Since smartphone cameras are becoming just as good as most compact point-and-shoot cameras, steps must be taken in order to keep point-and-shoot cameras relevant. Toshiba thinks they have a solution and have unveiled the TCM5115CL 20MP image sensor, and it's the highest-resolution ever built specifically for point-and-shoots.
The new sensor is a 1/2.3-inch, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor that hits a crazy 20MP, which is a big jump from the 12-16MP sensors in many point-and-shoot cameras that are available today. To combat the noise and sensitivity issues that usually come with a denser design, Toshiba is using pixels that can absorb 15% more of a charge, and therefore more light.
Toshiba has also catered the sensor for high-speed shooting and video as well, with the potential for 1080p video recording at 60FPS and 30FPS burst shooting at full resolution, provided the camera's processor can keep up. Megapixels certainly aren't everything, so having a powerful camera to power the sensor is just as important.
Don't expect this new sensor to come anytime soon. Ideally, though, we should expect new cameras with the Toshiba sensor inside of them sometime in 2014, since mass production doesn't start until August 2013. Sadly, you won't have one of these bad boys for your summer vacation, but it's possible that you'll be able to grab one by the next summer.