Samsung Electronics Co. showcased its own image sensor brand dubbed ISOCELL. This is the second time for Samsung to introduce a brand of its own system chip after mobile application processor (AP) “Exynos.”
Samsung’s latest move is part of its efforts to greatly strengthen the system chip business in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In particular, image sensors are widely used in autonomous vehicles and Internet of Things (IoT) devices as well as smartphones.
Samsung Electronics unveiled its ISOCELL brand with four new sub-brands of image sensors at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2017 held in China, on June 28. Image sensors are also applied in digital cameras and smartphones, allowing the devices to take photos by converting the light waves to electrical signals that were sent to a sensor. Recently, image sensors grow in importance as more and more consumers choose their smartphones considering the quality and color of photos taken by the devices.
According to the data from market research firm Gartner, Japan-based Sony Corp. currently ranks No. 1 in the global image sensor market with its "Exmor" solution at the market share of 45.8 percent, followed by Samsung Electronics with 19.4 percent. Although Samsung already stands as the No. 2 player in the area, the company did not hold a separate brand name for its image sensors.
The new brand is named after Samsung's ISOCELL technology introduced in 2013 for the first time in the world. The technology separates each pixel with a physical barrier that reduces color crosstalk among pixels.
Samsung ISOCELL is underlined by four technological sub-brands—Bright, Fast, Slim and Dual—that respond to specific market demands. Bright sensors are aimed at low-light shooting and will offer low noise and high color fidelity. Fast is all about instantaneous autofocus with the ability to track fast-moving objects even in the dark. Slim will go for thin sensors that still deliver great photos in slim devices. Dual will offer several sensors that can be paired up in various configuration for a modern dual camera setup.
Based on the ISOCELL brand, Samsung plans to target various sectors such as cameras, security devices and medical instruments. Image sensors are also at the core of self-driving technologies which should understand the traffic signals, movement of other cars on the road, road signs, traffic lanes and movement of pedestrians by reading video information.