|An image for Samsung Electronics' ISOCELL HM3 image sensor / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics|
By Baek Byung-yeul
Samsung Electronics introduced a new 108-megapixel image sensor Friday that enables smartphones to offer sharper and detailed images in ultra-high resolution. With the latest product, the tech giant is seeking to take the leadership in the fast-growing image sensor market.
The company said the mobile image sensor, the Samsung ISOCELL HM3, is able to "capture sharper and more vivid images in ultra-high resolution with faster auto-focus and extended dynamic range."
Chang Duck-hyun, executive vice president of the sensor business at Samsung, said the ISOCELL HM3 was "the culmination of Samsung's latest sensor technologies that will help deliver premium mobile experiences to today's smart-device users."
"While a pixel is just a single dot of color, when in the millions, these dots can be transformed into stunning snapshots of life. With more pixels, images are sharper, with fuller details that can maintain their integrity even when enlarged," Chang said.
The executive vice president further noted Samsung "has been at the forefront of bringing the most pixels to mobile image sensors as well as various supporting technologies that take sensor performance to the next level."
The company said it is mass producing the image sensor. Industry analysts presumed the ISOCELL HM3 will be featured in its new Galaxy S smartphones.
For faster auto-focus, the ISOCELL HM3 integrates an improved Super PD Plus feature to increase measurement accuracy of objects by 50 percent compared to the previous model. The enhanced phase detection auto-focusing technology helps to keep moving subjects in sharp focus and delivers optimum results in dark environments.
The ISOCELL HM3 is also outstanding at capturing images in mixed light environments, such as at the end of a tunnel. Using Smart ISO Pro, a high-dynamic-range imaging technology, the HM3 captures a frame in both high and low sensor sensitivity, then merges them into a single image in 12-bit color depth and with reduced noise.
The design of the new image sensor has been optimized to reduce energy use under preview mode by 6.5 percent, offering added power efficiency to the overall mobile device.