New KODAK Image Sensor Technology Redefines Digital Image Capture

Next Generation Color Filter Patterns Deliver Higher Quality Photos Under Low-Light Conditions. Kodak has created a new filter pattern to use instead of the Bayer filter used on most cameras.
Eastman Kodak Company
(NYSE:EK) has introduced a groundbreaking advancement in image sensor
technology that will help make dark, blurry digital photos a thing of
the past.

Kodak’s new sensor technology provides a significant
increase in sensitivity to light when compared to current sensor
designs. With this new technology, users will realize a 2x to 4x
increase in sensitivity (from one to two photographic stops), which
will improve performance when taking pictures under low light and
reduce motion blur when imaging moving subjects. In addition, this
technology enables the design of smaller pixels (leading to higher
resolutions in a given optical format) while retaining imaging
performance

This breakthrough advances an existing Kodak
technology that has become a standard in digital imaging. Today, the
design of almost all color image sensors is based on the “Bayer
Pattern,” an arrangement of red, green, and blue pixels that was first
developed by Kodak Scientist Dr. Bryce Bayer in 1976. In this design,
half of the pixels on the sensor are used to collect green light, with
the remaining pixels split evenly between sensitivity to red and blue
light. After exposure, software reconstructs a full color signal for
each pixel in the final image.

Kodak’s new proprietary
technology builds on the existing Bayer Pattern by adding panchromatic,
or “clear” pixels to the red, green, and blue pixels already on the
sensor. Since these pixels are sensitive to all wavelengths of visible
light, they collect a significantly higher proportion of the light
striking the sensor. The remaining red, green, and blue pixels are then
used to record the color information of the scene.

Kodak new image sensor

To
reconstruct a full color image, Kodak has also developed new software
algorithms specifically designed to work with the raw data generated
from these new image sensors. These sophisticated algorithms use the
more sensitive panchromatic pixels to act as the luminance channel of
the final image, and derive chrominance information from the color
pixels on the sensor. Leveraging over 30 years of Kodak image science,
these new algorithms support the increased sensitivity provided by
these new pixel patterns, while retaining the overall image quality and
color fidelity required by customers.

“This represents a new
generation of image sensor technology and addresses one of the great
challenges facing our industry how to capture crisp, clear digital
images in a poorly lit environment,” said Chris McNiffe, General
Manager of Kodak’s Image Sensor Solutions group. “This is a truly
innovative approach to improving digital photography in all forms, and
it highlights Kodak’s unique ability to differentiate its products by
delivering advanced digital technologies that really make a difference
to the consumer.”

Kodak new image sensor

Kodak
is beginning to work with a number of leading companies to implement
this new technology in system-wide solutions and to streamline the
design-in process.

Kodak is developing CMOS sensors using this
technology for consumer markets such as digital still cameras and
camera phones. As the technology is appropriate for use with both CCD
and CMOS image sensors, however, its use can be expanded across Kodak’s
full portfolio of image sensors, including products targeted to applied
imaging markets such as industrial and scientific imaging. The first
Kodak sensor to use this technology is expected to be available for
sampling in the first quarter of 2008.

For additional
information regarding this technology, please contact Image Sensor
Solutions, Eastman Kodak Company at (585) 722-4385 or by email at
[email protected] For more information on Kodak’s entire image sensor
product line, please visit www.kodak.com/go/imagers.

Kodak new image sensor

Kodak
is the world’s foremost imaging innovator. With sales of $10.7 billion
in 2006, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth
strategy focused on helping people better use meaningful images and
information in their life and work. Consumers use Kodak’s system of
digital and traditional products and services to take, print and share
their pictures anytime, anywhere; Businesses effectively communicate
with customers worldwide using Kodak solutions for prepress,
conventional and digital printing and document imaging; and Creative
Professionals rely on Kodak technology to uniquely tell their story
through moving or still images.

More information about Kodak (NYSE: EK) is available at www.kodak.com

Kodak is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Company 2007

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