Samsung's 1μm-pixel camera sensor to keep phones even thinner

Ever wondered why smartphones like the iPhone 6 or the Samsung Galaxy S6 have protruding rear cameras? That's because as thin as smartphones might be getting, the powerful camera sensors in them aren't. This leads to problems in finding ways to stash all of those inside in creative ways, like what Apple might be doing, or, more logically, creating smaller camera sensors that still perform as well as their bigger counterparts. Samsung claims it might have just have the latter solution in its new 1μm-pixel sensor.

Samsung's previous sensor measured 1.12μm (mirometers). This new one is 1.0μm. This makes the newer sensor only 5.0 mm thick, which is 20 percent thinner than that older model. In practice, that means that the new sensor, model name S5K3P3, can snuggly fit inside "one of the slimmest smartphones in the market". Hint hint.

The size, however, is the only thing that has changed. Samsung's highest megapixel count is still 16 megapixels. But that's ok, at least based on DxOMark's ratings. Samsung's 16 MP sensor on the Galaxy S6 edge easily outranked even Sony's 20.7 megapixel shooter. Plus, the smaller 1.0μm-pixel sensor still uses Samsung's patented ISOCELL technology that helps reduce color bleeding. All in all, this practically means the same performance on the older 1.12μm-pixel sensor but in a slimmer package.

Samsung says that the S5K3P3 1.0μm-pixel 16 megapixel camera sensor is ready for other OEMs to put inside their own devices. But Samsung also has a habit of pre-announcing features of its upcoming smartphones, hinting that the Galaxy Note 5 or the Galaxy S6 edge+ could have this sensor.

SOURCE: Samsung (1), (2)