The industry is scared by the increasing popularity of smartphones, and for a good reason. The technology evolves at a fast pace.
Now Samsung announced a new, 64MP sensor for smartphones doing 21fps. You can already get smartphones with sensors around 40MP (as the excellent Huawei P30 Pro, which seems to be gold standard for smartphone photography for the time being), and it seems the next generation of smartphones might raise the resolution to 64MP. As crazy as it sounds (at least to me) this is the future, along with computational photography algorithms getting always better. Why should people buy a dedicated camera when
Samsung press release:
Samsung Electronics, a world leader in advanced semiconductor technology, today introduced two new 0.8-micrometer (μm) pixel image sensors – the 64-megapixel (Mp) Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and 48Mp ISOCELL Bright GM2. With the addition, Samsung expands its 0.8μm image sensor lineup, the smallest pixel size currently available in the market, from existing 20Mp to ultra-high 64Mp resolutions.
“Over the past few years, mobile phone cameras have become the main instrument for recording and sharing our everyday moments,” said Yongin Park, executive vice president of sensor business at Samsung Electronics. “With more pixels and advanced pixel technologies, Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and GM2 will bring a new level of photography to today’s sleekest mobile devices that will enhance and help change the way we record our daily lives.”
ISOCELL Bright GW1 is a 64Mp image sensor that features the highest resolution in Samsung’s 0.8μm-pixel image sensor lineup. With pixel-merging Tetracell technology** and remosaic algorithm***, GW1 can produce bright 16Mp images in low-light environments and highly-detailed 64Mp shots in brighter settings. To take pictures resembling the way the human eye perceives its surroundings in a mixed light environment, GW1 supports real-time high dynamic range (HDR) of up to 100-decibels (dB) that provides richer hues. In comparison, the dynamic range of a conventional image sensor is at around 60dB, while that of the human eye is typically considered to be around 120dB.
GW1 is equipped with a Dual Conversion Gain (DCG) that converts the received light into an electric signal according to the illumination of the environment. This allows the sensor to optimize its full well capacity (FWC), utilizing the collected light more efficiently especially in bright environments. Sharper results can be delivered through Super PD, a high-performance phase detection auto-focus technology, and full HD recording at 480 frames-per-second (fps) is supported for smooth cinematic slow motion videos.
ISOCELL Bright GM2 is a 48Mp image sensor that also adopts Tetracell technology in low-light environments and a remosaic algorithm in well-lit settings, bringing highly-detailed pictures with natural and vivid colors. GM2, like GW1, adopts DCG as well for added performance and Super PD for fast autofocus.
Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and GM2 are currently sampling and are expected to be in mass production in the second half of this year.
A technology and market analysis paper by Credit Suisse predicts smartphones with image sensors of over 100MP to be appear soon.
Excerpt from the report:
Demand from Huawei (32MP CIS mass production) and Xiaomi (long-term contract) has helped Samsung to gain market share in CIS.
Multi-camera smartphones are expected to comprise 65–70% of all models in 2019, up from 40% in 2018. Triple-camera models are expected to account for as much as 20% of all smartphone handsets (up from 1.5% in 2018).
The multi-camera percentage for Samsung Mobile is expected to reach 70% in 2019 (up from 21% in 2018).
Demand for 5MP CIS is booming due to the trend toward multi-camera smartphones (the 5MP CIS is an essential component of triple-camera handsets).
The CIS technology roadmap calls for further evolution towards higher megapixels, with development expected to bring 64MP in 2H 2019 and 100MP in 2020. The trend will increase the number of lenses required (though weight is an issue), demanding higher levels of cooperation between lens, module and AP manufacturers to achieve incremental improvements in image resolution.
With Line 11 undergoing conversion, Samsung is planning to boost the total monthly capacity of its CIS 300mm production lines to 75,000 units by end-2019 and 85,000 units by end-2020. No decision has been taken yet on whether to convert Line 13 to CIS production, but the general plan is to continue expanding capacity steadily.
CIS 300mm line development is underway at SK Hynix.
In this paper, we describe a newly developed 3.4 μm pixel pitch global shutter CMOS image sensor (CIS) with dual in-pixel charge domain memories (CDMEMs) has about 5.3 M effective pixels and achieves 19 ke− full well capacity, 30 ke−/lxcenterdots sensitivity, 2.8 e- rms temporal noise, and −83 dB parasitic light sensitivity. In particular, we describe the sensor structure for improving the sensitivity and detail of the readout procedure. Furthermore, this image sensor realizes various readout with dual CDMEMs. For example, an alternate multiple-accumulation high dynamic range readout procedure achieves 60 fps operation and over 110 dB dynamic range in one-frame operation and is suitable in particular for moving object capturing. This front-side-illuminated CIS is fabricated in a 130 nm 1P4M with light shield CMOS process.
If you are particularly keen to difficult DIY projects, this one may be for you.
Andy George of How To Make Everything redefines the concept of DIY with this project: a lens build from scratch using raw sand, rocks, and metal, and a huge amount of skills too, I guess.
Previously, Andy built a pinhole camera, as you can see in the video below.
Not satisfied with the pinhole camera, Andy decided to build a lens from the scratch. Well, it took him a dozen attempts before getting it done right. Guess making your own glass isn’t everyone’s thing. The video below explains all steps. Enjoy.