Over the past two years, Samsung has launched various larger-sized camera sensors for smartphones, including the Galaxy S20 Ultra's 108MP ISOCELL HM1 and the 50MP ISOCELL GN1. Now, Samsung has unveiled four new ISOCELL camera sensors. These new sensors are sleeker, thanks to their smaller pixels, and are expected to be used in more compact devices with smaller camera bumps.
The new camera sensors—108MP ISOCELL HM2, 64MP ISOCELL GW3, 48MP ISOCELL GM5, and 32MP ISOCELL JD1—use 0.7µm pixels. In comparison, the older ISOCELL sensors with similar resolutions use 0.8µm pixels. The newer sensors are 15% smaller and their height is reduced by 10%. The smaller size of the new sensors gives OEMs more flexibility in designing smartphones.
To make sure that smaller pixels don't affect the overall image quality, Samsung has used ISOCELL Plus and Smart-ISO technologies that are optimized for 0.7µm pixels. ISOCELL Plus retains the light received in the pixel using a wall-like structure, while Smart-ISO intelligently adjusts the ISO to make full use of the incoming light.
- 108MP ISOCELL HM2: It is a successor to the ISOCELL HMX and the ISOCELL HM1. It is a 1/1.52-inch camera sensor with 108MP resolution, 3×3 pixel binning, Super PD autofocus, and up to 4K 120fps video recording.
- 64MP ISOCELL GW3: It is a 1/1.97-inch sensor with 64MP resolution, 2×2 pixel binning, and up to 4K 60fps video recording.
- 48MP ISOCELL GM5: This sensor is designed to be used in telephoto and ultrawide-angle cameras. It is a 1/2.55-inch sensor with 48MP resolution, 2×2 pixel binning, and staggered HDR. Staggered HDR helps take brighter and cleaner images with lower noise as it sends the readout of the long, medium, and short exposures of each row of pixels to the processor in the 2×2 pixel binned format. It can record up to 4K 60fps videos in the folded zoom mode and up to 4K 120fps videos in the ultrawide mode.
- 32MP ISOCELL JD1: It is a 1/3.14-inch camera sensor with 32MP resolution, 2×2 pixel binning, and up to Full HD (1080p) 120fps video recording.
Yongin Park, Executive Vice President of the sensor business at Samsung Electronics, said, “Samsung continues to pioneer innovations, such as ISOCELL Plus and Smart ISO, to deliver more pixels in a smaller package. Last year, Samsung introduced the industry’s first 0.7μm-pixel image sensor and the first 108MP sensors. Now we are bringing more of the advanced pixel technologies to mobile cameras in a variety of options that will enable high-resolution images and sleeker designs in a wider selection of tomorrow’s mobile devices.”
Samsung has started the mass production of ISOCELL HM2, ISOCELL GW3, and ISOCELL JD1, while the ISOCELL GM5 is currently in the sampling stage. You can expect smartphones with these new camera sensors to be launched by the end of this year.