South Korean electronics giant Samsung on Tuesday announced the launch of two new 0.8-micrometre (micron) pixel image sensors - namely, the 48-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 and the 32-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GD1. With a reduced pixel size, Samsung aims to provide smartphone vendors with greater design flexibility allowing them to pack in more sensors in the same space. The two new ISOCELL sensors have been announced keeping in mind the trend of slim, bezel-less smartphones. The new GM1 and GD1 series sensors are based on Samsung's pixel isolation technology called ISOCELL Plus.
ISOCELL Plus is claimed to optimise performance for smaller-dimension pixels, allowing them to fit into premium camera modules. To recall, Samsung unveiled this ISOCELL Plus technology back in June this year to improve low-light performance on mobile cameras. They also come with proprietary Tetracell technology which includes the merging of four pixels into one to increase overall light sensitivity.
Samsung claims the new GM1 and GD1 sensors can deliver light sensitivity equivalent to that of a 1.6 micron pixel image sensor at 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel resolution, respectively. Adding to that, gyro-based EIS is also supported. Both new sensors and their small pixel size will also help companies build smaller modules for multi-camera setups, or allow them to pack more pixels into existing designs.
The latter 32-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GD1 comes with a real-time HDR mode to deliver more balanced colour in low light and low contrast environments. This could be similar to what Apple introduced as Smart HDR with the latest iPhone models in 2018.
Both the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 and the ISOCELL Bright GD1 image sensors are expected to go into mass production in the fourth quarter of 2018. Pricing and availability details are not out yet, considering Samsung is expected to deliver these products as B2B (Business to Business) focused instead of direct to consumers.
“Demand for ultra-small, high-resolution image sensors are growing as smartphones evolve to deliver new and more exciting camera experiences for users,” said Ben K. Hur, Vice President, System LSI marketing, Samsung Electronics. “With the introduction of our cutting-edge 0.8μm-pixel Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 and GD1 image sensors, we are committed to continue driving innovation in image sensor technologies.”