New Image Sensors Could Lead to Focusing Photos After They're Taken


Cornell University researchers led by professor Alyosha Molnar have used new computational methods and traditional chip-making techniques to develop a new generation of image sensors. The sensors give detailed readouts of the intensity and the incident angle of light as it strikes the sensor, Researchers say that could result in a new generation of three-dimensional cameras with the ability to focus photos after they are taken. The key to the technology is a uniquely designed pixel for a standard complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. The design enables the chip to detect information about the incident angle of the light striking it with more detail than a normal CMOS imager. This information can be analyzed using the Fourier Transform, which extracts the depth of objects in an image and allows for computational refocusing of the image taken. The researchers' chip can thus far capture an image at 150,000 pixels with the assistance of a standard Nikon camera lens, but they say this could be enhanced with bigger chips. More details can be found at Cornell University web site.

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