Samsung announces new 64 MP image sensor for mobile devices

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After its 48MP ISOCEL Bright GM1 imaging sensor which has now found its way into a number of smartphones of all price brackets, Korean major Samsung has today announced a new generation imaging sensor that has the potential of changing the 48MP trend.

As a side note, in a company teleconference, chipmaker Qualcomm said that it expects manufacturer partners to debut smartphone camera sensors greater than 100MP in resolution this year. Samsung has also adopted DGC and Super PD technology for the sensor. It uses proprietary technology to boost image quality in low-light environments, can turn out 64-megapixel images in bright settings and is capable of 480fps slow motion video capture.

The 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1 has the highest resolution in Samsung's 0.8μm-pixel image sensor lineup. Tetracell enables 4-in-1 pixel binning that merges four pixels into a single pixel to mitigate the pixel size deficit in challenging light situations.

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In the area of dynamic range, the GW1 supports a real-time high dynamic range (HDR) of up to 100-decibels (dB) that "provides richer hues".

The new 64-MP sensor maintains the pixel size of current 20-MP sensors, 0.8-micrometers. The dynamic range of a conventional image sensor is around 60dB while that of the human eye is typically around 120dB. If the claims by Samsung are correct, then any phone using the ISOCELL GW1, would be the new dynamic range leader in camera and imaging. As a result, the new GW1 sensor can "produce bright 16 MP images in low-light environments", according to Samsung. Like its bigger brother, the 48-megapixel sensor is also equipped with Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) and works with Super PD, a high-end phase detection auto-focus technology. The sensors also have a few tricks up their sleeves.

The 48MP GW2 sensor has the same features, and both chips are already sampling to customers, with mass production beginning in the second half of the year.

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