Nokia graphene camera tech tips true PureView without the bulk
Sensing of Photons,” Nokia’s approach combines multiple layers of photo-sensing graphene which are stacked with color filters, each stack representing a single pixel.
Using three color filters – for red, green, and blue wavelengths – would allow the graphene sensor to accumulate a regular full-color pixel. It can even be more efficient in low-light than a CMOS approach, as utilized in current Nokia phones, as a single layer of graphene absorbs just 2.3-percent of passing light.
Meanwhile, the graphene-based system can be more sensitive to light than traditional camera sensors, reflecting light back out in the course of the layers and so getting a second opportunity to register it. Which can mean roughly twice the sunshine detection efficiency, Nokia suggests.
The upshot, so the patent application insists, is a camera sensor that’s potentially easier and less expensive to fabricate, smaller and thinner than existing versions, and that still works well as a pre-amplifier for more traditional photocells. Stack the graphene sensor on top of 1 of these, it’s stated, and it’ll grab extra light/color data without blocking nearly all of the sunshine passing through.
Nokia’s PureView technology, as inside the 808 PureView, has thus far trusted an outsized sensor paired with high-quality optics and software trickery – most notably oversampling, where data from multiple adjacent pixels is combined to make for a more detailed and accurate end image – to work its magic. However, such oversized sensors aren’t particularly compatible with the compact smartphones fashionable today; the recent flagship Lumia 920 PureView expected to be announced this week is tipped to have a “mere” 8-megapixel sensor, though Nokia’s photography expert insists that does not preclude it from delivering PureView-style magic.
If Nokia can refine and commercialize graphene sensors, however, which can mean big megapixel counts without big devices. Unfortunately there is no indication of quite how far down the event process Nokia could be, so we’ll probably ought to wait some time to determine such devices reach the market.