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Microsoft Curved Sensor Technology Under Development

Microsoft has been working on curved sensor technology to improve image quality.

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Microsoft Curved Sensor Technology Under Development: Microsoft Curved Sensor Technology

Image from OSA Publishing.


Microsoft has been working on curved sensor technology, developing and testing a curved 1/2.3inch BSI CMOS sensor. Microsoft developed a pneumatic forming process, letting them gradually contact the die, smoothly pressing the sensor into a spherical shape.

This is to enable more uniform illumination (reduced vignetting), with improved resolution into the corners of the image, and better light gathering. They say that the solution reduces system size, cost and complexity. 

When testing with a custom lens, they were able to measure 3220 LW/PH resolution with an aperture of f/1.2, using an 18 megapixel sensor producing "more detail and has more uniform illumination" than a Canon 50 mm f/1.2 lens mounted on a Canon 1DS Mark III (a 21mp FF camera). They also compared the curved sensor to a standard flat sensor, again showing a benefit in performance. They also say that this technique works with other common sizes of sensor, including APS-C sensors. 

There are a number of potential applications for this, including cameras, astrophotography, video and surveillance, although it's likely that lenses would need to be custom made for the sensor. 

You can find the in-depth publication here. (via Reddit)


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