Tech company Rambus just announced “Binary Pixels,” a new sensor technology that intends to bring ultra-high dynamic range to small sensors like those found in smartphones and P&S cameras. By allowing pixels to “reset” and saturate more than once, the pixel tech promises to expand the dynamic range of these sensors to “single-shot HDR” levels.
In addition to this resetting approach, called “temporal oversampling,” a few other techniques come into play to help Binary Pixel technology deliver on that promise.
We won’t get bogged down in the technical details, but the TL;DR version is that this technology does its best to mimic the rods and cones in your eyes by combining temporal oversampling with “binary operation” and “spatial oversampling.” (If you’re interested, you can find the geeky specifics on the Binary Pixel info page).
For now Rambus has only put the tech into a 128 x 128 pixel prototype sensor, and the initial intent is to bring “DSLR-level dynamic range [to] mobile and consumer cameras.” But there’s no reason why Binary Pixel technology wouldn’t eventually make its way into larger sensors, raising even that “DSLR-level dynamic range” to new heights. Looks like UltraPixel technology has some competition.