The first smartphones featuring a 48-megapixel camera sensor were released at the beginning of this year. While only a small number of smartphones were available with a 48MP sensor a few months back, nearly every major smartphone maker now offers a smartphone featuring 40MP or higher resolution camera. Samsung is now upping the ante with its new 64MP ISOCELL image sensor for smartphones.
The new ISOCELL Bright GW1 and ISOCELL Bright GM2 are the latest additions to Samsung’s 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensor lineup. Featuring the highest megapixel count in Samsung’s 0.8um-pixel image sensor lineup, the 64MP Bright GW1 uses pixel-merging Tetracell technology to capture 16MP stills in low-light conditions and remosaic algorithm for improved image quality at full 64MP resolution. It also supports real-time HDR of up to 100-decibels (dB) for richer hues. That’s just 20dB lower than the dynamic range of the human eye.
Another key feature of the new image sensor is Dual Conversion Gain (DCG), which converts received light into an electric signal according to the lighting conditions, allowing the sensor to optimize its full well capacity (FWC). This helps utilize the collected light with higher efficiency in bright environments. Additionally, the sensor supports Super PD high-performance phase detection auto-focus technology and Full HD video recording at 480fps.
Samsung has also announced the 48MP Bright GM2 image sensor, which is a successor to the Bright GM1 sensor used in many smartphones featuring a 48MP camera. Just like the 64MP ISOCELL Bright GW1, the Bright GM2 utilizes Tetracell technology in low-light and a remosaic algorithm in well-lit conditions. Dual Conversion Gain and Super PD features are supported as well.
Samsung has said that both the ISOCELL Bright GW1 and GM2 image sensors are currently sampling and are expected to enter mass production in the second half of the year. Whether this means the 64MP sensor will be used in Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 10, remains to be seen. If Samsung decides to go with a 48MP sensor instead, it can use its own Bright GM2 sensor along with Sony’s IMX586.