Samsung announces HD webcam sensors

Two new video sensors from Samsung could soon be bringing full HD video capture to a netbook near you.

Webcams built into laptops are pretty much par for the course but nowadays the size limitations of cramming the sensors into thinner and thinner lids pushes the technology to its limits.

Stand-alone HD webcams are pretty common and the price of these is dropping rapidly. But with 70 per cent of luggable computers coming equipped with a built-in video camera, demand for brighter, crisper images is on the up.

Samsung's two new CMOS sensors are capable of either 720p (S5K6A1) or 1080p (S5K5B3) both at 30 frames per second. The sensors have been crow-barred into packages of just 3.5mm and 4.5mm fat, respectively, which means they will fit into even the most svelte of portable devices.

The sensors reportedly operate in extremely low light situations with Samsung suggesting that you might get a half decent picture just using the glow from the device's screen.

We wouldn't be at all surprised to see these turning up in a tablet in the near future.

Both sensors are currently sampling to industry and mass production is scheduled for Q2 2010.