Samsung has announced ISOCELL Bright HMX, the world’s first mobile image sensor with a resolution of 108-megapixels. It is the first to go beyond the 100 million pixels mark in the industry. The announcement comes after Xiaomi and Realme revealed their plans to launch smartphones with 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1 sensor in the fourth quarter. Xiaomi has already confirmed that it will be the first smartphone maker to launch a device equipped with this sensor.
The Korean company says that it is expanding the 0.8 micron image sensor offerings from recently announced 64-megapixel to 108-megapixel. The resolution alone is equivalent to that found on high-end DSLRs used to shoot giant billboards. It is said to be the result of a close collaboration between Xiaomi Corp. and Samsung. Back in March, chipmaker Qualcomm had said that 100-megapixel image sensors are coming to smartphones this year. It had quietly bumped single camera support to 192-megapixel on its flagship mobile platform like the Snapdragon 855, Snapdragon 730 and others.
Samsung’s ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile image sensor adopting a large 1/1.33-inch size. It can absorb more light in low-light conditions than smaller sensors. The sensor also supports Tetracell technology, which allows it to imitate big-pixel sensors. In a release, Samsung says it will produce brighter 27-megapixel images. The Smart-ISO will switch to lower ISO setting to improve pixel saturation in bright environments. The ISOCELL HMX also supports “video recording without losses in field-of-view at resolutions up to 6K (6016 x 3384) 30-frames-per-second (fps).”
“Samsung is continuously pushing for innovations in pixel and logic technologies to engineer our ISOCELL image sensors to capture the world as close to how our eyes perceive them,” said Yongin Park, executive vice president of sensor business at Samsung Electronics.
Smartphones have reached a stage where the difference between a good smartphone and a great smartphone boils down to camera. This has resulted in smartphone makers engaging in a new megapixel race. While 48-megapixel was seen as the holy grail, it has now become 108-megapixels. A large megapixel alone cannot make great images and Samsung is addressing that with a large sensor. For the sensor to succeed, it would also need a powerful processor.