Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


android tablet pc

Home > Press > 3D CMOS camera for your mobile?

Abstract:
European researchers have created a world-leading camera in CMOS that can record photons at a million times a second. Best of all, it will be really cheap to manufacture, offering applications in consumer products, entertainment and in-car safety systems.

3D CMOS camera for your mobile?

Europe | Posted on October 14th, 2009

The Megaframe project created a high-speed camera that can detect 1024 photons at one million frames a second. While their work has put Europe in the lead of this particular field of research, the real news is that the team still cannot keep up with the number of potential applications for their technology.

At every conference or workshop they attend new potential applications emerge, and while the most significant impact of their work will probably be in the domain of biomedical science, their consumer and industrial applications will probably have widespread impact.

Take, for example, the automotive industry. Imagine a camera capable of working in a car engine cylinder and tracking the cylinder cycles in real time. It could provide enormous opportunity for in-car safety systems, diagnostics and fuel efficiency.

Using the information provided by the in-cylinder camera, engineers could develop cars that tune the engine on the fly, guaranteeing the best performance for real driving conditions.
Cheap as chips

And the main reason Megaframe's camera could be applied to this particular field is that it is incredibly cheap. "CMOS, or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor, is very cheap to produce, once the design has been mastered," explains Edoardo Charbon, coordinator of the Megaframe project.

It means the technology could be applied in any number of devices and areas where it would serve a useful purpose. The utility of the camera has just begun to be explored.

That is because the camera does three things very well. It can detect very low light levels, ultimately a single photon, it can detect a photon a million times a second and, crucially, it can detect when the photon hits the detector to an incredible degree of accuracy. The Megaframe chip has a time resolution that ranges from 50-200 picoseconds.

The team achieved that by combining SPADs, or Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes, high-precision chronometers and microlenses into each pixel, and then created a 32 by 32 array of these pixels. It was an incredible demonstration of miniaturisation.

This accuracy is an enormous boost to ‘time-of-light' 3D video. Time of light judges the depth of field, or the distance of a particular object in a scene, by the time it takes light fired at the object to be reflected back. It is incredibly accurate when well done, but it requires enormous precision.
We have the precision

The Megaframe camera has that precision. "If you want to have a depth resolution of a few millimetres, you have to have a time resolution of a few picoseconds. That is another case in which time resolution is very important," explains Charbon formerly with EPFL and now at TU Delft.

Megaframe has that resolution and Charbon believes that 3D cameras based on SPAD technology could be appearing in mobile phones in the next five years. A similar technology could appear in cars, too, and be used for 3D parking cameras.

Again, the cameras could be adopted for jet engines, or for any type of chemical or reactive process, to give a more detailed picture of processes as they happen, on the fly. It could provide a major boost to any number of industrial processes, or to quality control. This is a major shift for a technology that once languished as a novel, but not very interesting, phenomenon.

"When we started this project in 2004 our colleagues thought SPADs were something of a curiosity," admits Charbon. "But now that they see it works, they are very interested and the technology has really been put on the map," Charbon says.
Second phase

For now, the team is concentrating on the second phase of the EU-funded project, where they hope to expand their pixel array from a 32 by 32 array to a much larger one. It will dramatically increase the area that can be filmed at any one time.

Charbon would also like to see another phase to cover a series of possible applications and develop prototypes for those applications.

He predicts the project's work will find its way into real-world applications soon. "The 3D camera could be on your mobile phone in five years, and biomedical applications in 10 years, or perhaps even less," he emphasises.

In the meantime, Megaframe is always interested in meeting potential research partners, and is particularly keen to meet investors who are interested in developing the 3D camera technology.

Megaframe had a budget of just €2.46 million, with €1.85 million provided by the European Union. Given all the innovation, the vast potential applications and its world leadership in the field, the project has proven to be great value for money.

The Megaframe project received funding from the FET-Open scheme of the EU's Sixth Framework Programme for research.
This is the third of a three-part special feature on the Megaframe project appearing on ICT Results.

####

For more information, please click here

Copyright © ICT Results

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Aerotech X-Y ball-screw stage for economical high performance Planar positioning April 16th, 2014

Energy Research Facility Construction Project at Brookhaven Lab Wins U.S. Energy Secretary's Achievement Award April 16th, 2014

Malvern reports on the publication of the 1000th peer-reviewed paper to cite NanoSight’s Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis, NTA April 16th, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Possible Futures

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles April 10th, 2014

Local girl does good March 22nd, 2014

Surface Characteristics Influence Cellular Growth on Semiconductor Material March 12th, 2014

The "Tipping Point" February 12th, 2014

Chip Technology

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives: Research enhances understanding of materials interfaces April 14th, 2014

Obducat has launched a new generation of SINDRE® Nano Imprint production system April 11th, 2014

Scientists in Singapore develop novel ultra-fast electrical circuits using light-generated tunneling currents April 10th, 2014

Clean Shot at Manufacturing Course…For Less April 9th, 2014

Discoveries

Nanocrystalline cellulose modified into an efficient viral inhibitor April 15th, 2014

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

A molecular approach to solar power: Switchable material could harness the power of the sun — even when it’s not shining April 15th, 2014

Targeting cancer with a triple threat: MIT chemists design nanoparticles that can deliver three cancer drugs at a time April 15th, 2014

Announcements

Aerotech X-Y ball-screw stage for economical high performance Planar positioning April 16th, 2014

Energy Research Facility Construction Project at Brookhaven Lab Wins U.S. Energy Secretary's Achievement Award April 16th, 2014

Malvern reports on the publication of the 1000th peer-reviewed paper to cite NanoSight’s Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis, NTA April 16th, 2014

Biologists Develop Nanosensors to Visualize Movements and Distribution of Plant Stress Hormone April 15th, 2014

Automotive/Transportation

Tiny particles could help verify goods: Chemical engineers hope smartphone-readable microparticles could crack down on counterfeiting April 15th, 2014

Nanotech Business Review 2013-2014 April 9th, 2014

Heat-conducting polymer cools hot electronic devices at 200 degrees C March 31st, 2014

Nanovations Sets new Benchmark in Automotive Windscreen Coating Durability: Nanovations new automotive glass coating Vision Protect, sets new benchmark in glass coating durability March 23rd, 2014

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE







  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More














ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2014 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE