The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

July - 2006 - issue > Cover Story

Hold On, Let Me Click

Vaishali Kirpekar
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Vaishali Kirpekar
With an eye on the cell phone camera market, Nethra-Imaging has designed a tiny chip to keep camera phone users engaged in a visual experience comparable to a real digital still camera. Cupertino-based startup has developed a chip for camera phones to help users take a good shot, as good as a digital still camera.

Pick it and click it. There are many ways to look at a cell phone today. Nethra Imaging’s image processor can help camera phone users experience the quality of digital still camera pictures.

Ramesh Singh places all his chips—image processors, of course, on the table with élan against a backdrop of Ansel Adams’ black and white landscapes. A tiny camera sits in the green square bringing to mind what James Bond might have used in the 1985 movie “A View to Kill” or even the 1979 “Moonraker.” But technology has brought these devices from fiction to reality, from agent 007 who took pictures in Venini Glass Factory to the hands of millions of Joe Blows who click pictures at soccer fields and parties.

To design such chips, Singh and Murty Bhavana, co-founded the Cupertino-based company Nethra Imaging in 2003. With a focus on hardware-based imaging solutions, Nethra began operations in January 2004. Bhavana developed the technology that went into Nethra’s image processors to help cell phone users take pictures, which are comparable to those of a digital still camera.

The image sensors to be launched this year will enable camera phone users to take better pictures overall and even in low light conditions, as compared to the two megapixels available in the market. The number refers to the number of pixels or dots in the sensor. A higher number is one of the factors that determine picture quality. A megapixel means one million pixels or dots.

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