When I first saw the announcement of 3D image sensor chips cross the newswire, I must admit my first reaction was a bit dismissive. (See Tower Semi starts Canesta 3D image sensor output.)
Mistakenly, I assumed this was some kind of gimmick that paired two conventional image sensors a few inches apart to create stereoscopic images, something that has been readily doable with two separate, independent image sensors for years. "A more convenient package," I thought to myself. I couldn't have been more wrong.
What Canesta, the company behind these sensors, and Tower Semiconductor, the foundry have announced are true depth-perceiving image sensor chips that work on a totally different principle than ordinary image sensors and ordinary stereoscopic 3D. The 3D image is not created by stereo vision -- essentially two separate 2D images, the way our eyes work -- but by actually sensing the depth to various objects in the scene using a single image sensor. It's kind of like light wave based radar on a pixel-by-pixel basis.
You can read more about it at Canesta's web site.
And check out all the latest new video and imaging products at our own website, Video/Imaging DesignLine Products.