While 2018 was definitely the year of the notch, 2019 is shaping up to be the year of displays which include a discreet hole for the camera. Samsung is getting ahead of the curve with their latest small form factor ISOCell camera sensor designed with a minimalist footprint to fit these new use cases.
The ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is a 20MP sensor which Samsung says can be used on the front or rear of mid-range devices utilising the newer ‘hole-in display’ or even the existing ‘notch design’ found in modern smartphones.
Jinhyun Kwon, vice president of System LSI sensor marketing at Samsung Electronics said of the new sensor
The ISOCELL Slim 3T2 is our smallest and most versatile 20Mp image sensor that helps mobile device manufacturers bring differentiated consumer value not only in camera performance but also in features including hardware design. As the demand for advanced imaging capabilities in mobile devices continue to grow, we will keep pushing the limits in image sensor technologies for richer user experiences.
The image sensor measures just 1/3.4 inches (approximately 5.1mm diagonally) allowing capture of light on the 0.8μm-pixel sensor. Despite the smaller 0.8μm pixel size, Samsung says the sensor will still offer high standards of colour fidelity thanks to their ISOCELL Plus technology which ‘enables sensors to capture and absorb more light information for accurate color (sic) reproduction’.
The module can be used in two configurations depending on its placement. Samsung’s Tetracell technology allowing the sensor to merge four pixels into one for the equivalent of a 1.6μm-pixel image sensor at 5Mp resolution when the sensor is set up as a front-facing module. When used as a rear facing module, the sensor can be setup for telephoto solutions with an RGB colour filter array with the module retaining ’60-percent higher effective resolution at 10x digital zoom that presents clearer and more accurate results’ when compared with a 13MP sensor of the same height.
Samsung says that the new sensor will be in mass production in the first quarter of this year.