Published in Graphics

More tiny pixels tip up from Samsung

by on11 June 2021

Come on feel the noise  

Samsung claims to have come up with the smallest pixels, which has some observers wondering why given that smaller pixels tend to mean bigger noise.

The ISOCELL JN1 is a 50-megapixel sensor with a relatively tiny 1/2.76-inch format, meaning its pixels are just 0.64um in size.  Despite the fact that smaller pixels reduce picture quality due to higher noise, Samsung has persisted with getting them smaller.

It broke records in 2019 with the slightly larger ISOCELL Slim GH1, another 50-megapixel sensor with 0.7um pixels.

According to the company, it's about form factor versatility. The sensor's smaller size means it can be used in ultrawide or telephoto camera modules -- which are challenging to design when size is at a premium -- or as a way to reduce the height of the primary camera bump.

As with other high-resolution camera sensors, the JN1 will make use of pixel-binning technology that combines multiple pixels into one for higher light sensitivity. In this case, Samsung says the sensor will capture 12.5-megapixel photos with the equivalent of 1.28um pixels, and the company is also claiming a 16 percent boost to light sensitivity with its ISOCELL 2.0 tech.

Last modified on 11 June 2021
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