Samsung released four new image sensors with 0.7μm pixel size, meant to reduce the physical volume they take up within a phone’s body. These sensors are meant to create smaller, thinner camera modules. These sensors use ISOCELL Plus but the company plans to introduce versions with the new ISOCELL 2.0 later this year.
The new Samsung sensors include the 108MP ISOCELL HM2, the 64MP ISOCELL GW3, the 48MP ISOCELL GM5, and the 32MP ISOCELL JD1. The first three will be incorporated in a smartphone’s rear camera hardware, while the 32MP ISOCELL JD1 is targeted at selfie cameras fitted inside hole-punch cutouts or pop-up modules. Samsung also mentions that it plans to bring the ultra-high-resolution camera sensors to mainstream smartphones, which means we can see 64MP or even 108MP cameras on non-flagship phones in the near future.
According to Samsung, these new sensors are more compact than their 0.8 μm predecessors. The company says the new sensors are up to 15% smaller than the last year’s sensors with the same camera resolution. The upgrade will help reduce the size of sensors by up to 10% which will make for smaller camera bumps.
Samsung further said that the new sensors come with its improved ISOCELL Plus and Smart-ISO technologies especially optimized for the new design. The ISOCELL Plus helps better utilize the incoming light and smartly adjust the ISO levels.
The sensors are also equipped with ISOCELL 2.0-pixel technology for better camera performance. Samsung claims the upgrade has helped add light sensitivity of up to 12% compared to the current-gen ISOCELL Plus technology.
The ISOCELL HM2 is Samsung’s third 108MP sensor. Like the HM1, it uses nine-pixel binning tech and can do up to 3x lossless zoom. It also supports Super-PD autofocus (like its predecessors) which is a faster way of using phase-detection for autofocussing. With the high resolution, it is capable of 4K @ 120 fps video recording and 3x lossless zoom support. The HM2 is smaller than the HM1, 1/1.52” vs. 1/1.33”.
Furthermore, there is ISOCELL GW3 which is about the size of a 0.8µm 48MP sensor but offers 64MP resolution. This sensor uses Tetracell (4-in-1 binning) and Smart-ISO to capture light more effectively. The GW3 can record 4K video at 60 fps with gyro-based EIS and supports electronic image stabilization.
The ISOCELL GM5, however, is a 48-megapixel image sensor and can be used in periscope zoom lens and ultra wide cameras. When when used in an ultra wide module, it can record 1080p at 480 fps and 4K at 120 fps. As a periscope cam, it can do 4K at 60 fps instead.
Lastly, ISOCELL JD1 is the industry’s smallest 32MP-image sensor at 1/3.14-inches, making it an ideal solution for smartphones with bezel-less displays that incorporate a hole-in-active-area or motorized pop-up mechanism for the front-facing camera. It’s about the size of a 16 MP 1.0 µm sensor. The JD1 alongside the GM5 is one of the first sensors to support staggered HDR. Compared to traditional HDR, Samsung says that this HDR is faster and more power-efficient.
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