Toshiba Introduces Industry's First Dual Camera Module for Simultaneous Output of Image and Depth of Field Data

Helps develop a wide range of applications, including refocusing images after taking a photo

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Toshiba announced today that it has introduced the industry's first [1] dual camera module for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices. The "TCM9518MD" combines two 1/4-inch optical format 5 megapixel CMOS camera modules (5 megapixels x 2 arrays) and can simultaneously output recorded images and depth of field data. After taking a picture, you can manipulate the image captured by the module to change the depth of field and focus. Samples will be launched in January 2014 and volume production is scheduled for April 2014.

The dedicated companion LSI of the "TCM9518MD" measures and adds depth data to objects in the image. These data can be used in a wide range of applications, including focusing and defocusing, and even extracting and removing objects from images. Combined with the customer's application, the module supports the development of new features.

By multiplying the pixels taken by the two 5 megapixel cameras, the LSI can generate 13 megapixel images and achieve a lower module height than the traditional 13 megapixel camera module [2].

Computing cameras with digital signal processing technology can create images that are not possible with standard camera modules that use optical hardware technology—lens and shutters. The TCM9518MD brings high resolution and computational camera capabilities to the CMOS image sensor market for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices.

New product overview

Product number sample price Sample release time Production time Production scale
TCM9518MD 5000 yen January 2014 April 2014 500,000 pieces per month

Main features of new products

Synchronous output of depth of field data (depth of field map) and deep focus image

The TCM9518MD's two cameras and a dedicated companion LSI provide simultaneous deep-focus images (where the foreground and background, as well as all points in the middle are in focus) and depth of field data for each object in the image. This can support the development of new applications for smartphones, tablets and mobile devices, including refocusing, defocusing and extraction, and gesture control for any object in the image.

13 megapixel image output

By multiplying the photos taken by two 5 megapixel cameras, the LSI can generate 13 megapixel photos. This will help to reduce the size of your mobile device.

Digital focus function

Most autofocus camera modules in smartphones use a mechanical focusing structure to move the lens through a motor such as VCM[3]. This makes focusing take a long time and causes a shutter delay. The TCM9518MD provides a non-mechanical digital focus function that eliminates the need for mechanical construction, enabling high-speed focusing by calculating the depth of field of any object [4]. It also achieves a lower module height.

Main specifications

Product number TCM9518MD
Output resolution 130,000 pixels
Sensor and resolution 50,000 pixels x 2
Optical size 1/4 inch x 2
Pixel size 1.4 micron
Module size 8.0 × 12.0 × 4.65mm

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