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Toshiba announces a 13MP smartphone and tablet camera sensor

Touts full resolution 30fps recording
Fri Jul 05 2013, 11:55
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SEMICONDUCTOR VENDOR Toshiba has announced its 13MP T4K37 imaging sensor for smartphones and tablets.

Toshiba, perhaps best known in the smartphones and tablets industry for its DRAM and NAND flash memory chips, also makes imaging sensors that are used in digital cameras in portable devices. The firm has announced a 13MP CMOS imaging sensor that supports full resolution 30fps video recording.

Toshiba's T4K37 CMOS chip comes with colour noise reduction and has backlight sensor illumination. According to the firm, the chip's colour noise reduction circuit means the chip's 1.12 micron pixel size achieves the same signal to noise ratio as chips that have a pixel size of 1.4 microns.

Toshiba touted the ability for the chip to support 30 frames per second (fps) video capture at its full resolution of 13MP. While the firm's chip can handle the task, shifting 13 megapixels of data 30 times a second puts a big strain on a smartphone's or tablet's processor, meaning that the feature is unlikely to be seen in anything but high-end devices for the time being.

Smartphone makers, in particular Nokia, has placed a lot of emphasis on the quality of image capture as a way to differentiate their products from rivals. While Nokia and others have played the megapixel arms race, HTC took the laudable decision to stick a 4MP image sensor on the HTC One and work on improving low light performance, something Toshiba claims its T4K37 is good at with support for high dynamic range.

Toshiba said its 13 megapixel sensor has gone into production today. µ


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