Samsung isn’t just a smartphone maker. The Korean giant is also a major player in the design and manufacture of components for mobiles, whether for Galaxy devices or for models from other brands. And among the components offered by Samsung, there are the cameras.
In recent years, the Korean giant has engaged in a pixel count race. And after launching several versions of its 108-megapixel sensor for smartphones, in September 2021 the Korean giant unveiled a new component called ISOCELL HP1, with 200 megapixels.
A 200-megapixel sensor with smaller pixels and a smaller size
And this week, Samsung lifts the veil on a new 200 megapixel sensor: the ISOCELL HP3. And with this new sensor, Samsung solves one of the main drawbacks of the previous version, which is the size.
Indeed, with this component, Samsung offers the smallest pixel in the industry, with a size of 0.56 μm. Compared to 0.64 μm pixels, the reduction is 12%. This allows Samsung to offer a 20% smaller sensor, which will allow smartphone manufacturers to design devices with 200 megapixel sensors, but which remain thin.
In addition to this reduction in the size of the sensor, Samsung evokes other technologies that will be embedded in this new component.
“The ISOCELL HP3 comes with a Super QPD autofocus solution, which means that all sensor pixels are equipped with autofocus capabilities. Additionally, Super QPD uses a single lens on four adjacent pixels to detect phase differences in the horizontal and vertical directions. This paves the way for more accurate and faster autofocus for smartphone camera users.”says the Korean giant.
Besides that, the sensor will be able to take 8K videos at 30 fps, or 4K at 120 fps. And thanks to the Super QPD solution, the ISOCELL HP3 would capture cinematic quality video.
Of course, in low light, this high-resolution sensor will also be able to combine adjacent pixels to capture more light. Thus, the ISOCELL HP3 can transform the 0.56μm 200MP sensor into a 1.12μm 50MP sensor, or into a 12.5MP sensor with 2.24μm pixels by combining 16 pixels into one.
Another significant improvement, the ISOCELL HP3 can express images in over 4 trillion colors (14-bit color depth), which is 64 times more colors than the predecessor’s 68 billion (12-bit).
This time Samsung is ready
And this time, Samsung seems ready to market its 200 megapixel sensor. Indeed, the manufacturer indicates that the samples are already available, and that series production will begin this year.
Samsung does not indicate which Galaxy smartphones or other brands could use this 200 megapixel sensor. But it should be noted that rumors already suggest that the future Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will be released in early 2023, could use a main 200-megapixel photo sensor. Other brands that could use this HP3 sensor also include Xiaomi, which uses Samsung’s 108-megapixel sensors on some premium and mid-range models.
For its part, Sony would prepare a sensor of 100 megapixels for smartphones, according to recent rumors. This would be a first for the Japanese company which, until now, did not seem to be interested in integrating as many pixels on its sensors.