Samsung Intros Two New Image Sensors For Thin Devices

October 12, 2017 - Written By Mark Real

Samsung has added two new image sensors to its ISOCELL line-up, the ISOCELL Fast 2L9, and the ISOCELL Slim 2X7. These two sensors belong to the company’s ISOCELL Fast and Slim sub-brands respectively, with the former featuring faster autofocus, while the latter is targeted towards mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) devices with very slim builds. The South Korean tech giant is claiming that both products are designed to be versatile enough so that smartphone makers may place the sensor at either the back or the front of a handset. The ISOCELL Fast 2L9 has a resolution of 12-megapixels and pixel size of 1.28 micrometers. The Dual Pixel technology is incorporated into the sensor, which utilizes all available pixels to rapidly focus on small objects and moving subjects. In addition, this technology allows single lens cameras to capture photographs with depth-of-field effect or bokeh. The smaller pixel size of this sensor, especially when compared to the 1.4-micrometer pixels found in other image sensors with the same technology, enables slimmer camera modules, resulting in fewer smartphones with camera bumps.

On the other hand, the ISOCELL Slim 2X7 sensor sports a resolution of 24-megapixels and a pixel size of 0.9 micrometers. The disadvantage of using small pixel size is that it often results in poor low-light performance although Samsung has included a number of enhancements and new technologies in order to improve the quality of the image that it produces. The Tetracell technology merges four adjacent pixels together to enhance light sensitivity. Once the photos are captured, a re-mosaic algorithm will produce a full-resolution image. The sensor’s deep trench isolation has been further deepened to reduce instances of crosstalk, which results in improved color fidelity and less noise.

Samsung has been producing image sensors for quite some time, and some of its previous flagship handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 5 are equipped with ISOCELL image sensors. The key feature of these products is the presence of physical barriers between the pixels, which result in improved image quality and color accuracy. This lineup is divided into four sub-brands, namely the ISOCELL Fast, Slim, Bright, and Dual. The ISOCELL Bright aims to provide color accurate pictures in low-light conditions while the ISOCELL Dual offers smartphone manufacturers flexibility in designing dual camera setups.