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News

Aperio plans to support BigTIFF file format

Aperio Technologies : 02 May, 2007  (New Product)
Aperio Technologies is to support BigTIFF - Tagged Image File Format for files that are larger than four gigabytes - across all its products and systems.
The enhancement to the TIFF standard enables image files larger than 4GB to be created and processed, in a backward compatible fashion.

As part of its commitment to open standards, Aperio has donated these enhancements to the public domain, and is working with the TIFF standards body to incorporate them into a future standard release.

'This enhancement makes it possible to create very large high resolution digitised images of bone marrow and peripheral blood smears as part of my work with Aperio's new high power oil immersion ScanScopes', stated Douglas Tkachuk, MD and associate professor at the University of Toronto.

Aperio's ScanScope slide scanning systems create digital images of entire Microscope slides at gigapixel resolution in minutes.

These digital slide images are very large, with dimensions that routinely exceed 100,000 x 100,000 pixels.

The TIFF standard is perfect for storing digital slides - it is an open standard supported by a large number of applications on a wide variety of platforms.

Until recently TIFF files were limited in size to 4GB, or about 30 gigapixels.

With BigTIFF support it is now possible to store images of all sizes, including those larger than 4GB, in the TIFF format.

The BigTIFF design was first proposed in 2004 by Joris Van Damme of Aware Systems, and has been refined in online discussions on the TIFF message boards.

'Aperio believes strongly in open standards and anticipates that with this enhancement, TIFF will continue to be the standard for storing and managing very large images such as digital slides', stated Ole Eichhorn, chief technology officer for Aperio.

The libtiff library is an open-source cross-platform library which enables applications software to read and write images stored as TIFF files.

A new version of libtiff has been created by Aperio which supports BigTIFF files.

The new version is backward-compatible with previous versions and in many cases applications software will not have to change in order to create and process
BigTIFF files.

As a demonstration of the new capabilities of libtiff, Aperio has created the world's first terapixel image (1 terapixel = 1 trillion pixels).

The image is over one million pixels wide, and consists of 225 copies of a breast cancer digital slide combined together.

The terapixel image was compressed into a TIFF file size of 143GB.
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