Qualcomm has revealed the second generation of its ‘Image Signal Processor’. For this purpose, active depth can be recognized by infrared for the first time. This offers new possibilities for Virtual Reality. The new technique is coming to Qualcomm’s upcoming high-end chips, probably for the first time in the Snapdragon 845.
A processor nowadays does much more than just determine the power of your device. There is wifi available, Bluetooth, 4G, sensors, so on. Also, your processor determines how well photos can be processed after you create them. This happens with the ISP, the Image Signal Processor. Of these, the Google Pixel HDR + is a good example.
Qualcomm now comes with a new ISP camera module, called Spectra ISP. This allows active depth to be recognized. In the following video, Qualcomm explains how the Spectra ISP works in recognizing depth.
Qualcomm designates ‘Extended Reality’ and Virtual Reality as new possibilities by recognizing depth. For example, you could use your hand as a controller in a VR game, for example to grab things or to control a sword or weapon. The depth is measured by infrared. This also helps to recognize the depth with low light. In addition, a depth map can be made in real time.
By means of passive depth measurement, depth can also be measured: two cameras are required on the back of the camera. The principle of depth measurement reminds Google Tango. Various sensors and cameras are used to map a room, and then put in furniture for example.
Also, recognizing your iris has become better for unlocking your phone. This can be useful if phones with an upcoming high-end chip from Qualcomm iris scanners get. The Galaxy S8 and S8 + already have such a scanner, though it’s easy to fool. The new ISP must therefore counteract this.
Finally, Qualcomm shows how successful the current ISP program is: 11 of 15 smartphones in the top 15 of DxO Mark, a benchmark to measure how good a camera is, includes a phone with a Qualcomm chip.
Qualcomm gives these manufacturers the opportunity to use this technology, but this does not necessarily mean that. The new Spectra will be found in upcoming high-end chips. It is expected that this will be implemented at the launch of a new series, for example at the Snapdragon 845. This chip is expected to be announced next spring. Therefore, we will be able to highlight new aspects of this chip in the coming time.