Today, Toshiba announced that it has begun commercial production of its new T4K82 CMOS image sensor for smartphones and tablets. The sensor packs in high-end features which could give a boost to next-generation products.
The T4K82 is a 13 megapixel BSI (back-illuminated) CMOS image sensor, which is a match for most modern high-end smartphones. However, the big talking point is that Toshiba’s new chip is capable of 240fps interlaced slow-motion video capture with a full 1080p resolution, which, on paper, is the highest frame rate available in the industry. It can also scale down its resolution to QVGA (320×240) for 900fps equivalent video capture.
To accomplish this, Toshiba makes use of its own “Bright Mode” technology to boost frame brightness by up to four times. This is achieved through “charge binning”, which adds the charges of two pixels and outputs the sum as one pixel with double brightness. Typically, high speed frame capture suffers from underexposure due to the shortness of time available to capture light. Toshiba provides an interlaced video output when using Bright Mode, effectively doubling the perceived frame rate of the video.
However, you won’t be able to view interlaced playback on a typical smartphone display. Instead, Toshiba provides its own interlacing-progressive conversion program to output high-speed capture to a progressive format. Depending on the quality of the conversion and how well charge binning works, the motion may or may not be quite as polished as a normal progressive capture could be at this frame rate and resolution. Even so, this technology should still offer additional smoothness and clarity over existing slow-motion implementations in the mobile space.
Slow motion video capture has become an increasingly popular feature in high-end smartphones. The new Galaxy S6, HTC One M9, Xperia Z3, and OnePlus One, among others, all support 120fps slow-motion video capture at resolutions of 720p. Toshiba’s sensor will double the equivalent frame rate and increase image clarity over current smartphones capable of slow-motion recordings.
While no products fitted with the T4K82 sensor have been announced yet, entering mass production means that we could well see 240fps, full HD video capable smartphones available later in the year.
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News on Google’s Project Ara modular smartphone has been picking up steam as of later, and we’re starting to see the first developmental modules for the device.
Today, we have pictures and information regarding Toshiba’s camera module for the device, which is still in development.
In these pictures,we can see a 2MP front shooter, as well as a 5MP and 13MP rear cameras. Development is set to be complete in 2016. Hit the break for more.
The modular device is expected to launch in Puerto Rico by the end of 2015, so we’ll be getting a ton of more information in the coming months about Project Ara.
Source: GSM Dome
Come comment on this article: Check out Toshiba’s first camera modules for the Project Ara smartphone
Project Ara, Google’s fancy little modular phone of the future, keeps gaining more and more momentum as time progresses. The basic principles behind the device involves making all your phones components interchangeable. Think of it like a desktop PC of sorts. Want better photos, then just buy a higher resolution camera module. Basically allowing you […]
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It’s been known for a while that the NSA will intercept and bug equipment to spy on its soon-to-be owners, but the intellgency agency’s techniques are apparently more clever than first thought. Security researchers at Kaspersky Lab have discovered apparently state-created spyware buried in the firmware of hard drives from big names like Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital. When present, the code lets snoops collect data and map networks that would otherwise be inaccessible — all they need to retrieve info is for an unwitting user to insert infected storage (such as a CD or USB drive) into an internet-connected PC. The malware also isn’t sitting in regular storage, so you can’t easily get rid of it or even detect it.
Kaspersky isn’t explicitly naming the culprits, but it also isn’t shy about pointing a finger in the US government’s direction. The company notes that the developers had access to unpatched exploits before they showed up in American cyberwarfare viruses like Stuxnet, and in some cases directly borrowed code modules. Also, most of the infections have occurred in countries that are frequently US spying targets, such as China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia. Reuters sources back this up with claims that the NSA has developed espionage techniques on this level.
The NSA isn’t commenting on the findings. However, they don’t bode well for the US’ attempts to preserve the eroding trust of other countries. If the US can plant surveillance tools in hard disks, why would you buy a hard drive (or an entire computer) from an American source to safeguard your big secrets? You probably won’t have to worry about these bugged drives at home, but they’re likely to be major concerns abroad.
[Image credit: Getty Images]
Source: Kaspersky Lab
Project Ara is inching closer to its commercial début in Puerto Rico later this year, so it is only natural that we begin to hear word of modules that third part developers have in mind for the build-it-yourself smartphone. Last week, Toshiba showed off some of its own reference design camera modules for Ara.
Toshiba discussed three swappable modules for Ara: a 2 megapixel front facing camera bar, as well as 5MP and 13MP rear camera options. The company will also be opening up its reference designs to third party developers, to bring a wider range of camera options, and other modules, to Project Ara.
