Seoul, South Korea— Imaging technologies for mobile phones and devices made a notable advance this week with Samsung Electronics Co. unveiling its new 200 MP ISOCELL HP3 image sensor.
The new image sensor features the industry’s smallest 0.56 micrometer (μm) pixels, which will allow mobile phone manufacturers to continue to offer much higher resolutions for their mobile phones while reducing the surface of the camera module by 20%.
The sensor is the company’s second and smallest 200MP sensor.
“Samsung has continuously led the image sensor market trend with its technology leadership in high-resolution sensors with the smallest pixels,” said JoonSeo Yim, Executive Vice President of Sensor Business Team at Samsung Electronics. . “With our latest upgraded ISOCELL HP3 0.56μm 200MP, Samsung will strive to deliver epic resolutions beyond professional levels for smartphone camera users.”
Since its first 108MP image sensor rollout in 2019, Samsung has advanced the development of next-generation ultra-high resolution camera technologies that deliver enhanced imaging capabilities in smaller sizes for mobile phones.
The ISOCELL HP3, with a 12% smaller pixel size than the predecessor’s 0.64μm, packs 200 million pixels in a 1/1.4″ optical format, which is the diameter of the area captured through the lens. This means the ISOCELL HP3 can achieve around 20% reduction in camera module area, allowing smartphone makers to keep their high-end devices slim, Samsung said.
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.
The sensor also allows users to shoot 8K video at 30 frames per second (fps) or 4K video at 120fps, with minimal loss in field of view when shooting 8K video. Combined with the Super QPD solution, users can take film-like cinematic footage with their mobile devices.
The ISOCELL HP3 also offers strong low-light capabilities, with Tetra2pixel technology that combines four pixels in one to turn the 0.56μm 200MP sensor into a 1.12μm 50MP sensor, or a 12.5MP sensor with 2 .24 μm-pixels by combining 16 pixels into one. The technology allows the sensor to simulate a large pixel sensor to take brighter, more vibrant photos even in dark environments, such as indoors or at night, Samsung said.
To maximize the dynamic range of the moving image sensor, the ISOCELL HP3 adopts an improved Smart-ISO Pro function. The technology merges image information from both low and high ISO mode conversion gains to create HDR images. The upgraded version of the technology comes with a triple ISO mode – Low, Medium and High – which further expands the dynamic range of the sensor. Additionally, the improved Smart-ISO Pro enables the sensor to express images in over 4,000 billion colors (14-bit color depth), which is 64 times more colors than the 68 billion (12-bit) of the predecessor. Additionally, by supporting scaled HDR with Smart-ISO Pro, the ISOCELL HP3 can switch between the two solutions depending on the shooting environment to produce high-quality HDR images, Samsung said.
Mass production is expected to begin this year, Samsung said, meaning the sensor won’t be available in mobile phones until 2023.