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Depth-sensing image sensor array touted for smartphones

February 13, 2014 // Peter Clarke

Depth-sensing image sensor array touted for smartphones

Heptagon claims to offer first integrated 3D imaging system ready for mass production in smartphones, tablets and phablets

Heptagon Micro Optics Pte. Ltd. (Singapore) a developer of small cameras, has announced that a 2 by 2 3D imaging system is ready for mass production and use in smartphones, phablet and tablet computers.

The TrueD H2 array camera is said to be the first in a series of 3D imaging and depth-sensing cameras that Heptagon is introducing to the market. Heptagon did not provide details of the image resolution, data output formats of physical dimensions of the camera.

The TrueD H2 has been reported to measure 5.9mm by 5.8mm by 2.25mm.

As well as capturing the image the array camera captures short-range depth information that can be used for gesture and user recognition, background removal and image enhancement. The feature set is typical used for the front-facing camera on a smart device, but can also be used to complement the smart devices primary high resolution image sensor, Heptagon said.

Applications include supporting 3D and immersive mobile video games and augmented reality overlays.

The use of 2 by 2 image sensor array provides an low z height while maintaining superior color fidelity and low power consumption. Heptagon's focus correction packaging (FCP) technology reduces module assembly time, by removing the need for active alignment systems or barrel-mount solutions.

The TrueD H2 2 by 2 array camera is the result of more than three years of development efforts from Heptagon. The 2014 and 2015 will include the introduction of alternative array formats, lens enhancements, higher resolution, and additional sensing system innovations. In addition, Heptagon has recently released products that help to radically reduce the height and total footprint of smart devices, including VCSEL based illuminators and some of the world's smallest IR emitters.

Heptagon was founded as a spin-off from the Helsinki University of Technology in 1993 by Jyrki Saarinen an expert in diffractive optics.

The company has developed wafer-scale packaging and micro-optical expertise and has been headquartered in Singapore since 2011. Heptagon's R&D center is in Zurich. Development and manufacturing centers are in Singapore and Shenzhen with business development and sales located in San Jose, Calif.

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