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Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Qualcomm Announces Depth-Sensing Camera Technology Designed for Android Devices

Today Qualcomm announced an expansion to the Qualcomm Spectra Module Program, capable of improved biometric authentication and high-resolution depth sensing, designed to meet demands of photo and video for mobile devices and head mounted displays (HMD).

This module program is built on the technology behind the Qualcomm Spectra embedded image signal processors (ISP) family.

"Whether used for computational photography, video recording, or for computer vision applications that require accurate motion tracking, it's clear that power efficient camera image signal processing has become more important for the next generation of mobile user experiences," said Tim Leland, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. "Our breakthrough advancements in visual quality and computer vision, combined with our family of integrated Qualcomm Spectra ISPs for Snapdragon, are designed to support an ecosystem of cutting edge mobile applications for our customers."

Qualcomm says that the new ISPs and camera modules are engineered to support "superior image quality and new computer vision use cases that utilize deep learning techniques and bokeh quality image experiences with a faster time to market for smartphone and HMD devices." The ISPs feature a new camera architecture designed for advancements in computer vision, image quality and power efficiency for the next Snapdragon Mobile and VR Platforms. The camera module program additions consist of a trio of camera modules, including an iris authentication module, a passive depth sensing module and an active depth sensing module.

Launched last year, the Qualcomm Spectra Module Program was designed to help Qualcomm's customers accelerate time to market for devices with high image quality and advanced camera technology. Last year's offerings provided optimized, dual-camera module solutions that make it easy for manufacturers to produce smartphone cameras with improved low light photography and video recording with smooth zoom. Now, the camera module program is being expanded to include new camera modules capable of utilizing active sensing for "superior" biometric authentication, and structured light for a variety of computer vision applications that require real-time, dense depth map generation and segmentation.

The second-generation Qualcomm Spectra ISP is the next family of integrated ISPs that utilizes new hardware and software architecture designed for advancements in computer vision, image quality, and power efficiency in future Snapdragon platforms. It features multi-frame noise reduction for superior photographic quality, along with hardware-accelerated motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF), and inline electronic image stabilization (EIS) for superior camcorder-like video quality.

The low-power, high-performance motion tracking capabilities of the Qualcomm Spectra ISP, in addition to optimized simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) algorithms, are designed to support new extended reality (XR) use cases for virtual and augmented reality applications that require SLAM.

The Qualcomm Spectra family of ISPs and new Qualcomm Spectra camera modules are expected to be part of the next flagship Snapdragon Mobile Platform.

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