Cheap Naked Chips Snap a Perfect Picture

Cheap Naked Chips Snap a Perfect Picture
New Scientist (10/07/09) Marks, Paul

Swiss Federal Polytechnic Institute (EPFL) engineer Edoardo Charbon and his team are developing a gigavision sensor, based on an ordinary memory chip, which they say can operate well with both bright and dim light.

In the past, light has been the bane of the memory chip–it “simply destroys the information,” says EPFL researcher Martin Vetterli. But Charbon and colleagues learned to aim the light hitting a memory chip so that each cell that is corrupted by the light changes depending on how much light is hitting it.The light effectively creates an image that the chip preserves.

The researchers say the new sensor could enable cell phones and other devices to take richer, better pictures. Moreover, the process is far more efficient than sensors based on charge-coupled devices (CCDs) or complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS).

Both technologies use similar methods to store images. Each pixel holds a charge whose strength corresponds with the amount of light that hits it. Charges in a CCD are passed from one pixel to another, so that the image forms in a wave of light starting at one edge of the chip and finally reaching the other.

An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) labels the pixels according to an 8-bit grayscale from zero to 255. CMOS uses the same scale, although it transforms charges into voltages before doing so. However, Vetterli says that because a memory chip creates an image immediately, its cells will always be 100 times smaller than those belonging to CMOS sensors.

This means that it can pack 100 pixels in the space of just one digital camera sensor–a gigapixel camera. Memory chip sensors can only store zeros or ones–light or dark–and cannot yet record shades of gray. EPFL’s Feng Yang is working on an algorithm that can assign shades of gray to 100 pixels of information. Dubbed spatial oversampling, the technique is more accurate than ADC. Vetterli hopes to have a functional gigavision memory chip by early 2011.


I admit it:  I posted this primarily because the title made me look twice. 🙂

Why I love the city


Yuba City, that is.  Chickens, looking for a rental I guess.  This is in the shopping center where the husbeast works.  Right near Chikins R Us.

Yes, he has lots of chickens in the parking lot.  Yes, we live less than 60 miles from the state capitol.


October 8: shoe whore

 1. Someone who owns too many shoes. [not actually possible ed]
2. Like a bag hag but obsessed with shoes.

Carrie from Sex and the City is a shoe whore.


I’ve slacked off a lot on my shoe buying, so by this definition, I’m probably more of a shoe slut than a shoe whore anymore.  Say, is this sexist?



–==++ News Headlines from the National Probe ++==–

Polanski “Just a Regular Guy,” Says Woody Allen

Book Review: Dan Brown’s “The Lost Symbol” Is Execrable; Dan Brown
fans click here

Sarah Palin Read a Book or Something

Pedophile Priests Ask: Where Were Hollywood and France When *WE*
Needed Some Backup?

Facebook Friend Just in It for the Farmville Gifts

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Apparently Size Does Matter

On December 1, Royal Caribbean will make history with the launch of the largest cruise ship ever built. The ship is the Oasis of the Seas, accommodating 5,400 passengers in 2,700 staterooms. By all accounts, she will also be the most innovative passenger vessel in history.

The ship will feature seven different “neighborhoods,” including Central Park, Boardwalk and Royal Promenade, each offering a unique atmosphere. At the center of the ship, six decks of balcony staterooms will face inward to overlook Central Park, an area roughly the size of a football field, open to the sky, with lush, tropical landscaping.

These will be the first non-ocean-view balcony staterooms at sea. Other firsts include the first carousel at sea, the first zip-line at sea and the Rising Tide Bar, the first moving bar at sea.

For more information about Oasis of the Seas, click here. For a list of dates and prices for this groundbreaking ship, click here.


Just for the record, this ship carries more people than there were in most of the towns around where I grew up.  Next stop,  Fhloston Paradise!