Michael McDonald, Skylane Technology
embedded.com (September 03, 2014)
The previous article in this series addressed the rapid growth in photography and computer vision (the ability to extract information from an image) and examined how computational solutions are addressing limitations in emerging camera sensors and optics. In addition to creating better photographs under increasingly difficult conditions, these same solutions are also enabling new user interfaces and experiences, creating amazing pictures that were previously impossible, and extracting information from the images to enable better management of the many photographs we are taking.
These promising new features are being added despite some major challenges. The sensor pixel size is rapidly approaching the wavelength of light, leaving limited opportunity to reduce costs by further shrinking pixels, the fundamental building block of the image sensor. In addition, the increasing performance requirements of video and vision provide challenges for mobile phones and embedded solutions that are also being called upon to run more and more applications. This article looks at some of the emerging silicon architectures in the form of optimized and innovative processors and sensors that are enabling these advanced features.
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