8-Megapixel Mini-Cameras Coming

8-megapixel resolution images, traditionally restricted to high-end digital SLR cameras, will soon be possible with small point-and-shoot cameras and cell phones, thanks to a new sensor developed by Micron. The CMOS chip will also eliminate lag between taking pictures.

Micron is expected to begin production of the sensor starting early next year, and the technology could make it into consumers' hands by the end of 2007, the company said. No partners have been announced, but Micron has designed the chip to be included in cameras priced around $200 to $300.

Most current point-and-shoot cameras utilize CCD sensors, which require more power and are more expensive than CMOS chips, but typically perform better. Micron says its 8-megapixel CMOS will change that, bringing high-quality digital video and photography to the consumer market.

Micron has also worked to lessen the delay when taking pictures using non-SLR cameras. Thanks to a faster processor, the sensor can take 10 pictures per second at 8-megapixel resolution, and shoot 30 pictures per second when lowered to 2-megapixel.

“With the 8–megapixel image sensor being designed with our latest 1.75-micron pixel, and the encouraging results we’re seeing with the next-generation smaller pixel at 1.4-microns, Micron leads the industry in both smaller and higher performance image sensors, enabling our customers to create new and exciting camera products,” commented Bob Gove, vice president of Micron Technology’s imaging group.

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