Writing for M2MNow, Matt Hatton notes that Rambus lensless smart sensors (LSS) use diffraction gratings – rather than traditional camera lenses – to partially focus inbound light.
“[LSS leverages] processing power and smart algorithms to turn this light into information,” he explains.
“This might include turning it into something much more like a conventional picture, but it need not – particularly if the point of gathering the data was to produce the information rather than pictures.”
As Hatton points out, the Rambus LSS approach represents a “conscious departure” from the human eye paradigm.
“The conventional approach to image capture is essentially to use a lens to focus a light array on to something sensitive. Rambus’ alternative is to throw processing power at the light array rather than to rely on a lens to improve the acuity of the image that is captured,” he continues.
“Lensless sensors are cheaper than their camera equivalents; a conventional lens-based camera-like sensor can cost anywhere from USD1 to USD10. They can also be much smaller, by a factor of around 50; and they also require less power.”
Some of these advantages, says Hatton, are due to the fact that LSS can be specifically designed for a single purpose or use case – and are not limited to a more ‘horizontal’ approach implicit in a lens-based camera.
“This kind of sensor thus places less demand on both transmission and storage; [making] makes them potential candidates for a wide range of IoT applications,” Hatton adds.
It should be noted that lensless smart sensor technology recently garnered significant attention from analysts, journalists and industry experts after Rambus officially kicked off its LSS POD program in Barcelona, Spain during Mobile World Congress 2015. The POD program offers partners early access to LSS hardware along with optimized algorithms.
Interested in learning more about the technology behind Rambus lensless smart sensors? You can check out our LSS article archive here.
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