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Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Sharp Develops 2-Megapixel CCD Camera Module with 2x Optical Inner Zoom Lens Design

Sharp today announced the development of the industry's first 2-megapixel CCD camera module featuring a 2x optical inner zoom lens, intended for use in high-end mobile phones with cameras.

This advanced camera module is the newest CCD module from Sharp to enable digital camera-quality resolution to popular cell phone applications.

As phones with embedded cameras have increasingly provided pixel counts beyond one megapixel, industry demands for greater functionality and higher image quality on par with ordinary digital cameras has increased. At the same time, the industry demands more compact and thinner camera modules to provide this greater functionality and higher image quality without altering the form factor of mobile phone handsets.

This 2-megapixel CCD camera module for mobile phones is equipped with an optical inner zoom function that is easily switched between normal and 2x zoom, an industry first. This optical zoom does not protrude from the module body, making it ideal for folding 'clamshell' style mobile phones. In addition, an auto-focus function makes it possible to capture images with the subject in perfect focus. The auto-focus advantage benefits all photographs, from close-ups to portraits and landscapes.

"Sharp has influenced the adoption of camera-enabled cell phones, having introduced some of the most high resolution camera modules with features that previously were not available in cell phones," said Mark Hampson, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas. "Sharp's success with the 2-megapixel CCD camera module with auto-focus function inspired us to expand our existing line of CCDs to include this new optical zoom feature. With this CCD, camera phones have full-fledged digital camera capabilities."

Sharp has also designed this new module to prevent the "smear" phenomenon typical of most CCDs. For example, when a photo includes headlights or light from the sun, it is common to see vertical streaks of light appear on the image. Sharp's high-resolution 2-megapixel Frame Interline Transfer (FIT) CCD and high-performance lens make it possible for camera phones to take high-quality images with minimal distortion. The FIT type is used in professional-quality broadcast video cameras and enables the ability to shoot optimal images, whether at night or under the light of the midday sun.

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