Feeds

Samsung etches tiny mechanical shutter for cameraphones

Will end blurred snaps, video, firm claims

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Samsung MEMS cameraphone shutter

Here's a pic of Samsung's clever micro electro-mechanical (MEMS) shutter, designed to make high-megapixel cameraphones take rather better photos than they currently can.

The tiny shutter - it's just 2.2mm across - is made up of 36 triangular strips that curl back away from the pin-hole iris. They're attached to a circular electrode - apply a voltage and the strips all uncurl. Their edges meet up precisely, forming a cover over the iris that blocks out the light.

The movable parts are essentially bi-metallic strips made of materials that expand at different rates when a given voltage is applied to both.

The upshot is a shutter small enough to go in a cameraphone. Today, mechanical shutters are too large for handsets, which make do without one by sampling the sensor at the moment the button's pressed.

The trouble with this approach is that, with high megapixel counts, the shot data can't be read quickly enough, so the picture is simply an 'average' of the changing scene seen through the lens. That's why cameraphone video tends to be blurred - one frame flows into another.

With a shutter, you can be sure that the image grabbed is only derived from the light hitting the sensor at the instant shutter was open. Closing the shutter allows the picture to be read from the sensor, processed and stored without being affected by the light that would be otherwise still be hitting the sensor.

The upshot, said Samsung: shots of camera quality and video that's more smooth and more sharp than before. Users will also gain control over exposure.

We'll have to wait for it, though. Samsung showed off the micro gadget at a recent conference in Japan but, according to a report by local newssite Tech-on, the South Korean giant admitted that commercialisation of the technology is a long way off. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Reg man builds smart home rig, gains SUPREME CONTROL of DOMAIN – Pics
LightwaveRF and Arduino: Bright ideas for dim DIYers
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
WTF happened to Pac-Man?
In his thirties and still afraid of ghosts
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Happy 25th birthday, Game Boy!
Monochrome handset ushered in modern mobile gaming era
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.