Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Samsung is Aiming for 600MP Sensor, IR, UV, Multispectral

Samsung publishes an article "Rivaling the Human Eye: How Samsung is Opening Up the Possibilities for Image Sensor Technology" by Yongin Park, EVP, Head of Sensor Business Team, System LSI Business. Few quotes:

"The image sensors we ourselves perceive the world through – our eyes – are said to match a resolution of around 500 megapixels (Mp). Compared to most DSLR cameras today that offer 40Mp resolution and flagship smartphones with 12Mp, we as an industry still have a long way to go to be able to match human perception capabilities.

Aiming for 600Mp for All

To date, the major applications for image sensors have been in the smartphones field, but this is expected to expand soon into other rapidly-emerging fields such as autonomous vehicles, IoT and drones. Samsung is proud to have been leading the small-pixel, high-resolution sensor trend that will continue through 2020 and beyond, and is prepared to ride the next wave of technological innovation with a comprehensive product portfolio that addresses the diverse needs of device manufacturers.

Through relentless innovation, we are determined to open up endless possibilities in pixel technologies that might even deliver image sensors that can capture more detail than the human eye.


  1. A main difference of the human eye is: there are no frames as in a CIS. The brain does not process 500MP images. Massive data reduction already in the sensor. A DVS has more in common with the eye than a 600MP CIS.

  2. Albert Theuwissen - Harvest ImagingApril 22, 2020 at 8:29 AM

    And what about power consumption ? The human eye is EXTREMELEY power efficient, even less than 1 mW, for those great imaging devices we all have. And most of us even have two of them.

  3. What about pixel pitch? Is it useful to have it significantly smaller than the wavelength? And what about lenses, especially smartphone lenses? Can they correctly resolve? The MTF is the full system, not only the sensor.

    1. Exactly! Seems another bullish announcement from Samsung top management: they will soon or later discover they still have a lot to learn to go beyond their traditional ‘playground’ ;)

  4. In the case of that the 600Mp is working in full resolution mode and supporting digital zoom,
    the pixel size at the mode will be quite small(0.6um? 0.5um? or below),
    so image quality will inevitably be degraded by much.
    I'm really curious how to deal with this problem.
    And even for 0.8um or below, if we consider the dual camera setup,
    pixel size gap between the main's and the tele's will get larger
    and it will produce image quality gap between the 2 cameras.
    I believe Samsung has clear solutions on them.

  5. There's a few great articles comparing human vision to sensor megapixels: https://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/cameras-vs-human-eye.htm and https://clarkvision.com/articles/eye-resolution.html for example. But Kirchhoff diffraction in a relatively thin device is going to make for a sensor at least 4x larger, with an associated increase in lens diameter.

    A small pixel size is going to blur red and IR imaging and going multispectral is going to involve 5 pixels instead of 3 (or 4 in some sensors) further increasing the required size of the sensor.

    To obtain 600 MP it would make far more sense to use multiple sensors (even 6 with the IR sensor doubling for facial recognition, the UV sensor of interest to flower photographers and detecting skin cancer) and computational photography to fuse the images.


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