New Samsung image sensors are slimmer and meant for bezel-less smartphones

Samsung today announced its new image sensors under its ISOCELL brand. The two new Samsung image sensors are slimmer than previous sensors and are meant for smartphones with large, bezel-less displays. The new sensors include the 1.28-micrometer 12-megapixel ISOCELL Fast 2L9 with Dual Pixel technology and the ultra-small 0.9μm 24-megapixel ISOCELL Slim 2X7 with Tetracell technology.

New Samsung Image Sensors

Samsung sorts its ISOCELL image sensors in four categories – Fast, Slim, Bright and Dual – depending on their key attributes. As the demand increases for slimmer smartphones, the new Samsung image sensors offer high resolution in small chip packages.

The new Dual Pixel ISOCELL Fast 2L9 image sensor enables ultra-fast auto-focus at a reduced pixel size, Samsung has shrunk the pixel size from 1.4μm on the predecessor to 1.28μm on the Fast 2L9.

The smaller pixel size enables the Fast 2L9 to fit in slimmer camera modules so the handsets don’t need to have a camera bump. The Dual Pixel technology powers the depth-of-field effect for bokeh images with a conventional single lens camera.

Samsung says that the ISOCELL Slim 2X7 is the first sensor in the industry to have a pixel size below 1.0μm. Despite its 0.9μm pixel size, it provides high color fidelity with less noise due to the improved DTI (deep trench isolation) technology. The small pixel size also enables a 24-megapixel image sensor to be fitted to a slimmer camera module.

It also features Tetracell technology which enables the sensor to take brighter photos in low-light environments and more detailed ones in well-lit environments. It does that by merging four neighboring pixels to work as one in order to increase light sensitivity.

Samsung says that it will continue to further develop the Dual Pixel and 0.9μm pixel product categories so we can expect to see more improvements on this front down the road.

Samsung image sensors


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anyone else getting sick on the industry-wide 12 mp lack of optical competition


“As the demand increases for slimmer smartphones…” Huh? Slimmer smartphones are being pushed by the manufacturers, not pulled by consumers. It’s just a technological armsrace. Give me a bigger battery capacity and a bigger camera sensor – I’m very happy with the dimensions of my current phone (Note 4), or even a smidge thicker.


Isn’t it better to increase the sensor size and the pixel size along with it, than to decrease it to 1.28μm or 0.9μm even?


Well yes, from a photographic point of view that is true. But, for a given angle of view, a bigger sensor requires a longer focal length, hence a thicker phone. But apparently we are all ‘demanding’ ever skinnier phones – according to who? – hence thinner batteries with thinner capacities and thinner cameras with smaller sensors and smaller pixels yielding poorer dynamic range and deeper depth of field (less ‘bokeh”), and never mind the headphone jack either.