Sheba Microsystems Ready Pixel Shift Technology for Smartphones

Sheba Microsystems, which develops MEMS drives for miniature cameras with autofocus, optical image stabilization, and ultra-high-resolution shooting, has unveiled ShebaSR, the world's first miniature drive that can improve the resolution of images captured by a smartphone camera by nine times. As stated, the amount of artifacts decreases by the same factor, and the amount of detail in the image increases. According to the manufacturer, cameras with Sheba drives will produce images of "SLR quality".

ShebaSR provides image enhancement through pixel shifting. This technology is rapidly gaining popularity in the professional camera market. Over the past six years, manufacturers such as Olympus, Panasonic, and Sony have released several models in their lines of DSLR and mirrorless cameras with pixel shift upscaling. According to Sheba Microsystems, this technology has potential in smartphones as well.

However, the image sensors of smartphones are much smaller than those of professional cameras. Electromagnetic actuators, which can work in the case of DSLRs and mirrorless cameras, are too bulky to fit in the limited space of mobile devices and lack the speed and precision to deliver more than 4x image resolution. Thus, the pixel shift technology remained unavailable in the cameras of mobile devices. The situation was changed by the use of MEMS technology.

ShebaSR can accurately offset the image sensor by 1/3 pixel. In this case, the error during the repeated shift does not exceed 20 nm. In terms of accuracy and speed, ShebaSR not only matches but surpasses the most advanced pixel-shifting capabilities found in large cameras. The technology is ready to go to market, according to Sheba Microsystems, as the drive manufacturing process has already been scaled up for mass production, and the drive itself has passed standard tests for reliability required for use in smartphones.

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