Samsung upgrades image sensor for smartphones

Samsung Electronics has introduced its 200-megapixel (MP) ISOCELL HP3 image sensor with a 0.56-micrometer (μm)-pixel for smartphones. Claiming the industry’s smallest pixel, the upgraded ISOCELL HP3 image sensor is expected to deliver ultra-high resolution in smartphone cameras.

Samsung upgrades image sensor for smartphones

(Source: Samsung Electronics)

Since its first 108-MP image sensor roll-out in 2019, Samsung has continued to launch new image sensors with improvements in performance. The ISOCELL HP3, with a 12 percent smaller pixel size than the predecessor’s 0.64 μm, delivers 200 million pixels in a 1/1.4” optical format, translating into about a 20% reduction in camera module area, said Samsung.

The ISOCELL HP3 features a Super QPD auto-focusing solution, which uses a single lens over four-adjacent pixels to detect the phase differences in both horizontal and vertical directions. This enables a more accurate and quicker auto focusing for smartphone camera users, said the company.

The sensor supports videos in 8K at 30 frames-per-second (fps) or 4K at 120 fps. Samsung said there is a minimal loss in the field of view when taking 8K videos, and when combined with the Super QPD solution, it creates movie-like cinematic footage.

Thanks to the Tetra2pixel technology, the ISOCELL HP3 sensor can simulate a large-sized pixel sensor to take brighter and more vibrant images even in low-light conditions or at night. The technology combines four pixels into one to transform the 0.56-μm 200-MP sensor into a 1.12-μm 50-MP sensor, or a 12.5-MP sensor with 2.24-μm pixels by combining 16 pixels into one, said the company.

The ISOCELL HP3 also uses an improved Smart-ISO Pro feature to maximize the dynamic range of the mobile image sensor. The technology merges image information from the two conversion gains of low and high ISO mode to create HDR images. The upgraded version of the technology comes with a triple ISO mode — low, mid and high — that further widens the sensor’s dynamic range. It also supports over four trillion colors (14-bit color depth), 64 times more colors than the predecessor’s 68 billion (12-bit).

In addition, by supporting staggered HDR together with Smart-ISO Pro, the ISOCELL HP3 can switch between the two solutions depending ON the environment to produce high-quality HDR images, said Samsung.

Samples of the Samsung ISOCELL HP3 are currently available. Mass production is scheduled to begin this year.

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