Chip Hall of Fame: Kodak KAF-1300 Image Sensor

The chip that brought digital photography outside the lab

1 min read
Kodak KAF-1300 Image Sensor
Photo: Kodak

chip Photo: Kodak

KAF-1300 Image Sensor

Manufacturer: Kodak

Category: MEMs and Sensors

Year: 1986

Image sensors are so small and cheap now, that it’s hard to buy a phone without a built-in camera. Which is a result that few casual observers would have predicted in 1991 at the launch of the Kodak DCS 100 digital camera. The DCS 100 cost as much as US $25,000 and required a 5-kilogram external data storage unit that users had to carry on a shoulder strap. Still, the camera’s electronics—housed inside a Nikon F3 body—included one impressive piece of hardware: a thumbnail-size chip that could capture images at a resolution of 1.3 megapixels, enough for sharp 5-by-7-inch prints. “At the time, 1 megapixel was a magic number,” says Eric Stevens, the chip’s lead designer. The chip—a true two-phase charge-coupled device—became the basis for future CCD sensors, helping to kick-start the digital photography revolution. What, by the way, was the very first photo made with the KAF-1300? “Uh,” says Stevens, “we just pointed the sensor at the wall of the laboratory.”

Photo: Kodak

The DCS 100 digital camera required a separate and bulky pack to store its 1.3-megapixel images.

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Tony Fadell: The Nest Thermostat Disrupted My Life

The Nest founder tells of years in pursuit of a thermostat he actually likes

7 min read
A man holds a circular device in front of a blue wall that says nest on it.

Tony Fadell shows off the Nest thermostat in 2012.

Karsten Lemm/picture-alliance/dpa/AP

The thermostat chased me for 10 years.

That is pretty extreme, by the way. If you’ve got an idea for a business or a new product, you usually don’t have to wait a decade to make sure it’s worth doing.

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