Samsung Starts Mass Producing ISOCELL JN1, The Smallest 50MP Camera Sensor For Smartphones

South Korean giant Samsung has introduced its latest image sensor for smartphone cameras – the Samsung ISOCELL JN1. The 50-megapixel Samsung ISOCELL JN1 comes as the industry’s first 0.64-micrometer (μm)-pixel image sensor. Equipped with the latest pixel technologies such as enhanced ISOCELL 2.0, Smart-ISO and Double Super PDAF, the JN1 can capture more vivid images on the industry’s smallest 50-megapixel mobile sensor. “The new Samsung ISOCELL JN1 at 0.64μm will be able to equip tomorrow’s sleekest smartphones with ultra-high resolution mobile photographs,” said Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of the sensor business at Samsung. Samsung said that the ISOCELL JN1 image sensor is currently in mass production.

The Samsung ISOCELL JN1 sensor employs ISOCELL 2.0 technology with added enhancements that improve light sensitivity by around 16-percent, according to Samsung. For low-light environments, the sensor utilises Samsung’s four-to-one pixel binning technology, Tetrapixel, which merges four adjacent 0.64μm-pixels into one big 1.28μm-pixel to quadruple light sensitivity for brighter 12.5Mp photographs. With such advanced technologies all embedded in a small 1/2.76-inch optical format, the ISOCELL JN1 is the most versatile image sensor yet from Samsung, the company claims. Through close collaboration with ecosystem partners, the JN1 is compatible with existing 1/2.8-inch products, allowing the sensor to be used for front-facing, ultra-wide or telephoto cameras, in addition to standard wide camera options. This means that users can take highly detailed selfies or group pictures in an amazing 50Mp resolution, as well as high-resolution video at up to 4K and high-zoom ratios. The smaller sensor can also reduce the height of the camera module by around 10-percent, minimising the camera bulge for slimmer and more streamlined designs in next-generation smartphones.

The Samsung ISOCELL JN1 comes with Smart-ISO, a technology that changes the conversion gain based on the environment’s illumination level. Smart-ISO uses Low ISO mode in bright settings to retain detail in the highlights, and High ISO in low-lit environments to reduce readout noise and generate excellent low-light performance. Using Smart-ISO, the JN1 also offers inter-scene HDR in mixed-light settings for optimum exposure levels derived from two separate readouts, from Low and High ISOs, that are merged to create a final image.

For faster auto-focus, the ISOCELL JN1 integrates improved Double Super PD technology. The previous Super PD technology used specially designed oval-shaped micro-lenses over two adjacent pixels arranged side by side to detect phases. Double Super PD features twice the density of pixels (1/16) used for phase detection than Super PD (1/32), enabling the same auto-focus performance even in environments with about 60-percent less illumination levels. For smooth crystal-clear videos, the image sensor supports up to 4K resolution video recording at 60 frames-per-second (fps) or full HD at 240fps.

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