Samsung brings DSLR imaging technology to smartphones

A 12Mpixel image sensor for smartphones from Samsung is claimed to improve the quality of mobile phone pictures. With 1.4µm pixels, the device takes advantage of Dual Pixel technology, previously applied only in digital SLR cameras. According to Samsung, the technology enables rapid autofocus and ‘premium’ image quality on mobile devices, even in low light situations.

“With 12Mpixels working as a phase detection autofocus agent, the new image sensor brings professional autofocusing performance to a mobile device,” claimed Ben K Hur, vp of marketing with Samsung’s System LSI Business.

Dual Pixel technology features two photodiodes on the left and right halves of a pixel. As each pixel can detect phase differences in the perceived light, significantly faster autofocus has become possible. With such improvements, says Samsung, the image sensor ensures sharp images, especially for moving objects in poor lighting conditions.

The image sensor has features Samsung’s ISOCELL technology, in which the photodiodes in each pixel are isolated using a physical wall to reduce colour cross talk.

Constructed using chip stacking technology, the image sensor stacks a 65nm sensor and a 28nm logic chip.