rambus, the new sensor will be with a price similar to the current image sensors used in the smartphones. But there is one big problem. Most of the users think that pixel expansion is a main criteria for the camera quality. Well, this is not true. Some of the phonemakers try to boost that myth. For example, HTC released a 4 MP camera in its new flagship and the sensor showed some potential. On the other hand, companies like Nokia have put a stake on the pixel expansion. Nokia is very close to put a 41 MP camera in its future devices. In any case, all manufacturers will try to increase the picture quality of the mobile phone cameras.