updated 01:15 pm EST, Mon February 4, 2008
Kodak 5MP Ultra-Small Cam
Kodak today said it had developed a new camera sensor that could allow all phones, not just large models, to include a quality camera. The photography firm says it has successfully reduced the individual pixel sizes for a 5-megapixel camera from more than 1.7 microns to just 1.4. By using an enhanced CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) sensor, the advance allows smaller sensors to fit into extremely tight spaces without sacrificing actual image quality, according to Kodak. The camera maker also claims that more of the sensors will fit on a given production wafer, potentially driving down the costs of normally expensive cameras that are limited to devices such as the Nokia N95 or the LG Viewty.
While the sensor is likely to be used by LG, which regularly builds Kodak-developed camera technology into its phones, the technology is not intended to be company-specific. The 5-megapixel sensor will be accessible to anyone who would like to license the technology for use in their own cameras, Kodak says. Samples will first be available to cellphone designers in the spring but are not believed to translate to production phones until the start of 2009.