As smartphone design evolves manufacturers continue to push for thinner devices. The desire to reduce the size of phones in terms of depth has already resulted in several devices abandoning the 3.5mm audio jack. As boundaries are pushed, this sometimes results in some odd compromises as manufacturers try to work around components that are still relatively bulky. An example of this is camera technology where new features and capabilities result in camera units that have to be incorporated in humps on smartphones. Samsung hopes to help with that with their latest image sensors, the ISOCELL Fast 2L9 and the ISOCELL Slim 2X7.
The ISOCELL Fast 2L9 incorporates a Dual Pixel technology which puts two photodiodes in each pixel of the sensor. At the same time, Samsung has reduced the sensor’s pixel size from 1.4μm to 1.28μm. Samsung says the combination of dual pixels and smaller pixels means the sensor can focus more quickly on both small objects and on moving objects, but can do so in more challenging low-light environments. Dual lens-type technology is also frequently used for depth-of-field effects like bokeh. Many manufacturers have been using two actual lens for this purpose, so the Dual Pixel technology that puts this capability into a single lens is a positive step.
Meanwhile, with the ISOCELL Slim 2X7, Samsung says they have shrunk the pixel size down to 0.9μm, which they say makes it the first sensor with a pixel size below 1.0μm. Samsung says they have employed various technologies to ensure the sensor is able to capture accurate colors with less noise despite the small size of the pixels. Samsung also included Tetracell technology on this camera sensor, which they say will help with capturing photos in the dark. This is done by combining four neighboring pixels with a given pixel to work as one unit for light sensitivity purposes.
Samsung says the new camera sensors are small enough to be deployed as either rear- or front-facing cameras.