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Innovation

Naked chips could make digital cameras cheaper

The digital camera market could be seriously revolutionized if an adjustment is made to the most expensive part of the camera: the image sensor. A team of scientists at the Technical University of Delft have presented a paper stating that taking the lid off of a memory chip and using that instead as the sensor would seriously bring the costs down of digital cameras while still shooting photos well.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

The digital camera market could be seriously revolutionized if an adjustment is made to the most expensive part of the camera: the image sensor. A team of scientists at the Technical University of Delft have presented a paper stating that taking the lid off of a memory chip and using that instead as the sensor would seriously bring the costs down of digital cameras while still shooting photos well. The sensors, also known as Charged Coupled Devices (CCDs), store images in analog and then convert them to digital. This process doesn't work well in poor lighting conditions, thus, if you want smashing photos, you need a camera with a bigger CCD. There comes in the cost. But with this new tech, that could be changed.

As far as the specs are concerned, for every pixel on the sensor of a camera out now, the memory-based sensor could have 100 pixels. Thus, for a chip in a 10-megapixel camera, the new sensor could have 100 times as many sensing cells if implemented in memory technology. For more detail about the chips, check out the report at The New Scientist.

The technology, named "gigavision," is geared towards cell phone and cheaper-end pocket cameras, so it's not quite clear how good the photos the new technology would produce. But as the patent is pending, it is unclear when this would actually be implemented.

Do you think this finding would really change the market? Would you be interested in buying a camera with this kind of technology?

[Photo via Engadget]

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