So You Think 4K and 8K Look Good? Behold This 18K Camera Platform
Forza Silicon Debuts New Design for Defense, Security Markets Based on New CMOS, Image-Processing Technology
4K was all the rage at NAB, but that's hardly the ceiling for resolution, even in the near future. Even at NAB, you could see 8K acquisition in the Astrodesign and NHK booths, and you may have been wondering, then, how far resolution can really be pushed. For a hint, look to CMOS sensor design specialist Forza Silicon, which is introducing a new customizable video-camera platform that can reach "resolutions approaching 200 megapixels" at 60fps.
Video professionals don't generally talk about images in megapixel units, which measure the number of pixels in an image (1 megapixel is either 1 million or 1,048,576 pixels, depending on who's counting). But, to put that in perspective, HD resolution is about two megapixels (1920 pixels horizontally multiplied by 1080 pixels vertically gives you 2,073,600 pixels). 4K is a little less than nine megapixels. Even Red Dragon's vaunted 6K resolution equals only a little more than 19 megapixels. You'd need to bump the numbers to something like 18K — 18,000 horizontal pixels — in order for a 16×9 image to approach 200 megapixels total.
Well, that seems to be what Forza is suggesting with its Forza 100+ MP CAM Platform, built around a customizable CMOS image sensor operating at 60fps and proprietary on-board image processing technology. The camera would be switchable between black-and-white and color, and the company said it would produce video images with minimal motion blur. The camera is debuting next month at the SPIE DDS 2014 show in Baltimore, MD, which is geared to defense and security applications.
Forza suggested the camera was ideal for surveillance applications, but said it can be configured to meet requirements in defense, aerospace, automotive, and medical-imaging markets. Would it come in handy in, say, sports production, where it could be pointed at a football field and endless regions of interest defined at HD resolution or higher? Sure — but it'll be a while before anyone in this industry is willing to deal with that much data coming off of the sensor.