Samsung has officially launched its own image sensor brand, the ISOCELL. This latest move by the South Korean electronics firm shows the company’s intention to better compete in the imaging industry, which is currently dominated by the Japanese tech giant Sony. While the ISOCELL name has long been used to identify Samsung-made image sensors, it previously only talked about technology built within each image sensor. ISOCELL technology refers to the presence of physical barriers between pixels, which reduce the electric crosstalk of signals between the sensor components. Reduced crosstalk provided by the ISOCELL sensors results in improved color accuracy and image sharpness, fixing some of the common concerns of smartphone cameras with really minute sensors. Possibly in an effort to emphasize its key strength and defining features, Samsung adopted the name of its technology to its entire image sensor lineup.
Users may already have an idea of the image quality they could get from these sensors since it has appeared in some of the flagship devices released by Samsung. The South Korean manufacturer divided its ISOCELL lineup into four sub-brands, each targeting its own market. First sub-brand is the ISOCELL Bright, which focuses on providing color accurate and noise-less images, especially in low-light situations. ISOCELL Fast, on the other hand, offers faster autofocus on both still and moving objects whatever the lighting condition might be. ISOCELL Slim is targeted to the manufacturers that try to cram as many components as possible in increasingly thinner builds. However, the key disadvantage of the ISOCELL Slim sensors is its small pixels, which could mean that the device may not be able to produce excellent images in dark environments. The last sub-brand, the ISOCELL Dual, is targeted towards manufacturers who incorporate dual-camera setups to their devices. The sub-brand’s selling point is its flexibility in terms of designs and combination.
Given how much money Sony makes from its image sensors, it is quite natural that Samsung will be interested in cornering a share of the image sensor market. The demand for smartphone image sensors is expected to grow, as device manufacturers continue to incorporate dual-camera setups and high-resolution front-facing camera into their smartphones.