Home > Community > Blogs > The Fuller View > hed digital cameras to get new image sensor technology
Login with a Cadence account.
Not a member yet?
Create a permanent login account to make interactions with Cadence more convenient.

Register | Membership benefits
Get email delivery of The Fuller View blog (individual posts).


* Required Fields

Recipients email * (separate multiple addresses with commas)

Your name *

Your email *

Message *

Contact Us

* Required Fields
First Name *

Last Name *

Email *

Company / Institution *

Comments: *

Digital Cameras to Get New Image Sensor Technology

Comments(1)Filed under: Brian Fuller, electronics, engineers, engineering, Samsung, mobile phones, Unhinged, best digital cameras, image sensor, camera sensor, image quality, isocell, design engineer, Samsung Semiconductor, digital cameras

Fifteen years ago (at least!) we bought an HP laptop for our home and they generously threw in a digital camera. That was the first digital camera we ever had. What a revelation it was to take pictures as long as your heart desired and delete the lousy ones.

The downside? The image sensor was just 2 megapixels (MP). Color clarity was poor and almost every image was washed out, but we still loved it. Today, of course, you can get digital SLR cameras with 20 MP and excellent imagers embedded in your laptop screen for webcams and in your mobile phones for "selfies."

The quality is astonishing. But more is coming, as it always will in our industry. But just what?

In the end, "it's about the pixels," to quote Marty Agan, director of engineering with Samsung Semiconductor. Agan and his colleague, senior marketing manager Justin Ging, woke up one morning, donned the same-colored shirts, and came down to the palatial Unhinged TV studios to talk tech, specifically image-sensor technology.

One of the obvious questions to pose was "why should we care when today's image quality is astounding" (and the file sizes being captured is straining our memory cards)?

Ging said:

"Better image sensors will have better quality, be better at low light in darker environments; they're faster, have burst capture, (good) slow motion and also have less power consumption."

Agan said there are four key areas engineers need to consider when specing an image sensor in a mobile design:

  • Resolution
  • Full well capacity (The amount of photons an individual pixel can handle before saturation before they're converted to electrons)
  • Cross talk
  • Sensitivity

And the pair expounded on an interesting Samsung technology called Isocell being rolled out that promises to make image capture in mobile devices even more eye-catching.

Check out our conversation about all this and more: 


Brian Fuller

Related stories:

--Unhinged: Alberto on Cyber-Physical Systems, 25 years in EDA

--Unhinged: Gary Smith Calls EDA, Tech Media on the Carpet

--25th Anniversary: Hogan on EDA History and Three Little Words 


By Daniel Payne on November 21, 2013
My first DSLR camera was a Canon 10D at just 3.25 mega-pixels, however the image quality surpasses any cell phone camera today, even the 20 mega-pixel versions. Why is that? It's not just the number of pixels that matters, it is also: The quality of the glass lens (usually plastic in a cell phone), the filter or micro-lens on top of the image sensor, the image sensor with the pixels, the size of the pixels, the DSP chip that reads the image sensor to produce the JPG file. Every cell phone camera image that I look at in Photoshop at 100% shows splotchy JPG artifacts, jaggy lines instead of perfect diagonals, etc. If all you ever do is look at an image on a 4" display, then many cell phone images look OK, however if you look at a JPG file at 100% in Photoshop you will instantly see that cell phone cameras have a long way to go before they remotely approach what a DSLR with a full-size sensor produces.

Leave a Comment

E-mail (will not be published)
 I have read and agree to the Terms of use and Community Guidelines.
Community Guidelines
The Cadence Design Communities support Cadence users and technologists interacting to exchange ideas, news, technical information, and best practices to solve problems and get the most from Cadence technology. The community is open to everyone, and to provide the most value, we require participants to follow our Community Guidelines that facilitate a quality exchange of ideas and information. By accessing, contributing, using or downloading any materials from the site, you agree to be bound by the full Community Guidelines.