Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chipworks Reveals Samsung 1.1um BSI Pixel with RGB-W CFA

Chipworks reverse engineering report reveals a second 1.12um pixel in the wild - Samsung S5K3L1. "The Samsung S5K3L1YX03 is a 12.1 Mp, 1.1 um pixel pitch back illuminated CMOS Image Sensor and represents only the second company (to date) to ship at this pixel generation".

Another quote:

"The S5K3L1 supports 12Mp full resolution images at 30 frames per second (fps) and 1080p full HD video at 60fps, 720p at 90fps, and VGA resolution images at 120fps. The new image sensor also includes an on-chip pixel correction feature. In addition, the 12Mp imager offers an RGB-white color filter array, which delivers advanced sensitivity while reducing noise, resulting in a 30 percent brighter image over that of a conventional RGB color filter array. The RGB-white filter feature works in conjunction with a complimentary [complementary - thanks to EF] logic chip".

Thanks to EK for the link!

9 comments:

  1. Now who wouldn't want a free logic chip!

    ReplyDelete
  2. wow..looks like everyone is going RGBW now...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our initial description was taken from a Samsung press (with misspelling included ;-). The phones procured for our current analysis use a S5K3L1YX03 CIS with a Bayer patterned RGB CFA, and not a RGB+W CFA which appears to be an option for this device. Regardless of the CFA arrangement, it is still a very innovative device and Samsung’s achievement of being 2nd to market at the 1.1 µm pixel generation with a very thin 12 Mp module is good news for the company.
    RF Chipworks

    ReplyDelete
  4. Are there any (and which) camera modules out there with RGBW? Seems like it should be imminent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sony has an RGBW sensor. There have been opinions expressed that while an RGBW sensor may reduce luminance noise, it actually will increase chrominance noise, which is far more objectionable and difficult to deal with than luminance noise. Also, the W sensor is likely to clip faster than the RGB sensors and may actually decrease dynamic range in high-contrast situations. While this matters for most people who are serious about photography the average cell phone snapper probably does not give a rats a** about highlight clipping or shadow chrominance noise.

      Delete
  5. Supposing there isn’t currently one in the wild, it is reasonable to assume RGB+W devices will begin to secure design wins in downstream products this year. 2012 looks to be a year of transition away from the workhorse Bayer-patterned CFA, at least for some upcoming devices on the small pixel road map. Sony and Samsung have product announcements for RGB+W and OmniVision discussed an RGBClear CFA for sub-micron pixels (OmniBSI3) in its 2011 IISW paper. We’ll see what we find in our product teardowns!

    RF Chipworks

    ReplyDelete
  6. Is this really a reverse engineering without a real device from chipworks? This report feels more like a paid advertising from Samsung.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think Chipworks analyzed a real RGB sensor found "in the wild" and noted that Samsung is also offering an RGBW version along with a companion logic chip according to Samsung literature. The RGBW version does not seem to exist yet "in the wild." I can't imagine the the analysis of RGBW would be a lot different from the analysis of RGBG, except a change in one filter in the color kernel.

    ReplyDelete

All comments are moderated to avoid spam.