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MIT's new processor chip

A new chip created at MITs Microsystems Technology Laboratory can create more realistic or enhanced lighting in a photograph in a fraction of a second.

Credit: MIT News

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed a processor chip that can quickly perform tasks such as creating more realistic or enhanced lighting in a photograph without destroying the scene's ambiance. The researchers note the technology could be integrated with any smartphone, tablet computer, or digital camera.

One such task, High Dynamic Range, is designed to compensate for limitations on the range of brightness that can be recorded by existing digital cameras. To accomplish this, the chip's processor automatically takes three separate low dynamic range images with the camera, including a normally exposed image, an overexposed image, and an underexposed image. The chip then combines the three images to create one image that captures the entire range of brightness in the scene, says MIT's Rahul Rithe.

The chip also can enhance the lighting in a darkened scene more realistically than conventional flash photography.

"As algorithms such as bilateral filtering become more accepted as required processing for imaging, this kind of hardware specialization becomes more keenly needed," notes Microsoft Research's Michael Cohen.

From MIT News
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