Historically, 8-bit/pixel (or less) imagery has predominated in most image processing applications. This is a result of a number of different factors, but is primarily due to psychovisual and cost considerations. However, a number of new imaging sensors and appli-cations involve data with as much as 16-bits/pixel in depth. Simply scaling up existing 8-bit image display/processor architectures has turned out to be both expensive and ineffi-cient in use of hardware resources. This paper presents a new approach to providing cost effective manipulation of 8 to 16-bit/pixel data using currently existing technology.
James L. Mannos,
"Efficient Display And Processing Of Greater Than 8-Bit/Pixel Imagery", Proc. SPIE 0271, Advances in Display Technology II, (28 July 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.931764; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.931764