Samsung announces 200MP ISOCELL HP3 image sensor with industry’s smallest pixels

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Samsung has Announcement A new 200MP image sensor, ISOCELL HP3. The mobile imaging sensor contains the industry’s smallest pixels, 0.56-micrometers (μm), reducing the overall image sensor and camera module size.

Samsung has continued to lead the image sensor market with its smallest pixel high-resolution sensors,” said Juncio Im, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics’ sensor business team. ‘With our latest and upgraded 0.56μm 200MP ISOCELL HP3, Samsung will strive to deliver epic resolutions beyond the professional level for smartphone camera users.’

The ISOCELL HP3 is not Samsung’s first 200MP image sensor. The company announced ISOCELL HP1 last fall and we recently saw some real-world images captured with that 200MP sensor. The ISOCELL HP3 features 12 percent smaller pixel size than the HP1 in 1 / 1.4-inch optical format (approximately 12mm diagonal). Samsung says that the reduction in pixel size reduces the camera module surface area by about 20 percent compared to the HP1, which allows smartphone makers to create smaller, thinner smartphones.

ISOCELL HP3 has Super QPD autofocus technology, which includes the pixel autofocus capability of all sensors. Further, the Super QPD uses a single lens over four adjacent pixels, allowing the sensor to detect phase differences in horizontal and vertical directions (cross-type). Samsung promises ‘more accurate and faster’ autofocus performance for smartphone camera users.

For video, the HP3 records 8K resolution video up to 30 frames per second and 4K video up to 120 frames per second. There is ‘minimal damage’ to the scene when recording 8K footage, but it’s not clear what the exact crop factor will be.

Like the ISOCELL HP1, to improve low-light image quality, the ISOCELL HP3 can combine four adjacent pixels to turn a 200MP sensor into a 50MP sensor. In this case, the 50MP sensor has a 1.12μm pixel size. It also has the ability to combine 16 pixels into one for a 12.5MP sensor with 2.24μm pixels. The technology, called Tetra 2, allows the sensor to copy a larger-sized pixel sensor to capture high-quality images in dim light.

The sensor also features a Smart-ISO Pro. Samsung writes, ‘The technology combines image data created from two conversion gains in low and high ISO modes to create HDR images. The upgraded version of the technology comes with a triple ISO mode – low, medium and high – which further widens the dynamic range of the sensor. Also, the advanced Smart-ISO Pro sensor enables it to publish images in 4 trillion colors (14-bit color depth), 64 times more color than its predecessor, 68 billion (12-bit). Furthermore, with Smart-ISO Pro supporting staggered HDR, ISOCELL HP3 can switch between two solutions depending on the filming environment to create high quality HDR images. ‘

Samsung has already provided samples of the ISOCELL HP3 sensor and expects mass production to begin this year. It is not clear when users will expect to send the first smartphones equipped with ISOCELL HP3.



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