In the race for creating the best smartphone camera, manufacturers are going for image sensors with high pixel count. Samsung is in the lead with its 108MP camera that it featured last year in August and now resides in the Galaxy S20 Ultra. But, according to reports, Samsung wants to push this resolution race to the next level by competing with the human eye!
In a blog by Samsung, it is stated that Samsung is working on an image sensor with a resolution of 600MP which will be capable of capturing more details than the human eye. “The image sensors we ourselves perceive the world through – our eyes – are said to match a resolution of around 500 megapixels (Mp). Compared to most DSLR cameras today that offer 40Mp resolution and flagship smartphones with 12Mp, we as an industry still have a long way to go to be able to match human perception capabilities.” Said the blog
Developing such a massive resolution sensor will have its hurdles the biggest being the pixel size. “Simply putting as many pixels as possible together into a sensor might seem like the easy fix, but this would result in a massive image sensor that takes over the entirety of a device. In order to fit millions of pixels in today’s smartphones that feature other cutting-edge specs like high screen-to-body ratios and slim designs, pixels inevitably have to shrink so that sensors can be as compact as possible. “said the company.
Smaller pixels leads to fuzzy, dull and dark images with poor low light performance as the small pixel size allows for the sensor to receive less light information. Samsung has a workaround this. Their proprietary pixel binning technology called the ‘Nonacell technology,’, dramatically increases the amount of light absorption pixels are capable of. Compared to previous Tetracell technology which features a 2×2 array, the 3×3 pixel structure of Nonacell technology allows, for instance, nine 0.8μm pixels to function as one 2.4-μm pixel. This also mitigates the issue raised by low-light settings where light information is often scarce.
The production of a 600MP will not only be used in the mobile imaging industry but also areas like agriculture and biology. These image sensors are capable of detecting light wavelengths beyond the human vision range making them very useful. These sensors will also be used into other rapidly-emerging fields such as autonomous vehicles, IoT and drones.