Samsung unveils image sensors for smartphone photography

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Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., announced three new mobile image sensors designed for both main and sub cameras in smartphones: the ISOCELL HP9, the ISOCELL GNJ and the ISOCELL JN5.

The ISOCELL HP9 features 200 million 0.56-micrometer (μm) pixels in a 1/1.4-inch optical format.

With its proprietary high-refractive microlens featuring a new material, the HP9 significantly enhances light-gathering capability by directing more light accurately to the corresponding RGB color filter. This results in more vivid color reproduction and improved focus with 12% better light sensitivity (based on signal-to-noise ratio 10) and 10% improved autofocus contrast performance compared to the previous product.

As main cameras in premium smartphones grow in size, the room for telephoto cameras is also increasing. The HP9’s large optical format makes it suitable for telephoto modules, delivering performance that matches premium main cameras in image quality, autofocus, high dynamic range (HDR) and frames per second (fps).

The ISOCELL GNJ is a dual pixel sensor with 50 million 1.0μm pixels in a 1/1.57-inch optical format.

Each pixel houses two photodiodes, enabling fast and accurate autofocus, similar to the way human eyes focus. The image sensor also simultaneously captures full color information for quick focusing with sustained image quality.

The GNJ combines dual pixel technology with an in-sensor zoom function to deliver clearer footage in video mode and higher-resolution images free from artifacts or moiré patterns in photo mode.

The newly improved high-transmittance anti-refractive layer (ARL), coupled with Samsung’s proprietary high-refractive microlense, not only boosts light transmission and reduces unwanted reflections but also ensures that dark areas are not overly brightened for more accurate photos with well-preserved image details.

In addition, the GNJ includes an upgraded pixel isolation material in deep trench isolation (DTI) from polysilicon to silicon oxide, minimizing crosstalk between adjacent pixels. This allows the sensor to capture more detailed and precise images.

All of these innovations have been achieved with less power consumption, featuring a 29% improvement in preview mode and 34% in video mode at 4K 60fps, the company said.

The ISOCELL JN5 features 50 million 0.64μm pixels in a 1/2.76-inch optical format.

Dual vertical transfer gate (Dual VTG) technology increases charge transfer within pixels, substantially reducing noise in extreme low light conditions for clearer image quality.

Leveraging Super Quad Phase Detection (Super QPD), the JN5 adjusts focus by comparing phase differences both vertically and horizontally, catching even the smallest details of rapidly moving objects with minimal shake.

Additionally, the JN5 incorporates dual slope gain (DSG) technology to enhance its HDR. This technology amplifies the analog light information entering the pixels into two signals, converts them into digital, and then combines them into one data, expanding the range of colors that the sensor can produce.

The JN5’s slim optical format makes it highly versatile, allowing it to be used across main and sub cameras —including wide-angle, ultra-wide-angle, front and telephoto — promising a consistent camera experience from various angles.