Thursday, April 30, 2015

Light Reveals More Details

Light startup officially announces that it has entered into a strategic relationship with Foxconn's FIH Mobile Ltd. As part of the strategic partnership, FIH Mobile Ltd. has licensed the Light technology and made an equity investment in Light.

Calvin Chih, CEO of FIH Mobile, says "We see tremendous potential for Light’s technology, and are excited to work with Dave and the Light team. We continue to strive to help consumers and OEM partners enhance their experiences and product offerings pertaining to high quality imaging."

Paul Jacobs, Executive Chairman of Qualcomm and Light investor and board member says "Light’s product will overcome the current limits of capturing high-quality images in small form factors and will enable people to capture great images while they are on the go without trading image quality for convenience."

ExtremeTech publishes more details on Light technology:

"Light is planning to use an array of small cameras — very similar to those you would find in a smartphone today — to mimic a larger camera. By precisely aligning and calibrating the individual cameras, the images from them can be combined to produce a single image of very high quality. By having some of the cameras feature a wide-angle lens, and some a telephoto lens, an optical zoom capability is also possible.

Light’s CTO, Rajiv Laroia, explains that by treating the ten or more small sensors as pieces of a single, large sensor, Light’s camera module can add together all the photons that reach a particular location in each of the sensors to mimic larger photosites. By adding the signals, the ratio of signal to noise is greatly increased.

Light has also come up with a very clever way to mimic zoom capability using an array of fixed-focal-length (prime) lenses. Its arrays feature both wide-angle and telephoto lenses (it’s planning to have 35mm and 70mm lenses in its first smartphone-sized module) in an overlapping configuration. The telephoto lenses are mounted sideways in the module, to keep thickness to a minimum and allow for a small mirror that can be used to aim the telephoto lenses at different portions of the wide-angle view.

Light uses overlapping fields of view to emulate
a single-lens optical zoom. Mirrors move the multiple
70mm lenses to create an overlapping field of view to
provide effective focal lengths between 35mm and 70mm.
The 35mm lenses provide a wide field of view image to
assist in aligning the telephoto images.

Update: As written in comments, Imaging Resource publishes an interview with Light founder, their background and their projections into the future of mobile photography.


  1. have an interesting interview with two Light founders. Much of the technology is explained. The title quotes a bold claim: "Full-frame DSLRs gone by 2025"

  2. What happens if one of the cameras malfunctions or is out of spec? The whole image suffers?

    1. Do you know something about yield? The yield of this device will be yield of a camera/# of cameras.

  3. The key challenge will be image processing and overall power consumption not to mention the space required for so many cameras. Think of Light more as a showcase R&D vehicle for Qualcomm to sell bigger and beefier chips.


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