Sharp has developed a 3D camera module for mobile devices capable of capturing high-definition 720p 3D video images, an industry first. Mass production of these modules will begin within 2010. Sharp said they will start shipping samples in July.

3D images are composed of two views taken using two cameras that simultaneously capture separate images for the right and left eyes. Consequently, a 3D camera requires peripheral circuitry to apply image processing to the two images, for example, to adjust color or to correct positioning between the images from the two cameras. Manufacturers have thus been pursuing designs that reduce the size and weight of 3D cameras and seeking ways to shorten their development period.

According to Sharp, their new 3D camera incorporates functions to process the image data output by the left and right cameras, including Color Synchronizing Processing to adjust color and brightness, Timing Synchronizing Processing to synchronize the timing of the video signals, and Optical Axis Control Processing to correct positioning.

Fast Readout Technology transfers video data from the image sensor, enabling 3D images to be captured in high-resolution HD mode. In developing this camera module, Sharp also applied high-density mounting technology to achieve a compact form.

"Embedding this camera module in mobile devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones, and smartphones will contribute to the development of a wide range of new, innovative communications tools," the company said .

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