“Also we took some of Toshiba technologies and our chips, and developed some module reference designs. We can open these designs out for everybody, so people can use it for their own technology and developing modules.”
The 5MP module fits in the standard 2×1 module size for Ara and comes with its own ISP chip to handle the processing, while the 2MP front facing bar contains an extra audio codec and can communicate with other processors through common I2S and I2C interface standards. Toshiba’s 13MP camera option is based on the company’s T4K82 mobile sensor, which allows for 30fps video recording at 4K and 2K resolutions and has 120fps 1080p recording capabilities.
In addition to these sensors, Toshiba also talked about its 8MP T4KA3 and 20MP T4KA7 products for mobile devices, both of which could also be worked into future camera module designs.
Here’s a quick video of the 5MP camera module being plugged in and used to capture video in real time.
These three camera modules are just the first stage in Toshiba’s plan for modular products. The company is also developing wireless charger, TransferJet, NFC and external memory reference designs for Project Ara this year, leading into an unspecified “unique module” in 2016.
Although still far from a finished product, Toshiba’s little range of camera sensor options are an exciting prospect for Project Ara and discriminating smartphone photographers alike.
Toshiba has undertaken many attempts to reshape its TV segment over the years with “Cloud Portal” and Cell TV, but none have hit the mark and now it’s getting out of the business entirely in North America. Following other Japanese manufacturers that have axed (Pioneer), scaled back (Panasonic), or reorganized (Sony) their TV operations, Toshiba will license its name to Taiwan’s Compal. New TVs from the venture will be on shelves in March, so don’t be surprised if they’re a bit different. It already switched to more outsourcing after axing jobs in 2013, so the shift may turn out to be subtle. Toshiba has always been willing to bring some unique — if not always appreciated — aspects to the game, and we’ll be sad to see them go. The plan now is to “develop new technologies and services” while it works on securing a stable profit.
Source: Toshiba (PDF)
Toshiba has just launched two new products that will help photographers out greatly during photoshoots. The Japanese technology company has just announced two new SD cards, including the world’s first NFC-enabled SD memory card, as well as a new Wifi-capable SD card.
The NFC-capable card comes in 8/16/32GB variants and can be used alongside any NFC-compatible Android device. If you’d like to use the NFC capabilities with this card, simply download the Memory Card Preview App on your device, tap it to your camera, and up to 16 image previews will appear on your phone, along with available storage space on the card. If you’d like to download or really do anything with the photos beyond looking at the previews, unfortunately the SD card doesn’t support those features quite yet.
Toshiba has also announced a new Flash Air III, the seemingly more useful device out of the two. This one is Wifi-enabled, meaning you can access all of your stored pictures and quickly share them with your computer as long as it’s connected to a WiFi network. This newer version of the SD card provides enhanced photo sharing and management features from the previous model, and should be able to transfer photos and videos faster than previous iterations. You can pick up the Wifi-enabled SD card beginning in March. The 16GB model will run you $79.99, while the 32GB model will cost $99.99. If you’d like to pick up an NFC-enabled SD card, they’ll be available sometime in February, though no pricing information has been mentioned yet.
Toshiba was demoing its Virtual Fitting Room at CES this year. The premise is simple, stand in front of a large display while your image is projected on it. Using a Kinect for motion tracking, Toshiba’s software is able to superimpose various outfits onto your reflected self. Hold your right hand up to change outfits and your left to snap a selfie, that the software then throws up as a QR code so you can grab your pic. Typical of this type of virtual thing the clothes tended to wiggle about and were a bit ill fitting, but they were women’s outfits so we’ll give them a break there. We can see practical applications for trying clothing combinations without having to use a dressing room if you’re in a hurry, for example. Though, we don’t think using it for sizing would be useful at all, which is a large part of a fitting room’s job.
Toshiba’s been hawking its Eye-Fi-troubling TransferJet technology for years now, letting you push data from your SD card to your PC without removing it from your camera. Now, however, the company has cooked up a way for users to see what’s on the card without even picking it up off the table. Simply pick up an Android smartphone, activate the company’s companion app, and the built-in NFC will show you up to 16 random thumbnails of the images included therein.
Of course, you’d only really need that sort of feature if you had thousands of SD cards that, for some reason, you hadn’t archived to your computer. That clearly hasn’t deterred the company in gearing this up for retail, and it’s expected to hit stores in the US at some point in February, with other territories given the option of joining in as they see fit. There’s no word on pricing yet, but the company expects it to cost a little more than your average SD card for obvious reasons.