Samsung ISOCELL image sensor likely to star in the Galaxy S5

24 September, 2013

Samsung has unveiled its latest CMOS image sensor, promising substantially increased light sensitivity. Dubbed ISOCELL, Samsung says its new imager produces photos with higher color fidelity thanks to its improved control of electron absorption.

The company states that all of these enhancements make the ISOCELL CMOS sensor suitable for its upcoming line of smartphones and tablets. As a result, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see the Samsung Galaxy S5 camera feature an ISOCELL image sensor.

The ISOCELL image sensor is the result of consumer desire for increased camera resolution as well as the quality of the photos without making the camera overly large. Pixels need to get smaller while at the same time preserving their performance. Samsung camera gurus compare the ISOCELL technology to FSI and BSI sensors in their inability to preserve pixel quality while shrinking its size at the same time.

Previous sensor technology developments focused on improving the light absorption of each pixel, and have progressed pixel technology from FSI (Front Side Illumination) to BSI (Back Side Illumination) which places photodiode at the top to maximize photoelectric efficiency. While being very effective at the time, this BSI technology also faced limitations in improving image quality as pixel sizes continued to decrease.

The first Samsung image sensor to adopt the new ISOCELL technology carries the model number S5K4H5YB and is an 8MP one with 1.12μ ISOCELL pixel size. The sensor is currently being sampled by Samsung customers and is expected to hit mass production in Q4 2013.

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