Toshiba Introduces World's Smallest, Lightest PC Card Digital Camera For Mobile Computing -- 32-Bit CardBus Interface Realizes High Speed Transmission of Moving Images

15 November, 1996

TOKYO -- Toshiba Corporation today announced the introduction of a compact, light PC card-based digital camera for use with portable PCs. The camera provides notebook PC users with an optimum platform for high speed capture of video images and still pictures by fully utilizing the 32-bit CardBus interface. The camera opens the way to bringing such advanced functions as video conferencing to portable computers.

The new camera unit, IK-D30, consists of the camera head, cable and PC Card. The Cam-Head is the smallest and lightest yet developed, weighing in at only 130 grams. Sample shipment will start next month, at a unit price of US$500, with mass production scheduled to start during the first quarter of 1997. Sales of 50,000 units are targeted in the initial year of marketing. Manufacturers can offer the camera unit with their own dedicated software drivers, optimized to support specific operations, and with their own application software.

IK-D30 is the first PC Camera to be designed for the CardBus Interface (a PC Card Format) and its 32-bit bandwidth, which offers more than twice the transmission speed of current 16-bit digital video systems, attaining a maximum transmission speed of 132 megabytes a second. The wider bandwidth supports high speed transmission of digital video signals to the computer's system bus, even at higher levels of resolution than other systems, including 16-bit system and analog NTSC transmissions. Captured video images are delivered to the computer as digital signals via the cable and the unit's PC card, which is inserted in the computer's CardBus slot.

The new camera is based on a 330,000 pixel charge coupled device (CCD). This provides true 640 x 480 image capture using the non-interlaced (progressive) scanning techniques, assuring its suitability for the VGA screens typically used in today's notebook PCs.

The camera is designed to fully complement the go-anywhere philosophy of mobile computing. It is compact enough to sit on top of the LCD panel, held in place by a clip, and can be angled vertically to focus on the user in video conferencing. It can also be held, or stand freely on any surface. An additional plus is that the unit does not require a separate power supply, but runs on the computer's power supply via the PC Card, eliminating the need for additional batteries or bulky AC converter and power cable. Typical power consumption is one watt.

Mr. Kensuke Adachi, General Manager of Toshiba's Advanced Imaging Technology Division said of the camera: "The ability to handle real-time digital moving images in a mobile computing environment will open up new applications in computing, communications and image processing. We are delighted to offer the hardware that makes these potentials a reality, and will continue to develop innovative products to bring new capabilities to portable PCs." This innovative camera draws on Toshiba's wide-ranging skills in semiconductor technology, allowing the company to bring together an advanced CCD and state- of-the-art digital signal processing in a small, high-performance package.

The new camera will be displayed at the COMDEX show in Las Vegas, U.S.A, from November 18th to 22th.

Major Specifications

Information in the press releases, including product prices and specifications, content of services and contact information, is current on the date of the press announcement,but is subject to change without prior notice.