South Korea multinational Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has acquired Israeli startup Corephotonics, which brings high quality camera images to smartphones, for $155 million, Calcalist financial website reported on Monday.
Corephotonics has developed a dual-lens phone camera that can produce crystal-clear images even when the zoom function is used. Because the parallel 13-megapixel lenses also have their own sensors, the camera boasts improved low-light performance, producing cleaner images.
Essentially, by using two lenses with two different focal lengths, the phone camera is able to combine two simultaneous images into a high-quality image — much clearer and crisper than images produced with the digital zoom technology used in most smartphone cameras today.
In other words, when a user takes a photo, the phone camera actually takes two shots: one with a wide angle lens, and one with a fixed-focus telephoto lens, both designed by Corephotonics. Using an algorithm developed by the company, the images are then fused into one crisp, clear photo that could as well have been taken with a higher-end 20-megapixel smartphone camera — or even a compact digital camera.
The firm, founded in 2012, has raised some $43 million to date, according to the database of Start-Up nation central, which tracks the industry. Investors include Samsung Ventures, the venture arm of the Korean giant, Jerusalem-based crowdfunding VC OurCrowd, Magma Venture Partners, Amiti Ventures, Horizon Ventures, controlled by Chinese billionaire Li Ka Shing and Taiwan’s MediaTek, according to the database.
In 2017, the company, founded by Tel Aviv University Professor David Mendlovic, Gal Shabtay, Eran Kali, Noy Cohen and Ephraim Goldenberg, filed a suit against Apple, claiming the tech giant was using its patented phone camera technology in two iPhone models.
Corephotonix didn’t immediately respond to a message asking for comment.