OnQ Blog

Corephotonics and Snapdragon focus on optical zoom

May 21, 2015

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Qualcomm Technologies often augments the invention process by teaming up with outside innovators. One innovative company we’ve had the pleasure of working with is Corephotonics, on their development of computational dual camera technology for smartphones.

As you might have read in the news already, Corephotonics has garnered attention for improving the fidelity of optical zoom by snapping two images and fusing them. The result is continuous 3x zoom for stills and 5x zoom for 1080p, 30 fps video. Perhaps most exciting is that the technology, which can be incorporated into the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor series, is thin enough to work with slim phones.

We asked Qualcomm Technologies Business Development Manager Boaz Peer more about the technology and how the two teams developed it.

How did the idea for dual-camera optical zoom arise?

Boaz Peer: In 2011 the Corephotonics founding team identified that smartphones changed from getting more megapixels for the buck to making cameras better. The team set out to pinpoint the quality differentiators of digital still cameras and compact cameras, of which optical zoom was the most striking. The decision to take a dual-camera approach was the result of in-depth research and brainstorming.

Why did Corephotonics choose the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 platform to support its optical zoom technology?

BP: The Snapdragon 800 was the optimal mobile platform—strong enough in computational resources and imaging framework to support a hi-res dual camera. It is also the most prevalent platform and offered a very welcoming collaboration program and team.

What’s the coolest part about the Corephotonics technology, in your opinion?

BP: The coolest part is the leap of thought that enabled a high focal length in a compact form factor, which contributed to the exceptional clarity and sharpness of the zoom solution. However, this would not be sufficient unless truly superb backend processing was available to generate the seamless and continuous zooming sensation. Like many other important innovations, it is based on the maturing of two separate types of knowledge—optics and image processing—and on successfully converging them to an innovative technology with a significant leap in performance.


Stay tuned for updates on the project on the Snapdragon blog. And take note of other advances in computational photography that are supported by Snapdragon.

Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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