The ISOCELL HP1 features an industry-first 200MP resolution based on 0.64 m-pixels and a new pixel-binning technology called ChameleonCell. In addition, Samsung announced the GN5, which it claims is the first image sensor to use all-directional focusing Dual Pixel Pro technologies with two photodiodes in a single 1.0m pixel.
The 200-megapixel sensor is an industry first, based on the company’s most advanced 0.64m-sized pixels, and is designed to bring massive resolution into the small form factor of smartphones. The company claims that the new sensor will provide incredible levels of detail, allowing photos to remain sharp even when cropped or resized.
ChameleonCell technology is a pixel-binning system that uses a two-by-two, four-by-four, or full pixel layout depending on the environment to improve low-light performance. When the sensor detects a low-light environment, it “transforms” into a 12.5-megapixel image sensor with much larger 2.56m pixels by combining 16 neighboring pixels. In this configuration, the sensor can absorb significantly more light and produce clearer photos in low-light conditions.
In bright light, however, the sensor returns to its full 200-megapixel maximum resolution. In this mode, the camera can capture 8K video at up to 30 frames per second with a slight crop, according to Samsung, resulting in a minimal loss of field of view. The HP1 merges four neighboring pixels to reduce the resolution to 50MP or 8,192 x 6,144 in order to capture 8K (7,680 x 4,320) videos without cropping or scaling down the full image resolution.
The HP1 boasts a Double Super Phase Detection system, which Samsung claims allows for faster and sharper focus thanks to the use of micro-lenses and specialized focusing pixels. Double Super PD has twice as many autofocus pixels as Super PD, and the ech micro-lens covers two autofocus pixels, allowing the image to be focused by comparing the left and right phases.
Samsung says that the GN5 is the first 1.0m image sensor to include Dual Pixel Pro, the company’s all-directional autofocusing technology first announced in February. In short, the method inserts two photodiodes horizontally or vertically within each 1.0m pixel of the sensor to recognize pattern changes in all directions. Samsung says that the ISOCELL GN5’s autofocusing is quick and reliable in all lighting settings thanks to one million phase-detecting multi-directional photodiodes covering all sections of the sensor.
Samsung’s patented pixel technology is also used in the image sensor, which for the first time in the industry adds Front Deep Trench Isolation (FDTI) to a Dual Pixel device. FDTI allows each photodiode to absorb and keep more light information, boosting the photodiodes’ full-well capacity (FWC) and reducing crosstalk inside the pixel, despite their minuscule size.
Samsung has not disclosed whether the sensor will be commercially produced, but units of both the HM1 and GN5 are presently available for smartphone manufacturers to test and integrate.