Aptina Provides Image Sensors for ‘AWARE-2’ Gigapixel Camera

Aptina’s 14-megapixel sensor provides the resolution, quality and speed required by the project
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Aptina, a developer of complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) imaging systems, is providing image sensors to the Duke (University) Imaging and Spectroscopy Program (DISP) for use on the AWARE gigapixel camera program.

The AWARE program—funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—was created to construct a multi-microcamera platform to capture wide field-of-view images, video-rate, gigapixel cameras in small, low-cost form factors, Aptina says. Producing five times the resolution of the human eye, the AWARE-2 camera uses an array of microcameras equipped with Aptina’s 14MP image sensors to make gigapixel imaging possible, according to Aptine.

David Brady leads DISP—a computational optical sensors research program—which spearheaded the AWARE-2 program, ultimately selecting Aptina to supply the program with modified MT9F002 14-megapixel CMOS image sensors and camera system support. “We chose Aptina’s 14-megapixel sensor because it provided the resolution, quality and speed required by the project,” Brady says. “Their support is much appreciated and contributed to the success of the program.”

Like the AWARE-2 multi-sensor gigapixel camera project by DISP, Aptina is conducting research and development on the multi-array concept and extending the idea of capturing images using multi-sensor and multi-camera solutions. “Providing image sensors for the AWARE-2 camera was an honor, and we look forward to our continued work with Duke and the AWARE team,” said Bob Gove, Aptina’s president and CTO. “While the AWARE-2 camera uses a large array of individual sensors each in a micro-camera, we are committed to the miniaturization of the multi-array concept, achieved by integrating multiple imaging arrays within an individual sensor chip. These miniaturized single-chip multi-array solutions could revolutionize the imaging industry, enabling exciting new features and applications.”

Multi-array cameras provide a new direction from traditional cameras that opens the possibility for extremely flexible designs for both normal photography and computer vision for new human interactive systems, Aptina says. A range of future applications to include smartphone cameras with exceptional color performance, depth mapping for gesture recognition and gaming, security, medical and military uses are envisioned for multi-array cameras, according to the firm.