Aptina announced today a new Clarity+™ 13-Megapixel (MP) sensor for smartphone applications, the AR1331CP, which enables mobile phone designers to boost the resolution of their cameras from 8MP to 13MP without compromise. This jump in resolution requires sensor designers to shrink pixels from 1.4 micron (µm) to 1.1µm, significantly reducing pixel performance. Aptina has responded to this challenge with its breakthrough Clarity+ technology, boosting pixel sensitivity by a factor of two without introducing the image artifacts that have limited similar approaches from other sensor makers.
"Clarity+ technology uses a Bayer-like pattern with high-fidelity clear pixels that collect two times the light compared to standard green, resulting in a significant improvement in captured signal," said Bob Gove, President and CTO of Aptina. "Clarity+ technology provides the leap necessary to take artifacts and noise out of the equation enabling a world-class image sensor in the mobile-ready, tiny form factor that OEMs need."
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The Clarity+ solution starts with the standard 2x2 Bayer RGB color filter pattern commonly used in image sensors throughout the industry, and then replaces all of the green color filters with carefully optimized clear filters. This pattern preserves the high-frequency spatial information of the Bayer pattern, eliminating the aliasing artifacts that are inevitably introduced when both green and clear filters are used in larger kernel (4x4) patterns. The green color is determined through advanced image processing algorithms that use subtractive and interpolation techniques. Specialized noise reduction is then applied, resulting in a 3 decibel (dB) improvement in low-light signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), relative to that possible with the RGB Bayer pattern. More details on how Clarity+ technology works can be found at:
Combining Clarity+ technology with a world-class 1.1µm pixel, Aptina's AR1331CP offers per-pixel sensitivity, SNR, and color performance equal to that of the larger 1.4µm pixel used in 8MP smartphone cameras today. By packing over 60% more of these pixels in the same small size, the new sensor will dramatically enhance smartphone camera image quality.
The AR1331CP is available now for sampling in die form with raw output for use in systems that are enabled for Clarity+ processing. The AR1331CP is also available for sampling with Clarity+ coprocessors that can either fully process the unique Clarity+ images into industry standard camera formats or "pre-process" the Clarity+ images into Bayer format for compatibility with standard image and application processors.
Aptina is a global provider of CMOS imaging solutions that enable Imaging Everywhere™. Using performance enhancing technologies like Aptina A-Pix™, Aptina A-PixHS™ , DR-Pix™ and Clarity+™ technology, Aptina has created a market-leading portfolio of image sensor products found in leading consumer electronics like smart phones, tablets, laptops, digital and video cameras, as well as applications in surveillance, automotive, medical, video conferencing, and gaming. For additional information on Aptina visit www.aptina.com.
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