updated 07:40 am EST, Fri February 25, 2011
Sony 17.7MP phone camera hits 120FPS
Sony late Thursday said it had developed a small, phone-sized 17.7-megapixel camera sensor that would overcome much of the performance bottlenecks of earlier technology. The technique, described by Nikkei [reg. required], can process several pixels' input in parallel and takes up to 75 percent less time to generate the final image. At 34.8Gbps of bandwidth, it's about five times faster than a typical phone camera and can handle burst photography or high-speed video that wouldn't have been an option before.
The CMOS-based Exmor sensor can shoot video at its maximum resolution at up to 120FPS if the device processor and storage can handle the footage; it would more likely shoot at lower resolutions or use the extra speed for continuous still shooting. A new underlying design also reportedly prevents the extra speed from draining extra battery power.
Sony hasn't given a timeline for when the sensor would be used but plans to use it both in phones and in its point-and-shoot Cyber-shot cameras. The company is the most prolific camera sensor manufacturer in the world and may supply the iPhone 5's camera, although the 2011 update would be for a lower-resolution eight megapixel sensor. [via CrunchGear]