Sharp develops world’s thinnest 12.1 MP CMOS camera module

sharpThe race to pack as many megapixels into the most pocket-friendly products has been heating up for awhile. While camera manufacturers have their work cut out for them, the smartphone industry has also taken notice. Picture quality has become important to smartphone users, which makes sense given that the iPhone 4 is one of the most popular cameras on Flickr.

And now Sharp has fueled the fire with the announcement that it has developed the world’s thinnest 12.1-megapixel CMOS camera module. The RJ63YC100 (rolls right off the tongue) measures in at 11x11x5.47 millimeters and packs image-stabilization, a backlit sensor, standard AF, and full 1080p HD video capture.

The best part is we don’t have to wait: this isn’t some product that Sharp is testing and is simply showing off. Mass production of 100,000 units a month will begin in January.

One of the largest hardware pieces in smartphones is the camera module, and if Sharp’s product is as capable as it sounds, we could easily be seeing thinner phones in the near future. In fact, according to some new rumors, Apple and Sharp could be striking a business relationship for manufacturing parts. While this speculation was specific to the fabled iTV, it could spill over into iPhone camera parts. 

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