Samsung Electronics has introduced two new image sensors designed for smartphones, both of which rely on ISOCELL Plus and Tetracell technologies. Called the Samsung ISOCELL Bright GM1 and ISOCELL Bright GD1, both image sensors feature 0.8-micrometer pixels and come in at different resolutions of 48 and 32-megapixels, respectively. Samsung claims that the new sensors are capable of delivering a light sensitivity equivalent to that of 1.6-micrometer pixel-based image sensors with resolutions of 12 and 8-megapixels, respectively. Furthermore, given their reduced footprints, these new units should help the development of new smartphone models equipped with multiple cameras and featuring modern designs.
Samsung’s latest camera modules include the ISOCELL Plus technology which was introduced earlier this year, meaning that pixels are being separated by a grid to help reduce light bleeding between the pixels and thus resulting in higher quality photographs. ISOCELL Plus is based on a similar technology as the original ISOCELL launched in 2013, except the grid separating the pixels has been manufactured from an “innovative” new material. In addition, both sensors also take advantage of Tetracell technology which, as the name suggests, can merge four neighboring pixels into one in order to improve photography in low-light conditions. Furthermore, both sensors support gyro-based electronic image stabilization for fast focus, and finally, the ISOCELL Bright GM1 has been further improved with the inclusion of HDR, which appears to be missing from the GD1 image sensor.
According to Samsung, the “sleek designs” employed by some of the latest flagship phones on the market has been one of the main driving forces behind the development of the ISOCELL Bright GM1 and GD1. Their smaller footprints facilitated by the reduced pixel size will offer more leeway in terms of what smartphone designs can be applied by OEMs who want to employ multiple camera setups. In theory, this could also help the development of bezeless smartphones without display notches, although Samsung hasn’t outright mentioned this particular design philosophy. Nevertheless, the Korean OEM expects both image sensors to enter mass production in the fourth quarter, and this could mean that the Samsung Galaxy S10 series might be the first devices to take advantage of the new technology. It wouldn't be a first for Samsung to launch a new ISOCELL sensor in conjunction with its flagship phones. As yet it’s unclear whether the Galaxy S10 will have a display notch, but either way, it’s very likely that the upcoming models will at least offer multiple rear-facing cameras.