If the demonstration I saw at CES is to be believed, digital cameras could soon be equipped with a chip that can capture a detailed image in very low light without the help of a flash.
How low? In a dark booth, Planet82 demonstrated its chip by capturing a group of moving toys, and dimmed the light to near darkness--I could hardly make out a single object--yet on the monitor, the camera using the new SMPD chip generated a recognizable image. The camera with a CCD chip produced a black image.
This technology is still in its early stages. The chip did not capture color information, and a series of vertical lines marred the image; company representatives said that color is on the way soon, and attributed the line pattern on fixed cell noise that will be eliminated.
The first applications for the chip will be security cameras, automobiles and camera phones, but I was told that the chip can deliver high enough resolution for basic and advanced digital cameras.