Samsung’s new ISOCELL lineup promises smaller camera bumps on your future smartphones
ollowing the launch of the 50MP ISOCELL GN1 image sensor earlier this year in May, Samsung has now announced a new lineup of ISOCELL image sensors for its 0.7μm pixel product lineup. The new lineup includes four sensors — 108MP ISOCELL HM2, 64MP ISOCELL GW3, 48MP ISOCELL GM5, and 32MP ISOCELL JD1 — which are 15 percent smaller than the 0.8μm sensors of the same resolution and reduce the height of the camera module by up to 10 percent. Thanks to the smaller form factor, the new ISOCELL sensors could help OEMs reduce the size of the camera bump in upcoming smartphones.
Speaking of the new ISOCELL sensor lineup, Yongin Park, executive vice president of the sensor business at Samsung Electronics, said, “Samsung continues to pioneer innovations, such as ISOCELL Plus and Smart ISO, to deliver more pixels in a smaller package. Last year, Samsung introduced the industry’s first 0.7μm-pixel image sensor and the first 108MP sensors. Now we are bringing more of the advanced pixel technologies to mobile cameras in a variety of options that will enable high-resolution images and sleeker designs in a wider selection of tomorrow’s mobile devices.”
To ensure that the new 0.7μm ISOCELL sensors are able to collect an ample amount of light despite the smaller pixel size, Samsung has incorporated its ISOCELL Plus and Smart ISO technologies in the sensors. Additionally, Samsung has unveiled that it will be rolling out an enhanced pixel technology called ISOCELL 2.0 in upcoming 0.7μm products later this year. The new technology is expected to further enhance the wall structure between cells, resulting in added light sensitivity of up to 12 percent compared to current-gen ISOCELL Plus technology.
Here are some more details on the technologies used in Samsung’s latest ISOCELL image sensor lineup:
- ISOCELL HM2 is Samsung’s third 108MP image sensor, which follows the HMX and HM1. The new sensor is 15 percent smaller than the 0.8μm-based predecessors and reduces the height of the camera module by 10 percent. The HM2 features Super PD, a faster and more effective phase detecting auto focus solution, and much like the HM1, it comes with the nine-pixel binning technology and 3x lossless zoom.
- ISOCELL GW3 is a 64MP sensor optimized for mainstream devices. Due to its smaller pixel size, the GW3’s optical size is nearly identical to that of Samsung’s 0.8μm 48MP sensor. The sensor features technologies like Tetracell and Smart ISO to help users take bright images with high color fidelity, along with gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) for sharper still images and steadier videos. The sensor supports video recording at up to 4K resolution at 60 frames per second.
- ISOCELL GM5 is a 48MP sensor designed for use in telescopic or ultra-wide angle cameras. When used as a 5x optical zoom sensor, the GM5 is capable of taking full advantage of its compact 0.7μm pixel size that minimizes the camera bulge. For wide-angle shots, the sensor supports high speed FHD recording at 480fps. Additionally, the sensor offers a staggered HDR feature, which is a faster and more power-efficient HDR technology that improves image processing time by sending a readout of long, medium, and short exposures of each row of pixels to the processor. Since the readout is performed based on Tetracell’s 1.4μm two-by-two pixels, staggered HDR can provide brighter and clearer images with less noise.
- ISOCELL JD1 is the industry’s smallest 32MP sensor, which measures in at just 1/3.14-inches. This makes it an ideal selfie camera for smartphones with a hole-punch cutout or a motorized pop-up mechanism. The height of the sensor is comparable to that of the 0.9μm 20MP or 1.0μm 16MP sensors, which makes it a great fit on the front of a device. Much like the GM5, the JD1 also supports the staggered HDR technology.
Out of the four new sensors, the ISOCELL HM2, GW3, and JD1 are already in mass production and we expect to see these new sensors in upcoming smartphones sometime later this year or early next year. Samsung is currently sampling the ISOCELL GM5 and devices with this 48MP sensor may be released at a later stage.