Thursday, April 01, 2010

Circular Sensors for Circular Lenses: Why Throw Away Half of the Image?

DPReview: Sensor developer Rokton has announced that it has developed a circular image sensor. The company add the strapline "Circular sensors for your circular lens, why throw away half of the image?" It has made the idea a reality by developing a novel fabrication process that uses a clever approach laying down sensors in a honeycomb pattern on the wafer, allowing the production of circular image sensors with a diameter of 43mm – the same as the diagonal of 35mm full frame.

Rokton CEO Dr. Hwee Ng said "We’ve noticed that the ultimate imaging device, the human eye, is kind of round, lenses are round, and the most common photographic subject in the world - the human face - is often round too. The more we thought about it the more we realized a circular sensor made perfect sense."

Rokton's special ‘Dynartec’ (DYNAmic Real TimE Cropping) technology gives the user complete freedom to decide which area of the frame will be recorded while they’re shooting, or alternatively they can capture the complete circular raw and crop afterwards, using our unique circRAW format.

Anybody saw other April Fool's sensor jokes? Funny sensor stories are welcomed in comments.

13 comments:

  1. Albert TheuwissenApril 1, 2010 at 5:09 PM

    If I remember well, Greg Kreider and Jan van der Spiegel did a circular sensor in the late '80s. Intention was a device that could be addressed by its polar coordinates, it had a high resolution in the center of the imager, and a lower one in the outer parts of the imager. The application was picture phone. The device realized was a CCD and it was NOT published on April 1st.

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  2. Albert, would it be this one?

    Publication date (for the patent) was indeed November 15th.

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  3. Reticon also made some round sensors but they were only single annular rings. The biggest one had 720 elements (1/2 degree resolution.

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  4. Albert TheuwissenApril 1, 2010 at 9:54 PM

    To David : YES, that was the sensor I was referring to.

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  5. Although not an image sensor, the industry standard W.O.M (write only memory) is an array-type device, not terribly unlike an image sensor.

    The ones in production not only save the data-out pin, but also multiplex Vdd and Vss onto a single pin.

    It was a great ISSCC paper from Qimonda: just before they went tango-uniform

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  6. Write-only memory. 1972 Signetics.
    Old joke.

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  7. And then there is the dark emitting diode (DED)

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  8. Kodak announced Armoatography, a new process based on Neuro-Optic-Nasal-Sense (or NONSense) Imaging that captures smell with pictures. More info at http://homepage.1000words.kodak.com/default.asp?item=2996630

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  9. This is hilarious! I'm copying it to the front page.

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  10. I believe FillFactory used to have a poster of a round image sensor (from which at least samples were made) hanging in their office.

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  11. round and round we go!

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  12. This circular imager from Sensors last year (Nov 13) seems to have scored a hole in one: http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=06688496

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  13. Foe even more on cicular imagers see:http://www.iee.et.tu-dresden.de/iee/analog/papers/mirror/visionchips/vision_chips/fuga18.html

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