As revolutionary as the original iPhone was, it’s easy to forget that the device featured a 2 megapixel sensor that took less than stellar photos. Even for its time, the camera on Apple’s first iPhone was nothing to write home about. But as the years progressed, Apple began earmarking more and more engineering resources towards improving the camera quality on its iconic smartphone.
Today, the camera on each successive iPhone model is typically best-in-class at the time of its release. And underscoring Apple’s commitment towards improving mobile photography, Apple last year revealed that it has more than 800 engineers who work on iPhone camera-related technologies.
Looking to up the ante even more, now comes word that Apple is planning to open up a dedicated research lab in France where a team of approximately 20-30 researchers and engineers will work on improving image sensors for both the iPhone and the iPad. Originally published by iPhon.fr, the research there will be done alongside STMicroelectronics, one of Apple’s component suppliers.
Apple has had a team of more than a dozen researchers and engineers working on imaging research and development for more than a year at the Minatec European research center, and recently signed a lease to establish its own research laboratory in Grenoble.
The new facility, located on Rue Ampere, will give Apple the space to hire additional researchers and it will allow the company to provide its research team with specialized equipment for sensor development. Apple plans to have approximately 30 engineers working at the research lab, which will span 800 square meters.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Apple opening up an advanced research lab overseas. Just a few months ago we reported that Apple opened up a top secret research lab in Taiwan where a team of about 50 engineers and research scientists work on advanced display technologies that are said to be brighter, thinner and more energy-efficient than current display panel options.