▲ Sungsoo Choi (left) from the Semiconductor R&D Center and Myoungoh Ki from the Advanced Sensor Development Team in Samsung Electronics’ System LSI business that developed the ISOCELL HP3.
The nail-sized camera lenses that are built into mobile devices have advanced extraordinarily since their inception. After becoming the first company in the industry to unveil CMOS image sensors (CIS) with 108 and 200 megapixels in 2019 and 2021 respectively, Samsung Electronics has recently surprised the market yet again with its ISOCELL HP3 image sensor, an image sensor packed with 200 million 0.56-micrometer (㎛)-pixels, the smallest pixels in the industry.
Samsung is leading the image sensor market by creating proprietary technology and innovative memory semiconductor designs that can capture stunning images with high amounts of pixels. Through the announcement of the mass production of its ultra-high pixel image sensor, the ISOCELL HP3, the company has commercialized the development of 200MP mobile image sensors with ultra-small pixels.
To learn more about how Samsung developed this industry leading ultra-high pixel image sensor, Samsung Newsroom spoke with Myoungoh Ki and Sungsoo Choi, developers from the System LSI business and the Semiconductor R&D Center respectively who played a leading role in the development of the new ISOCELL HP3.
Smaller and Better: The First Company in the Industry To Commercialize 0.56㎛ Pixels
An image sensor is a system semiconductor that converts light that enters the device through the camera lens into digital signals. From digital cameras and smartphones to laptops and cars, image sensors are built into all electronic products that come with a camera. The ISOCELL HP3 that Samsung has recently unveiled is an image sensor that packs 200 million 0.56㎛ pixels, the smallest pixels in the industry, in a 1/1.4” optical format.1
Since 2019, Samsung has annually succeeded in reducing its pixel size to match the smallest size in the industry. Smaller pixels are needed in order to keep devices slim.
“With a smaller unit pixel size, the physical size of the sensor and module can be reduced, allowing the size and width of the lens to be reduced as well,” explained Ki. “This can eliminate elements that interfere with the design of the device, such as a camera that protrudes, and can also reduce power consumption.”