Daniel Porter
Jun 21, 2012

Gigapixel camera

When purchasing a digital camera, one important measurement is the number of pixels on the camera's sensor. Historically, this is measured in megapixels, or millions of pixels, but Duke University and the University of Arizona researchers are thinking bigger. A thousand times bigger. a team led by David Brady, Michael J. Fitzpatrick Professor of Electric Engineering at Duke's Pratt School of Engineering, has assembled 98 tiny cameras into a single device capable of capturing up to 50 gigapixels of data. Consumer cameras in the gigapixel range might not be too far off, either, if our electronics improve. "The development of high-performance and low-cost microcamera optics and components has been the main challenge in our efforts to develop gigapixel cameras," Brady said. "While novel multiscale lens designs are essential, the primary barrier to ubiquitous high-pixel imaging turns out to be lower power and more compact integrated circuits, not the optics."