Samsung develops smallest mobile image sensor for 50MP cameras

Seoul: South Korean tech giant Samsung on Thursday unveiled industry’s first mobile sensor at 0.64-micrometer pixel that offers 50MP options for both front and rear-facing cameras in smartphones.

The new mobile sensor named Samsung ISOCELL JN1 use pixel technology advancements to reduce chip size while enhancing light sensitivity and phase detection capabilities.

According to the company, it can capture more vivid images on the industry’s smallest 50MP mobile sensor. The new sensor is currently in mass production.

“The new ISOCELL JN1 will be able to equip tomorrow’s sleekest smartphones with ultra-high resolution mobile photographs,” Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of the sensor business at Samsung Electronics, said in a statement.

“As we drive our commitment to innovation in pixel technologies, we will continue to bring a wide range of mobile image sensor offerings to the market,” Chang added.

A new addition to Samsung’s high-resolution image sensor lineup, the JN1 employs ISOCELL 2.0 technology with added enhancements that improve light sensitivity by around 16 per cent.

For low-light environments, the sensor utilises Samsung’s four-to-one pixel binning technology, Tetrapixel, which merges four adjacent 0.64μm-pixels into one big 1.28μm-pixel to quadruple light sensitivity for brighter 12.5MP photographs.

For enhanced dynamic range, the ISOCELL JN1 comes with Smart-ISO, a technology that changes the conversion gain based on the environment’s illumination level.

Smart-ISO uses Low ISO mode in bright settings to retain detail in the highlights, and High ISO in low-lit environments to reduce readout noise and generate excellent low-light performance.

The mobile sensor also offers inter-scene HDR in mixed-light settings for optimum exposure levels derived from two separate readouts, from Low and High ISOs, that are merged to create a final image.

For smooth crystal-clear videos, the image sensor supports up to 4K resolution video recording at 60 frames-per-second (fps) or full HD at 240fps, the company said.