Thursday, May 30, 2024

Samsung launches the 200-megapixel ISOCELL HP2 image sensor

Samsung continues the megapixel race for mobile device cameras. The company has now introduced the ISOCELL HP2, a new 200-megapixel image sensor. The new sensor comes with improved pixel technology and full-well capacity for stunning mobile images in tomorrow’s premium smartphones.

The ISOCELL HP2 crams 200 million 0.6-micrometer (µm) pixels onto a 1/1.3-inch-type format. This sensor size is widely used in 108MP main smartphone cameras.

Thanks to Samsung’s advanced Tetra2pixel pixel binning technology, the HP2 sensor gives the camera more versatility by simulating different pixel sizes to accommodate varying lighting levels. The sensor transforms either into a 1.2μm 50MP or 2.4μm 12.5MP image sensor by binding four to 16 neighboring pixels, allowing for better performance in low-light environments.

When shooting full 8K video, approximately at 33MP, the HP2 switches to 1.2μm/50MP mode to minimize cropping and capture more of the scene. Filming 8K at 30 frames-per-second (fps), a wide field of view, along with a bigger pixel size, can produce sharp cinematic videos.

In addition, washed-out pictures from brightly lit environments can be significantly reduced with the HP2 thanks to Samsung’s new Dual Vertical Transfer Gate (D-VTG) technology. In the photodiode of each pixel, there is a voltage transfer gate on the bottom side, which transport electrons from the pixels to the logic layer.

The high precision of manufacturing semiconductor elements made it possible to use D-VTG technology to add a second transfer gate in the pixel, boosting the full-well capacity of pixels by more than 33%. Thanks to more stored electrons and efficient signal transmission, this method can reduce overexposure and improve color reproduction, especially in very intense lighting.

In low-light settings, auto-focusing on the HP2 sensor is taken to a new, higher level with the Super QPD (quadrant photodetector) that allows the sensor to use all 200 million pixels for focusing purposes. An ample amount of focusing agent is grouped by four adjacent pixels to detect horizontal and vertical pattern changes providing faster and more accurate auto-focusing.

For superior HDR (high dynamic range) performance, Samsung introduces a DSG (Digital Slope Gain) feature for the first time in 50MP camera mode, applying two separate value conversions to the analog signal received at the pixel level. Meanwhile, Smart-ISO Pro can merge different light sensitivity data from a single exposure to build 12.5MP images and 4K at 60fps video in HDR.

The HP2 has already entered mass production.