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Samsung Elec unveils world’s 1st 200-megapixel mobile image sensor

The ISOCELL HP 1 embeds 200 million units of 0.64μm pixels in a 1/1.22-inch optical format

By Sep 03, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

Samsung Electronics' ISOCELL HP1 and ISOCELL GN5
Samsung Electronics' ISOCELL HP1 and ISOCELL GN5

Samsung Electronics Co. has become the first company to launch a 200-megapixel mobile image sensor, giving the world’s No. 2 image sensor maker an edge against its competition. 

An image sensor is a semiconductor that converts light coming through a smartphone camera into digital data. The component has a significant impact on camera performance.

Samsung on Sept. 2 unveiled the ISOCELL HP1 that embeds 200 million units of 0.64μm pixels in a 1/1.22-inch optical format. The optical format is where images that come through camera lenses are recognized.

Image sensor manufacturers aim to raise the number of pixels without increasing the size of optical formats since smartphone makers want cameras of higher resolution without an increase in size, given the importance of performance and design.

“The ISOCELL HP1 increased the number of pixels by 85% compared to the existing 108 million-pixel products, but minimized the increase in the optical format,” said a Samsung source.

CHAMELEONCELL TECHNOLOGY

The latest image sensor features an all-new ChameleonCell technology for ultimate low-light photography, Samsung said in a statement.

The pixel-binning technology developed by Samsung uses a two-by-two, four-by-four or full pixel layout depending on the environment. In a low-lit environment, the ISOCELL HP1 transforms into a 12.5-megapixel image sensor with large 2.56μm pixels by merging 16 neighboring pixels. The newly formed 2.56μm pixel is capable of more light absorption and sensitivity, producing brighter and clearer photos indoors or in the evening. In bright outdoor environments, the sensor’s 200-million pixels can capture ultra-high-definition photography on mobile devices.
Samsung Elec unveils world’s 1st 200-megapixel mobile image sensor

Samsung currently supplies mobile image sensors with at least 100 million pixels to Xiaomi, Lenovo Group and Motorola, according to the industry sources. The South Korean tech giant is also expected to sell the products to Oppo and Realme.

Separately, Samsung also launched the ISOCELL GN5, a dual-pixel product that embeds 50 million units of 1.0μm pixels into a 1/1.57-inch optical format. The dual-pixel product has two photodiodes within each pixel. One pixel usually has one photodiode, a device that collects light to take an image.

Write to Sin-Young Park at nyusos@hankyung.com

Jongwoo Cheon edited this article.

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