A new HTC smart phone may include an ‘Ultrapixel’ sensor
Several tech blogs recently reported rumors that a smart phone HTC is expected to unveil next week will include a new kind of imaging sensor, called an “Ultrapixel” sensor: Instead of the usual type of sensor with one layer of pixel sites, this one will actually have three 4.3-megapixel sensor layers, which roughly adds up to 13 megapixels. Opinions differ on what the term Ultrapixel may really mean.
First, it’s unclear exactly how HTC will use the word Ultrapixel: Will the company call its new product “a smart phone with a 13-Ultrapixel camera,” or will it say the new camera phone (reportedly called the M7) will have “an Ultrapixel sensor”?
Also, this may not be an entirely new technology. As tech site Pocket Lint points out, this would not be the first time the digital-imaging world has seen a stacked imaging sensor. For years, Sigma digital SLRs and digital cameras have included a unique Foveon sensor, which lets an image pass through three color filters (red, green, and blue) that are stacked on top of it. The sensor then records the colors in a captured image depending on the wavelength of those colors.
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This sensor structure, which is similar to how color film and color transparencies capture an image, is fundamentally different from how all other single-layer sensors (either CCD or CMOS sensors) are used in digital cameras.
If this is the same kind of sensor in the new HTC phone, though, it may not take stunning photos or video: Sigma SLRs and advanced point-and-shoot cameras have always scored low in our digital-camera Ratings. Although the technology behind the Foveon sensor is intriguing, that does not ensure better, or even equal, performance or image quality.
And of course, the HTC smart phone’s lens will also be a big factor in the quality of the images and video it produces. We’ll be watching for the HTC announcement to see what kind of imaging sensor the new smart phone really contains.
Source: Pocket Lint