Earlier this morning at DEMO, I was wowed by a presentation from a company called InVisage. InVisage is developing a product they call QuantumFilm which has the ability to make significant changes to the the digital camera space, most notably when dealing with small CMOS sensors on small form factor devices like camera phones.
The biggest problem currently with camera phones isn’t so much the megapixel rating, it’s how much light the sensor can capture. If you have a lot of light, camera phones can turn out great photos. However, right now, capturing more light requires using larger CMOS sensors.
QuantumFilm utilizes a custom-designed semiconductor material that is designed to replace some of the silicon in image sensors used in CMOS cameras. This material which is based on quantum dots, can capture much more light, and can plug into the existing CMOS manufacturing process.
Invisage claims that QuantumFilm can offer twice the light detection and twice the quantum efficiency of typical silicon-only sensors. The potential for QuantumFilm basically means that manufacturers could put cameras with substantially better quality into their products without having to adopt larger sensors or create a whole new manufacturing process.
I talked to Invisage at the show and they said they hope to have a prototype done by the fall and hope to be partnered with ODMs for end-user consumption within the next 18 months.
QuantumFilm is one of the more high-level products at DEMO, but if it can work, it genuinely has the possibility of pushing the next evolution of camera phone and other small CMOS devices forward.