Samsung Unveils Details on its New 200MP HP1 Smartphone Sensor

Samsung has published a new promotional video detailing the features of its new ISOCELL HP1 mobile image sensor. The company explains that the benefit of 200-megapixels isn’t just that photos are larger, but that detail can be preserved even after they have been digitally zoomed or cropped. Photos taken at maximum size have an effective resolution of 16,384 x 12,288 pixels and can be captured at a rate of up to 7.5 per second. At a compressed 50-megapixel resolution, the sensor can shoot up to 30 frames per second, and up to 120 frames per second at 12.5-megapixels.

In the three-minute video, Samsung Sensor Design Team member Minho Kwon shares the various technologies the HP1 sensor brings to mobile image. Specifically, he addresses the 0.64μm pixel size of the sensor, as well as its various pixel-binning modes, including the 4-to-1 pixel binning (to give an equivalent pixel size of 1.28μm) used when recording 8K video, as well as 16-to-1 pixel binning (to give an equivalent pixel size of 2.56μm) used in a low-light environment for still images.

The HP1 sensor uses a color filter array in which each of the primary colors covers a 4 x 4 group of photodiodes (effectively a 12MP Bayer pattern). The camera then interpolates the missing R,G or B values within these 4×4 regions, in its high-res mode, using what Samsung calls its ‘re-mosaicing’ algorithm. This algorithm has been trained using machine learning to produce more plausible results than simple mathematical interpolation.

Minho Kwon also details Samsung’s Smart ISO technology, a dual-gain mode that intelligently switches between gain levels to achieve maximum detail in both light and dark environments. For autofocus, the HP1 uses what Samsung calls Double Super PD, a phase-detection autofocus system that it says enables faster, more accurate focus with the use of micro-lenses and dedicated autofocus pixels. Each micro-lens covers two autofocus pixels, comparing the left and right phases to focus the image. No new information is presented in the video, but it’s a great look into a pixel-packed sensor we’ll likely see inside next year’s flagship smartphones.

More info on Samsung’s website.

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