New phone camera chip from MIT to intro hardwired HDR and superiour flash photos


Smartphone camera advancements are coming fast and furious lately, and the latest MIT research promises that things will get even better. The team created a chip that allows almost instantaneous merging of photos taken with various settings for achieving the best results on the fly.

This goes for both high dynamic range photography, which is pretty fast these days anyway, and for pictures taken with a flash. The chip processes on the fly pics taken across the exposure range, and fuses them together, or merges photos taken with and without a flash with the press of a button, which allows for even exposure, preserving details, and no weird shadows over the scene as is so often the case.

The kicker is that all this is hardware-based, instead of the current software solutions that take a few seconds to compute even on the most powerful smartphones. HDR photo calculated with the new chip gets done in a few hundred milliseconds on a 10 MP image, and is much more power-efficient, too. It also allows for bilateral filtering, aimed to solve the age-old conundrum of preserving detail and sharpness vs eliminating digital noise.

The researchers already built a working prototype of the silicon with the help of TSMC, and will present it next week, with Microsoft Research and Foxconn being privy on the project, too, so we can't wait for this thing to go into our phones.

source: MIT via Engadget

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17 Comments

1. blackice214

Posts: 168; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

Worked on a similar project this weekend.

10. imsickwithsmartphone

Posts: 153; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

this will beat "too much hyped nokia pureview" YEAHH!!

2. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

i don't understand why the cameras on phones are getting so important. are we going to capture the images from our body cells? i think paying a lot of attention to cameras are useless. it better to increase the software and battery abilities of phones.

5. MrJerry

Posts: 403; Member since: Oct 05, 2012

That's because I wanna capture images the way I see it and I don't wanna carry expensive camera for that all the time. You don't like something, that doesn't mean it has not to be developed

6. cezarepc

Posts: 718; Member since: Nov 23, 2012

That's because the mass market wants great cameras on their phones. Wherever money is, that's where development and innovation booms.

7. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

haha talking things like that because ur Xperia Z lost its camera battle.. u now want people ignore it so that they will prefer XZ haha

8. pratyushgaur.6

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

When are you planning to grow up? :)

11. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

Xperia Z is now among the best camera phones. trolls like you will never understand these things.

13. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

oh i ddnt say that XZ isnt one of the best camera phones out there.. i do know it is one of them, i just knew you w/ some people here for defending XZ too much and putting PA into shame, calling them bias and disrespecting their techopinions particularly in cameras... im referring to the camera battle of the best smartphones to deliver the best photos and yet XZ didnt put claim/any reasonable reigns over older models.. ur one of the defenders in the latest camera comparison here in phonearena and now ur saying to put camera in the inferior aspect of a smartphone bcoz its kinda useless..

14. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

anyway abt "it better to increase the software and battery abilities of phones." camera has a lot to tell abt the software intelligence of one manufacturer.. using others lens and having software tricks and with hardware optimizations and making good pictures mean something abt the software superiority of a manufacturer :D

9. pratyushgaur.6

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 21, 2013

We have reached a stage where we want and expect unified digital experience. Basically a device that can do it all. It should render Digicams useless. I remember my dad once saying to me that whats the point in having music players in your phone, phone is meant for calling and texting. You won't agree with him. ain,t it?

12. McLTE

Posts: 922; Member since: Oct 18, 2011

Phones will never render digicams useless.. may make a big dent in the small point and shoot business, but the good digital SLR cameras have no fear from the phones. There are things you will NEVER be able to acheive with a phone camera, such as optical zoom, ultra wide angle, depth of field and control over your image. You can bet that any advancements here are going to first appear in the bigger SLR cameras where they can afford the larger size of the new HW tech.. as the tech matures and shrinks, it'll trickle down to phones. having said that.. this is pretty cool stuff!

3. josephnero

Posts: 778; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

bro camera on smartphones are important for some people.my brother for example he always carries his phone but is too lazy to take pics with his DSLR.he takes alot of pics and he rarely takes advantage of other aspects of his phone.so for people like him camera is so important

4. emadshiny

Posts: 1144; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

true, but i think cameras are one of the minor parts of a phone. even my N86 which is a 4year old phone still takes gorgeous pics. these new innovations are for profit of manufacturers and only 1% of people use them regularly.

15. kclgphilsbsa

Posts: 765; Member since: Jan 21, 2013

my sister and her classmates use the camera of its xperia arc regularly.. everday new photos.. many people love to take pictures.. and as for my observation, whenever i take excellent pictures and videos with my note2, the forst thing that they will react to is the quality of such

16. D_Tech-tive

Posts: 104; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

A better camera could mean the difference in winning a lawsuit, capturing a license plate, a perpetrators face ect. Could save someones life, or prove someone innocent who other wise would be presumed guilty due to false witnesses.

17. pureviewuser

Posts: 501; Member since: Nov 11, 2012

Nokia will bring out something better

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