STCF04 (via STMicroelectronics)
Taking decent indoor pictures with a smartphone is almost impossible in low light conditions. Think about it; most of the time you have to take the same picture at least twice. The first one was blurry, and the second pic turns out dark because the flash on your phone (if it even has one) isn’t bright enough in low-light conditions. However, there is hope on the horizon with the help of STMicroelectronics new chip dubbed ‘STCF04’. The chip is actually a combination camera flash with a torch controller that raises the LED/flash module up to an astounding 40 watts of illumination ( 320mA current). This is in comparison to today’s standard of just 4 watts that ST states, “produces the same amount of light as a security flood lamp”.
The STCF04 uses a high-current MOSFET switch over a lower rated switch (currently housed in today’s generation of smartphones) along with a supercapacitor and high-power white LED’s that ST says can also be used as emergency flash lighting. With the help of the torch controller, users will be able to select 12 levels of brightness along with 8 levels for the flash controller to fine tune the users lighting needs. The chip is already being sampled by companies such as Murata which produce high-quality supercapacitors and OSRAM, makers of LED’s and solid-state lighting. Full production of the SCT04 will begin this quarter of 2012 and will sell for $2.00(US) for companies that buy a 1000 or more. With the STCF04 in the TFBGA package ( 3 x 3 mm) means that we can expect to see the STC04 in the next generation of smartphones. We will no longer have to explain the darkness of our pictures as ‘mood lighting.'