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New chip promises full digicam on a mobile

CMOS sensor
The new chip package may finally make phone cameras worth bothering with

We all know that photos taken on mobile phones are of little use beyond the occasional email, MMS or as standby screens, so it's encouraging to hear news of a breakthrough that aims to change all that.

A new chip and sensor package from the troubled NEC is due to start reaching phone companies next month with the promise to boost camera performance to match dedicated digicams.

Altered images

The CE143 LSI package can handle up to 12 megapixels for still images and can process full high-definition video. It also has faster face recognition and image-enhancement technology that NEC says eliminates degradation during digital zooming.

We won't know how the quality claims will hold up until we see the new chip in action towards the end of the year, but let's hope it ends up paired with a decent lens so we don't even have to bother with messy old digital zooms.