Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Cnet Article about Invisage

Cnet publishes an article "How a startup's tiny dots could lead to better smartphone photos" about "InVisage Technologies, a 75-person startup that hopes its exotic new material known as quantum dots will dramatically improve smartphone cameras when it arrives in devices in the first quarter of 2016."

"In a 2010 interview with CNET, [the company CEO Jess] Lee said he expected QuantumFilm image-sensor chips to arrive in 2011."

"While we've been taking longer to come to market than we originally predicted, this is brand-new technology," said Lee, who previously worked at OmniVision.

"Succeeding in the market will be an extremely difficult task for InVisage," said IHS analyst Brian O'Rourke. "The image sensor market is ferociously competitive. The last startup to succeed in this market was OmniVision, which started in the 1990s."

"Chips with the light-detecting layer of quantum dots will outdo today's image-sensor technologyLee said. First, their better dynamic range can handle highlights and shadows better, letting you avoid the glare of overexposed faces in the sun while still discerning the subjects in the shade. Second, a fast-acting "global shutter" avoids the Jello-wobble effect that hurts today's videos taken when the subject or camera is moving. Last, QuantumFilm-based cameras can be made thinner so phone makers can avoid the protruding camera lens present even on today's top-end phones like Apple's iPhone 6S and Google's Nexus 6P."

"Another perk: Because quantum dots are laid down in a continuous film, the number of pixels on a sensor isn't baked into the hardware. A smartphone could be set to capture images with a maximum number of pixels for fine detail then changed to a smaller number of larger pixels for better low-light performance."

Update: Few pictures from the article:

Invisage image sensor wafer
Some of the company's 56 granted patents


  1. Why do quantum dots enable thinner cameras? The cameras lens height is set by optical issues that have nothing to do with the sensor. If someone could create higher index-of-refraction glass, then we'd have thinner cameras.

    1. Quantum dot sensors have larger acceptance angles, hence the CRA of the lens can be larger, which allows for a more compact lens design.

  2. Are there any comparisons in low light performance between QD and BSI sensors??


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