​Samsung unveils slimmer image sensors for large-screen phones

Samsung Electronics' two new image sensors in its ISOCELL brand are slimmer to fit into large screened, bezel-less smartphones.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Samsung has unveiled two new image sensors in its ISOCELL brand that offer high resolution in a smaller chip packages, the company said.

The 1.2 megapixel ISOCELL Fast 2L9 comes with dual pixel, while the 2.4 megapixel ISOCELL Slim 2X7 has tetracell technology. Tetracell applies one colour filter per four pixels, allowing brighter pictures in dark environments, as well as a re-mosaic algorithm that allows more accurate pictures in bright environments.

Image sensors need to get larger to meet higher resolution cameras, but phones are becoming bezel-less with wider displays that offer less space. Samsung's two new sensors were designed smaller but with high resolution, the company said.

ISOCELL Fast 2L9 has had the pixel size shrunk to 1.28 micrometers from the 1.4 micrometers of the previous generation dual pixel sensor. It also comes with an out-of-focus feature and has fast autofocus.

ISOCELL Slim 2X7 auto controls the number of pixels activated, from 0.6 megapixels in dark places to 2.4 megapixels in bright places. It has a pixel size of 0.9 micrometers, which Samsung said is the first in the industry to be smaller than 1 micrometer.

The company broke into 1 micrometer pixels for the first time two years ago. It first put in a dual pixel sensor with the Galaxy S7 last year.

Powering up its camera further, Samsung put in a dual camera for the first time in a flagship phone for the Galaxy Note 8.

CMOS image sensors are projected to be widely applied outside of phones. According to IC Insights, phone cameras accounted for 70 percent in a market worth $9.9 billion in 2015. By 2020, phone cameras will account for 48 percent, while industrial, medical, and automotive use will rise to take more shares, in a market projected to be worth $15.2 billion.

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