Qualcomm Pushes for More Dual Cameras in Smartphones
The vendor's Clear Sight technology will deliver better images for mobile devices powered by its Snapdragon 820 and 821 processors.Qualcomm officials want to accelerate the development of dual-camera smartphones powered by the vendor's Snapdragon 820 and 821 chips with the development of a new technology package called Clear Sight. According to company officials, Clear Sight takes advantage of the Spectra image signal processor (ISP) in the Snapdragon systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) to offer a technique that they said will produce better images than single cameras by mimicking the human eye. The goal is to enable Android smartphones powered by the Snapdragon SoCs to create photos that are sharper, have greater dynamic range and can operate well in low-light environments. "The human eye is a great analogy because your eyes contain cells called 'cones' and rods,'" PJ Jacobowitz, senior marketing manager at Qualcomm, wrote in a post on the company blog this week. "Cones are great at capturing color, but require well-lit environments, while rods excel in capturing light in low-light conditions, but don't capture as much color. Clear Sight is designed to mimic cones and rods to give you the best of both worlds, producing an image that has optimal contrast and brightness." With Clear Sight, the package comes with two cameras, and each has its own lens and image sensor. Similar to the human eye, the lenses can see the same distance, but the image sensors are different. One is a color image sensor, while the other is a black-and-white sensor, according to Jacobowitz. Another difference: the black-and-white sensor had its top layer's color filter removed. By doing so, Qualcomm engineers were able to increase by three times the black-and-white sensor's ability to capture light, which gives it greater contrast and improved sharpness in low-light settings.
"When color information from the other photo is merged, you can get a fantastic image," he wrote.