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The new sensor will enable clearly luminated images from atmospheres as dark as a movie theater. (Source: Korea Electronic Technology Institute)
Researchers don't want you to worry about bright flashes in dimly-lit scenes anymore

Our eyes will possibly get some relief from the blinding flash of cameras in low-light scenarios.  South Korea's Electronic Technology Institute announced the development of a new image sensor chip that allows digital cameras to capture vibrant images without a flash in dark spaces.

The digital camera equipped with the chip will be able to take high-resolution photos or video-recordings at 1 lux.  The camera will be able to snap pictures in places such as theaters, underground traffic tunnels, or dark-lit bars and clubs.  The chip promises clear pictures with light as bright as the lighting from a candle 1 meter away in a dark room and is said to be 2,000 times more light sensitive than other sensor types.  The will initially be used for camera phones, CCTV cameras and vehicle rear-view cameras.

Institute officials stated that state-run Korea Electronics Technology Institute has developed the single carrier modulation photo detector (SMPD) chip using nanotechnology.

The institute already spent roughly 11 billion won ($10.5 million USD) on the development of the SMPD chip over the past four years.  The expected earnings from the chip exportation is about 2 trillion won ($2.2 billion USD) annually

No news has been released yet about the production details of the chip, nor has there been any pricing estimates on the chip.

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More info
By Fritzr on 5/23/2007 12:30:16 AM , Rating: 6
Planet82 has licensed this from the University.

Some links to what they say

More at Marketwire including link to tech specs

RE: More info
By zsouthboy on 5/23/2007 10:37:49 AM , Rating: 2
All the press releases say is the word "nanotechnology", over and over again. There is no meat to them.

Wow - the chip has magic that "enables it to sense light wavelengths into the infrared band."

You mean, just like ALL CCD and CMOS sensors built today?

Furthermore - "Unlike photodiode-based CMOS and CCD technologies, which require millions of photoelectrons per pixel unit to create an image, the SMPD is able to react to tiny amounts of photons in light levels less than 1 lux, the equivalent of the light from one candle a meter away."

Uh, no. We can and do make images with many, many less than "millions of photoelectrons per pixel" already.

I also like how they completely avoid giving you any information about that "tiny amount" of photons - 1 lux means nothing.

It looks a lot like pushing for venture capital, than actually having a product, to me. Buzzwords abound.

RE: More info
By zsouthboy on 5/23/2007 10:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
RE: More info
By US56 on 6/1/2007 2:15:05 AM , Rating: 2
I've spent a lot of time in the last several years coming up to speed on potential digital surveillance camera technology and had never heard of this before the Dailytech story. I attempted to read everything on the Planet82 English language site. It's not that clear, partly due to poor translation and possibly due to the fact that I skipped the optional Physics class in my major (minor regrets). There is nothing much available for developers, no substantive tech info, no parts, no product development partnerships nor products of any form in the pipeline that I can determine. There are many search hits but all seem to have resulted from the two appearances at CES and Planet82 press releases. It seems too good to be true and probably is. The comments by 'zsouthboy' are, unfortunately, probably right on the money.

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