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New Kodak tech shrinks cam sensors without dropping image quality

Chris Ziegler

Two modern, must-have features of high end featurephones are locked in an eternal struggle to the death: camera and compactness. Slapping a large, high-quality sensor and lens on a phone tends to make it chubbier, and that's a huge problem (pun totally intended) as 3.2 and 5 megapixel autofocus cams become more of the rule than the exception. Kodak looks to be making life at least marginally easier on manufacturers, though, with some new sensor tech unveiled at MWC this week. The colorfully named KAC-05020 claims to be the world's first 5 megapixel CMOS device to sport pixels just 1.4 microns in diameter, down from the 1.75 microns typically seen on today's units. Perhaps even more importantly, though, Kodak claims that the new sensor has some bangin' light sensitivity -- somewhere on the order of two to four times the usual -- thanks to the use of its TRUESENSE technology that adds panchromatic pixels in with the RGB mix. Samples of the new sensors should be available to manufacturers in the second quarter of the year, meaning that if the Motorola-Kodak partnership is real, we're probably not going to see this sucker getting used the first time around.

[Thanks, Terry F.]

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