Tech-on is reporting that NEC Electronics has started to ship samples of its CE131 LSI circuit.

Why should you care? Because this little bit of tech could make 8-megapixel cameraphones a mainstream reality.

The CE131 an image processing LSI circuit chip that can be used in cameras built-in to mobile phones and can process image data up to 8 megapixels, which is over one and half times the resolution of NEC's current model, and 3 megapixels more than Nokia's N95 and Sony Ericsson's new Cybershot phone.

The CE131 also boasts other technologies found on digital cameras including super realistic colour technologies and anti-shake properties.

According to NEC, the CE131 is due to go into volume production this autumn and should be produced at a rate of one million units a month, which means lots and lots of 8MP camera-phones coming our way.

Those technically interested will be excited to hear that the LSI is incorporated between the CMOS sensor and application processor in a mobile phone. It function is to display signals input from the sensor on the mobile phone screen and to make the signals printable.

This particualr LSI has an interface for a 512Mbit external memory, which is double the capacity of that used in the existing model, which allows for the processing of much larger image data.