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November 28, 2005

Agilent Unveils Image Pipe For Camera Phones



Courtesy of EE Times

MANHASSET, N.Y. — Agilent Technologies Inc. has introduced an image pipe processor that allows mobile phone and computing devices to take lifelike, rich color photos in all lighting conditions.

The image pipe is integrated in Agilent's family of system-on-chip (SOC) sensors, which feature the enhanced-performance (EP) pixel architecture.

The pipe accommodates various lighting conditions, from indoor to sunlight to fluorescent, and can enhance overexposed or underexposed images. It provides automatic illuminant detection and highly advanced exposure control, pixel correction and contrast control.

According to Agilent (Palo Alto, Calif.), the EP pixel architecture reduces dark current and noise, provides unmatched low image lag and removes the lens shading effect to offer breakthrough low-light CMOS sensor performance.

"Image pipe processors make the raw sensor picture pleasing to the human eye," said Feisal Mosleh, director of Mobile Imaging Marketing in Agilent's Semiconductor Products Group, in a statement. "This is achieved in digital still cameras by invoking a host of auto functions, such as exposure control and auto white balance. These same functions are not generally as advanced in camera phone ISPs."

Unlike many third-party graphics processors, Agilent's image pipe is tightly coupled with the CMOS sensor, which the company said results in better colors, higher contrast, truer skin tones, and picture rendering that is highly adaptive to varying lighting, shadows and movement.

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