Samsung introduces 48- and 32-megapixel sensor for smartphone cameras

Samsung has presented the Isocell Bright GM1 and GD1. These are two smartphone camera sensors with resolutions of 48 and 32 megapixels, respectively, and pixels with a size of 0.8 microns.

Samung does not report the exact size of the sensors, but does say that very small, high-resolution image sensors are now in great demand. Both sensors have a relatively small pixel size of 0.8μm, which Samsung says offers smartphone manufacturers the option of integrating smaller modules into their phones or incorporating more pixels into existing designs. The South Korean manufacturer says that with the GM1 and GD1 it responds to the limited space in today’s smartphones with small bezels.

Based on Samsung’s so-called Tetracell technology, the GM1 and GD1 can work together, merging four pixels together to act as a single pixel. This would correspond to the light sensitivity of a 12- and 8-megapixel sensor with 1.6μm pixels, respectively. Both sensors support gyro-electronic image stabilization and in addition, the GD1 has support for high dynamic range functionality; the GM1 lacks this.

Samsung says it expects to start mass production of the Isocell GM1 and GD1 from the fourth quarter of this year. It is not yet clear when phones with both sensors will be released. For the time being, most smartphone manufacturers use IMX sensors from Sony. This Japanese company also announced a new 48-megapixel sensor with pixels of 0.8μm in July, namely the IMX586. This should increase the light sensitivity through an adapted Quad Bayer filter.