Samsung just launched a 0.64µm sensor, the smallest photo sensor for phones!

Samsung launched a livestream event called ISOCELL Unroll, showcasing its latest innovative CMOS sensor, the Samsung ISOCELL JN1 (the name sounded far more like a Japanese fighter plane than anything really). The main highlight of this sensor is that it is the world’s first mass-produced smartphone sensor with a small micron pixel count of 0.64µm. Other things mentioned about this sensor is its 50mp resolution and 1/2.76in. format.

Normally, a small micron pixel size is not ideal since it captures less light, but with improved software technology and combining other factors such as sensor size and aperture, a smaller micron pixel size is achievable, letting more light despite having only a small sensor. Previously, Samsung’s smallest sensor, the ISOCELL Slim GH1 introduced in 2019, has a micron pixel size of 0.7µm, just 0.6µm larger

“Samsung’s advanced pixel technologies have once again pushed boundaries with the utmost precision to develop an image sensor with the industry’s smallest pixel size, yet with powerful performance. The new ISOCELL JN1 at 0.64?m will be able to equip tomorrow’s sleekest smartphones with ultra-high resolution mobile photographs. 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.” said Duckhyun Chang, Vice President of Samsung’s sensor sector.

According to Samsung, this new 50mp sensor uses ISOCELL 2.0 technology which improves light sensitivity by 16%. The sensor uses Samsung’s Quad Bayer four-to-one pixel binning tech called “Tetrapixel” which results in a 12.5mp image. It does this by merging four adjacent 0.64µm pixels into a single 1.28µm pixel that quadruples light sensitivity. This is perfect for environments with low or no lights at all.

The sensor also allows users to take in up to 4K video, up to 60fps or 1080p at 240fps, depending on the phone and processor it uses. Samsung claims that the small size of the sensor allows for a 10% reduction for camera module height, which means less bulging rear cameras.

This sensor also uses on what Samsung calls “Smart ISO”, a tech used in other sensors such as Samsung’s ISOCELL HM3 sensor. Smart ISO is an AI-based technology that changes the ISO level based on the environment, including the lighting around. The sensor also features a very fast focus through a tech called Double Super Phase Detection. It differs from the previous Super PD technology. Double Super PD still uses oval-shaped micro-lenses but has twice the density, at 1/16, vs the previous’ 1/32. According to Samsung, the sensor is already in production and we could see this debut in future upper midrange or flagship Samsung phones.

Source: Samsung Newsroom