Samsung Electronics has unveiled the industry's highest-resolution image sensor for smartphones. The company introduced on May 9 two new 0.8-micrometer (μm) pixel image sensors – the 64-megapixel (Mp) Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and 48 Mp ISOCELL Bright GM2.
The two new products expand Samsung’s 0.8 μm image sensor lineup, the smallest pixel size currently available in the market, from existing 20 Mp to ultra-high 64 Mp resolutions.
“Over the past few years, mobile phone cameras have become the main instrument for recording and sharing our everyday moments,” said Park Yong-in, executive vice president for samsung’s sensor business. “Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and GM2 will bring a new level of photography to today’s sleekest mobile devices that change the way we record our daily lives.”
The launch of the new image sensors followed the company’s announcement last month of an ambitious 133 trillion won investment plan for non-memory semiconductors. The sensor chip business is considered one of the key markets for system semiconductors.
"Although we presented our goal of becoming the No. 1 player in the system semiconductor sector in 2030, we don't want to wait that long in the sensor market," Park said.
Park said Samsung’s sensor business has barely started but its sales can grow to the level of memory semiconductors in the future. Noting that Samsung Electronics' sales in its memory semiconductor business grew 4.5 times from $1.9 billion in 1992 to $8.6 billion in 2002, Park said he expects the company’s image sensor sales, which currently stand at $2.46 billion, to grow at a similar pace.
"We are already making money with visual and auditory sensors. Yet it is technically difficult to develop tactile and olfactory sensors. We are currently working on them,” Park said. "The market for sensors is in its initial stage but it will grow fast” he added.
Samsung Electronics is planning to mass-produce the two latest products in the second half of this year. Currently, the global image sensor market is dominated by Japan’s Sony, which has a 50.1 percent share. Samsung is following Sony with a 20.5 percent market share.