Friday, April 12, 2013

More on Pelican Imaging Technology

ExtremeTech published an article with few more details on Pelican Imaging technology. Few interesting quotes:

"CTO Kartik Venkataraman is quick to stress that the real magic is in the image processing software that reassembles a full-resolution image and detailed depth map from the many low-resolution versions captured by each section of the imager. In its 4 x 4 reference design the 16 .75MP images are processed and reassembled into an 8MP final JPEG version, complete with embedded depth map.

...When he co-founded the company in 2008, there weren’t any mobile processors fast enough to run them
[algorithms] in real time. Now there are. It is no accident that Pelican’s demo at Mobile World Congress used a Snapdragon 800. Taking advantage of the CPU, GPU and ISP on high-speed mobile designs is crucial to making the Pelican imager work. Recognizing its reliance on tight integration with mobile device architectures, and the reality of its small size, Pelican has elected to license technology and design expertise to hardware vendors, rather than going it along with its own finished products. It expects to begin announcing partnerships soon, with products in the marketplace by the first half of next year.

...Pelican imager generates a low-resolution depth map in literal real time, ...which after the fact it can process into a full-resolution depth map for more detailed applications.

Pelican believes that in volume its imager designs should cost under $20 to produce, a similar price to the camera modules used in high-end smartphones like the Apple iPhone 5 today.

Pelican Imaging Camera Module


  1. How does a 16.75 mpixel 1.75um with 16 lenslets sum up to 20 bucks. I would expect closer to 50. Good luck. Nice idea.

    1. I don't think you read it right... it is not 16.75MP image....rather, it is 16 0.75MP images that are reassembled.

  2. It is interesting that the article says that the MEMS approach does not offer depth information. Actually, you can extract depth from a single AF sweep and focus score with probably less computation than Pelican.

    I think the next BIG thing now for MEMS actuation is zoom. It was something that was too early for the market in the Siimpel days but the time is ripe, I think.

  3. AF sweep is useless. The depth info would only work for very short distances and exposure time will be long taking many full res images to memory. This would also fill handset memory with too much useless images.
    Zoom is the way to go ;)


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