Optical zoom comes to dual-camera smartphones
By Julien Happich
The dual camera zoom module, only 5.5 mm in profile, combines a vertically-mounted wide field of view (FOV) camera with a narrow FOV telephoto lens mounted horizontally and aligned with a prism (forming a folded optical path).
With this optical arrangement and proprietary image fusion algorithms, the company claims its Hawkeye camera module achieves over 3x more light than the iPhone7+ and about 30 to 35% better image resolution when zooming.
iscussing the company’s roadmap, Corephotonics’ VP Marketing & Business Development, Eran Briman said the folded dual-camera zoom was already shipping in flagship smartphones, although he declined to give names. Briman recognizes that the module is aimed at premium smartphones, yet he is confident Corephotonics will literally “own” this market since it has developed so much IP around the slim dual-camera zoom.
“All of the vendors using a combination of a wide angle camera with a teleobjective camera require a direct license from Corephotonics, for the lens hardware design and the algorithms”, Briman said, “though we don’t have an estimate about how big this market would be as it is still shaping up”.
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo just made it public at Mobile World Congress that it was relying on Corephotonics’ technology for its latest dual-camera smartphone boasting a 5x lossless zoom.
Next on Corephotonics’ roadmap is the Eagle autonomous camera which is being demonstrated privately at this year’s Mobile World Congress. When asked if including Artificial Intelligence in the hardware/software mix was on the agenda, Briman declined to comment, but the next-generation camera module could reach the market by 2019.