Samsung Electronics has introduced its smallest high-resolution image sensor, the ISOCELL Slim 3T2, a Samsung spokesman said on Jan. 22. While being the industry’s most compact image sensor at 1/3.4 inches (approximately 5.1-millimeters diagonally), the 0.8μm-pixel ISOCELL Slim 3T2 delivers 20-megapixel (Mp) resolution for both front and back cameras in today’s sleekest mid-range smartphones.
“The ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is our smallest and most versatile 20Mp image sensor that helps mobile device manufacturers bring differentiated consumer value not only in camera performance but also in features including hardware design,” said Jinhyun Kwon, vice president of System LSI sensor marketing at Samsung Electronics. “As the demand for advanced imaging capabilities in mobile devices continue to grow, we will keep pushing the limits in image sensor technologies for richer user experiences.”
With 20-million active 0.8μm-sized pixels, the ISOCELL Slim 3T2 not just provides excellent clarity and detail. It also offers high color fidelity by adopting Samsung’s ISOCELL Plus technology that enables sensors to capture and absorb more light information for accurate color reproduction even with sub-micrometer-sized pixels.
In order to support smartphones with the latest display features such as the ‘hole-in display’ or ‘notch design,’ front-facing image sensors need to minimize their size while being able to capture high-quality images. The 1/3.4-inch 3T2 snuggly fits into a tiny module making more space for the display.
In addition, Samsung’s Tetracell technology, which merges four pixels to work as one, lets the 3T2 take brighter and sharper pictures in low-light settings as the color filter array’s light sensitivity increases to that of a 1.6μm-pixel image sensor at 5Mp resolution.
When applied in rear-facing multi-camera settings for telephoto solutions, the 3T2 adopts an RGB color filter array instead of Tetracell technology. The small size of the image sensor also reduces the height of the tele-camera module by around seven percent when compared to Samsung’s 1/3-inch 20Mp image sensor, allowing more elegant smartphone designs. Compared to a 13Mp sensor with the same module height, the 20Mp 3T2 retains 60-percent higher effective resolution at 10x digital zoom that presents clearer and more accurate results.
The Samsung ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is expected to be in mass production in the first quarter of this year.