Image sensor Stories July 29, 2015

Samsung reduces camera sensor thickness by 20% in quest for slimmer smartphones

Samsung has begun mass-production of a new 16MP camera sensor a full 20% thinner than existing modules, allowing slimmer devices without “bumps” and without compromising on quality, says the company.

Built with 1.0μm pixels, Samsung’s new 16Mp image sensor reduces the module’s overall height by 20 percent, compared to current 1.12μm-pixel based 16Mp sensor modules. Enabling a module z-height that is less than 5mm, the S5K3P3 offers designers the ability to develop a mobile device with minimal camera protrusion without compromising on resolution.

Smaller pixels usually means more ‘noise’ in photos, especially in low-light conditions, but the company says that the inclusion of physical barriers between pixels – something Samsung calls ISOCELL technology – dramatically reduces noise. It claims that ISOCELL allows it to deliver image quality on a par with 1.12μm-pixel sensors.

Samsung says that the new S5K3P3 sensor is available to mobile device manufacturers from today; bets on it appearing in the forthcoming Galaxy S6 edge+ and possible the Galaxy Note 5 – it gets its current flagship phone cameras from Sony.

Image sensor Stories October 31, 2013

Strong smartphone sales were about the only good news for Sony investors in today’s earnings release, mobile sales in the last quarter up 39.3 percent year-on-year, led by its flagship Xperia Z.

Cameras, TVs, gaming and movie divisions all lost money, leading the company to slash its annual profit forecast by 40 percent to $300M …  expand full story

Image sensor Stories September 24, 2013

Samsung announces new ‘ISOCELL’ image sensor tech for premium smartphones & tablets

Samsung announced today that it is introducing a new advanced image sensor technology that will improve image quality and the user experience for camera systems in premium smartphones and tablets:

Building on these past advances and continuing the push toward higher quality image sensors for mobile devices, Samsung has developed ISOCELL the next generation of pixel technology, which is patent pending. ISOCELL technology forms a physical barrier between neighboring pixels – isolating the pixel. This isolation enables more photons to be collected from the micro-lens and absorbed into the correct pixel’s photodiode minimizing undesired electrical crosstalk between pixels and allowing expanded full well capacity (FWC).

The result, according to Samsung, will be “higher color fidelity to reproduce the original color with sharpness and richness,” even in low lighting conditions. It will also offer a greater dynamic range compared to back side illumination pixel technology. The company says ISOCELL will help reduce the height of the camera module in smartphones and tablets, which could lead to even slimmer hardware.

Samsung plans to make the new image sensor technology available for mass production by Q4 2013:

As the first Samsung image sensor to adopt this new technology, the S5K4H5YB 8Megapixel imager utilizes a 1.12um ISOCELL pixel and has a 1/4inch optical format. The S5K4H5YB is currently sampling to customers with mass production scheduled for Q4 2013.

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