MWC: Samsung announces new camera sensor

News February 28, 2012 415 views 0 Comments

Some days ago BGR.com released leaked specs about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S3. BGR claims that the new Galaxy S III smart phone will feature an 8MP camera. This might not seem that interesting (Nokia announced a phone with a 41MP camera!). But its a lot more interesting after the announcement Samsung just made at the Mobile World Congress.

MWC: Samsung announces new camera sensor

Today Samsung announced a new 8MP CMOS imager (the chip that converts light into the picture you see on your phone). We already talked about another CMOS chip here, which had a size of 1/2.3″. The S5K3H7 released today has a size of 1/3.2″, which might seem worse at first compared to the previous discusses chip, but the new chip has some interesting features.

The new chip uses BSI technology, which improves image quality when there is not a lot of light. Another impressive feature is the capability of shooting 720p footage at 120 fps.

Here is the official press release by Samsung for the complete details:

Samsung Introduces 8 Megapixel CMOS Imager for
Premium Quality HD Video Capabilities on High-end Mobile Phones

Spain, Barcelona- February 27, 2012- (Virtual Press Office) – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a world leader in advanced semiconductor solutions, today unveiled its new 1/3.2-inch 8 Megapixel (Mp) CMOS imager, the S5K3H7, utilizing advanced 1.4um back side illuminated (BSI) pixel technology. This newly developed high-speed imager supports a frame rate of 30 frame-per-seconds (fps) for full 8Mp resolution, capable of delivering camcorder-class video quality on mobile handsets.

“Consumers show a growing preference for high resolution image sensors with the diversity and qualities of DSCs on their mobile gadgets,” said Taehoon Kim, vice president of System LSI sales & marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s advanced 8Mp imager is a good match for a diverse imaging experience and is expected to further expand Samsung’s leadership in CMOS based imaging technologies.”

Samsung’s S5K3H7 imager supports up to 30fps at full 8Mp resolution and 1080p full HD video recording. The high-speed sensor features instant capture of dynamic images without shutter lag. The highly sensitive shutter operations coupled with high-resolution features allow the capturing of motion snapshots and continuous shooting of fast-moving subjects such as pets and sports in action.

By adopting a parallel processing data solution, the new imager doubles the frame rate over previous generation of 8Mp imagers to 30fps, while operating at similar power levels due to the sensor’s low-power circuitry.

The new sensor also provides 720p video recording at 120fps and VGA resolution images at 240fps for slow motion playback on mobile phones.

In addition, the slim form factor fits a 8.5mm x 8.5mm auto focus camera module with a height dimension of 5.5mm gives design engineers a great deal of freedom in designing camera modules suitable for slim mobile handsets and small form factor applications.

Samsung’s S5K3H7 is scheduled for mass production next month.

It will be interesting to see what CMOS imager Samsung will pick for its upcoming flagship smartphone, the S2 already has a great camera, but as always, there is always room for improvement.

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