Monday, March 4, 2013

Rambus: HDR on a Chip

I have been looking through some new technology for high dynamic range sensors and this came to light. Binary Pixel technology is suppose to give you DSLR style dynamic range for your mobile device such as tablets and smart phones.

If this is really true, then it could mean the end of the DSLR camera. Which fool would want to use a DSLR for imaging when you can get the same result from a puny device. Sounds too good to be true? You bet.

Rambus has made many claims to the new technology and though they have a proof of concept example, I have my doubts.

First, in the tech explanation, no qualitative examples were made in terms of the number of EV or stops that this particular type of Binary Pixel processor is able to claw back from high contrast scenes. Is this a pixel binning technology? Or a Jedi mind trick?

There is also no mention in the text about this being a patented technology (patent pending). This leaves me to believe that technology isn't yet mature for mass market use and isn't new.

There are ways to claw back some dynamic range from high contrast scenes in imaging. If you look at how the Fuji XE-1 and Fuji Xpro-1 does it with its Dynamic Range Expansion Mode, you will get a good idea on how this can also filter down to mobile devices.

Quad-core mobile processors can handle a lot of the heavy lifting needed to produce expanded dynamic range. This will of course come at the expense of battery life, but Binary Pixel technology makes a contradictory claim by saying it will not hinder battery usage.

Right now, it remains to be seen if this new technology will be a hit but stay tune for updates.


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