Friday, September 27, 2013

Toshiba Announces Stereo 3D Depth-Enabled Camera Module

Business Wire: Toshiba announces what it says the industry’s first dual camera module for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. TCM9518MD incorporates twin 1/4 inch optical format 5MP camera modules (5MP x 2 arrays) and simultaneously outputs recorded images and depth data. Images captured with the module can subsequently be manipulated to change the depth of field and point of focus. Samples will be available by January 2014, with mass production scheduled for April 2014.

The dedicated companion LSI of the “TCM9518MD” measures and appends depth data to objects in the image. These data can be used for a wide variety of applications, including focus and defocus, and even to extract and erase objects from the picture. Used in combination with customers’ applications, the module supports the creation of new functions.

The companion LSI generates 13MP images by upscaling images taken by the twin 5MP cameras, realizing a lower module height than that of conventional 13MP camera modules. The TCM9518MD brings high resolution and computational camera functionalities to the CMOS image sensor market for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.

The pixel size is 1.4um and the camera module measures 8.0 x 12.0 x 4.65 mm according to the PR (or 18 (W) × 12 (D) × 4.65 (H) mm according to the company's product page):

6 comments:

  1. Flogging a dead horse :)

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  2. Dimensions are actually 18.0 x 12.0 x 4.65 mm (not 8 x 12 x 4.65mm).

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    1. Actually, I copied this from the PR. Now I see that Toshiba's product page shows 18 instead of 8. Thank you for the correction, I've added it to the post!

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  3. If it's fixed focus and it has to otherwise registration is not possible then the minimal working distance will be too high for mobile as the blur at close distances will be bad. That's why they invented AF

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  4. For reliable depth you need more than 2 cameras to cover horizontal and vertical parallax. Using stereo gives very lousy results. I doubt it can be used for depth of field post capture manipulations

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    1. Where do you get the idea that both horizontal and vertical disparity need to be extracted in order to get good depth? The human visual system seems to do fine just extracting only horizontal disparity. In reality, it is rare for a spot in the scene to contain disparity purely in one direction. There are existing solutions that only use only stereo to capture depth with good results. Toshiba's is just a more compact solution than anything else on the market. Dozens of papers have been written on this topic.

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