Toshiba America Electronic Components made available sample quantities of its TCM9518MD, the industry’s first dual camera module that can simultaneously output recorded images and depth data for mobile devices. Similarly to the Lytro digital camera, the TCM9518MD’s twin camera modules and a dedicated companion LSI chip simultaneously deliver deep focus images in which foreground and background, and all points in between, are in focus with depth data provided for each object in the picture.
The TCM9518MD incorporates twin 1/4 inch optical format 5-megapixel CMOS camera modules (5 megapixels x 2 arrays). The dedicated companion LSI chip of the TCM9518MD measures and appends depth data to objects in the image. This data can be used for a variety of applications. The LSI also generates 13-megapixel images by up scaling images taken by the twin 5-megapixel cameras, resulting in a lower module height than that of conventional 13 megapixel camera modules.
Sample shipments of the TCM9518MD are now available, and the price is set at $50. Kinda expensive for a mobile device component, but we still hope to see the first smartphones with this technology released this year. Can’t wait.