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"'The chip gives you the transformed version of a standard bitmap', Cornell ECE professor Molnar as quoted in IEEE Spectrum article detailing the possible breakthroughs in digital photography"

Monday, December 5, 2011

"Alyosha Molnar, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Cornell University, in Ithaca, N.Y., has developed angle-sensitive pixels for CMOS imagers. Each pixel is made up of a photodiode beneath two layers of diffraction grating, one of which is slightly out of alignment with the other. The top grating creates an interference pattern on the grating beneath it. Depending on how that pattern of light and darkness lines up with the second grating, light will either pass through to the photodiode below or be blocked. So whether the diode sees bright light or dim depends on the angle the light is coming from." Read more...

Alyosha Molnar received a BS in engineering with highest honors from Swarthmore College in 1997. After working as a deckhand on a fishing boat, he joined Conexant Systems Inc in Newport Beach CA in 1998. At Conexant, he worked as a RFIC design engineer and co-led the design of their first generation direct conversion GSM transceiver, which has sold more than 20 million parts to date. He entered graduate school at UC Berkeley in 2001 and received his MSEE in 2003 for his design of an ultra-low power RF transceiver for "Smart Dust" working with Professor Kris Pister. He then joined Frank Werblin’s neurobiology lab where he completed his doctoral work (still in electrical engineering), focusing on dissecting the neuronal circuitry of the rabbit retina using a combination of electrophysiology, pharmacology and anatomy. After receiving his PhD in May 2007, Alyosha joined the ECE department at Cornell as an assistant professor where he will continue his interdisciplinary research in integrated circuits and neurobiology.


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