Samsung, MediaTek invest in dual-lens camera startup

January 16, 2017 // By Peter Clarke
CorePhotonics Ltd. (Tel Aviv, Israel) has raised $15 million in a funding round that included Samsung Ventures, MediaTek, electronic equipment manufacturer Foxconn and an unnamed smartphone OEM described as "tier-one."

The equity funding round was led by MizMaa Ventures Ltd and Beijing Singularity Power Investment Management Co. Ltd. and brings the amount invested in CorePhotonics to more than $50 million.

CorePhotonics has pioneered the use of dual image sensors for smartphones with sensor fusion of the results to produce superior pictures and its Hawkeye camera uses prisms to fold the light path parallel with the surface of the smartphone. This can improve photographic quality while allowing thinner mobile phones in line with the dictates of fashion. It enables stills photography with optical zoom of up to 3x and up to 8x zoom in video, even in low light conditions.

Apple introduced a dual-lens camera on its iPhone 7 plus designed to produce telephoto zoom and depth of field features having bought Israeli startup LinX Computational Imaging Ltd. for about $20 million in 2015 (see Apple heralds dawn of dual lens camera and Apple buys array camera firm LinX).

CorePhotonics observed that more than half of the advanced smartphones announced during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week were equipped dual main cameras.

The money raised – together with cash on hand and revenue forecast for 2017 – will be used for developing next-generation cameras for smartphones, and for sales. In addition, it will help with expansion into automotive, drone, surveillance and action camera markets.

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