New flash tech could mean the end of blurry mobile photos

With 'floodlight' brightness

A Swiss electronics manufacturer reckons it has the solution for taking perfect photos in low light with a mobile phone in the form of a new kind of chip for controlling the LED flash.

STMicroelectronics has produced the chip complete with a super-capacitor, claiming that it will allow phone flashes to rival the xenon flashes found in handheld cameras.

Most mobile phones use an 'always-on' LED flash that can struggle to illuminate its subject. This means your phone has to compensate by using a longer exposure, which can result in images being blurred.

Say cheese – and wave wildly at the camera

The new STCF04 chip allows the flash to produce 40W bursts of light, a marked improvement on the 2W of power most LED flashes produce.

The Swiss firm says the additional power will provide a flash equivalent in brightness to an outdoor security floodlight – lets hope this doesn't lead to our subjects going blind in the process.

The lightweight chip measures 3mm per side meaning it should be able to squeeze into the slim form factors of today's devices - and at £1.25 per chip it could be a very cost effective upgrade.

From ST Microelectronics via Gizmodo

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones and Tablets Deputy Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and operating systems. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week (for the highest score on Super Mario Bros using a giant controller), John hasn't looked back since.