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Phones get smaller as camera modules shrink

Oki's new sensor module will give us smaller cameras in our phones.

The burgeoning feature list phone manufacturers need to pack into handsets just to compete these days means there are more than a few chunky models out there that could do with a trip to the gym, so we're pleased to hear of a breakthrough that should help them trim a few ounces.

Oki Electric of Japan has created a sensor module for mobile phones that will allow for cameras that are only half the size of those in current handsets. The W-CSP (Wafer level Chip Sized Package) relies on a new form of internal connection in the silicon substrate that leaves a smaller sensor with the same resolution.

Thinner and smaller

The company has also developed a more flush glass cover for the sensor, which results in a final camera module that is thinner as well as smaller in surface area.

On a slightly negative note, while we welcome more compact phones capable of doing what we all want, let's not forget that these smaller sensors are still dependent on the quality of the lens in front of them. As long as cameraphones rely on weak optics, there will always be a place for 'real' cameras, no matter how advanced phones become.