Samsung Brings Ultra-Slim 20MP Image Sensor to Smartphones

Samsung Electronics, a semiconductor technology industry leader, has launched a new ISOCELL Slim 3T2 sensor for smartphones. The compact 20-megapixel resolution image sensor measures only 1/3.4 inches, which is the smallest ever in the industry. This new sensor makes it possible for mid-range smartphones to deliver excellent optical performance on both their front and rear cameras. It also enables manufacturers of mobile devices to bring great versatility to smartphone designs.

With the rapid and massive innovations in the mobile device industry, there’s a greater demand for advanced imaging capabilities in smartphones. Many mid-range and high-end mobile devices now feature long focal length secondary modules with up to 3x zoom the factor of the primary shooter. The new 0.8μm-pixeled ISOCELL 3T2 image sensor delivers high-resolution images with the smallest form factor. Smartphone cameras can now offer up to 20 megapixels resolution using the ISOCELL Slim 3T2 image sensor.

The current trend in the design of mobile devices such as the use of an in-display or notch design increases the need for smaller, yet powerful image sensors. Smartphone designs also now feature multiple camera setups at the rear which further drives down the size requirement of image sensors. The compact nature of the new image sensor also makes it easy for smartphone manufacturers to deliver sleek mobile phone hardware designs.

Mass production of the new ISOCELL Slim 3T2 image sensor should commence in the first quarter of this year. Samsung Electronics’ vice president of System LSI sensor marketing, Jinhyun Kwon, says that ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is their smallest and most versatile 20MP image sensor. The company says it will continue to push the limits of image sensor technologies and provide richer user experiences.

Features

In-display front-facing cameras require image sensors that are tiny enough to leave more room on the screen. The ultra-slim ISOCELL 3T2 measures only about 5.1-millimeters diagonally which makes it a perfect option for today’s mobile devices. It will comfortably fit into the display, peeking through a very tiny hole.

The new sensor leverages Samsung’s ISOCELL Plus technology to provide high color fidelity in front-facing cameras. It uses the Tetra-cell technology which combines the power of four pixels to function as one. This technology enables the sensor to capture sharper and clearer images.

In light challenged situations, Samsung says that the light sensitivity of the sensor’s color filter array increases to that of a 1.6μm pixels image sensor at 5Mp resolution. The new image sensor captures and absorbs adequate light information which enables it to accurately reproduce colors even with its tiny 0.8μm-sized pixels.

The ultra-slim ISOCELL 3T2 also delivers high optical performance when used on devices with multiple rear-facing cameras. Instead of using the tetra-cell technology, it leverages an RGB color filter array to provide optimum telephoto solutions in tele-modules.

In cases of multiple rear-facing camera setups, the ISOCELL Slim 3T2 performs better than Samsung’s 1/3-inch 20MP image sensor. The compact nature of the image sensor enables manufacturers to achieve up to seven percent reduction in the height of the tele-camera module. This means that there’ll be more areas left on the device for manufacturers to achieve the trending slim form factors of mobile devices.

The super slim ISOCELL image sensor offers exceptional detail and clarity using a total of 20 million active sub-micrometer-sized pixels. It delivers up to sixty percent higher effective resolution at 10x digital zoom than a 13-megapixel sensor with the same module height which translates to sharper and more accurate images.

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