OnQ Blog

Qualcomm pioneers new active depth sensing module

2nd generation Qualcomm Spectra ISP supports security, XR, and camera experience for entire Android ecosystem

Aug 15, 2017

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

Depth sensing cameras are becoming mission critical to advances in image quality, extended reality (XR), and security. Today Qualcomm Technologies is unveiling a new image signal processor (ISP) and line of camera modules to accelerate depth sensing in smartphones, XR headsets, and more.

Qualcomm Spectra ISP, 2nd Generation

The Qualcomm Spectra ISP is designed to communicate with your camera module. Generally speaking, the ISP dictates the speed your camera can focus and snap a photo, and the photo’s image quality. The 1st generation of Qualcomm Spectra ISP was integrated into the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and 835 platforms, which allowed for beautiful photos in an instant.

Today we’re unveiling our 2nd generation Qualcomm Spectra ISP. It features a completely new architecture that is engineered to increase image quality and speed, but more importantly, it’s designed for depth sensing in high-resolution and high accuracy — at very low-power. Additional features and details will be released later this year. In the meantime, below are a few we’re announcing today:

  • Superior photographic quality with multi-frame noise reduction and super resolution

  • Improved camcorder video quality with motion compensated temporal filtering (MCTF)

  • Inline gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) to reduce unwanted vibrations when recording videos

  • Machine learning accelerated computer vision for advanced used cases like face detection and improved bokeh photography

  • Accurate simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) for XR use cases

Spectra Module Program

The Spectra Module Program (SMP) was launched last year, to give our customers optimized single and dual camera module solutions. This helps them bring devices with great low light photography and smooth-zoom video recording to commercialization quickly. These modules are now widely deployed in many 2016 and 2017 flagship smartphones. Now we’re expanding our SMP with new camera modules capable of utilizing active sensing for improved biometric authentication, and structured light for a variety of computer vision applications that require real-time, dense depth map generation, and segmentation.

 The premium active depth sensing module will use structured light to produce incredibly accurate high-resolution depth maps. You can see it in action in the above video. You’ll see the depth map can be viewed at different angles in real-time. The depth map contains over 10,000 points of depth and can detect changes in depth as small as .1mm apart.

 Later this year Qualcomm Technologies will announce more features and details in the 2nd Generation Qualcomm Spectra ISP. Stay tuned.

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