Samsung Intros 5-Megapixel SoC Image Sensor For High-end Mobile Phones

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News Posted: Tue, Sep 22 2009 6:00 PM
Samsungannounced the S5K4EA, a new quarter-inch optical format, 5-megapixel system-on-chip(SoC) image sensor that will bring high quality digital still camerafunctionality to high-end mobile phones. This imager combines a CMOS imagesensor with an image signal processor to give mobile handset designers a costeffective and size efficient solution.

The S5K4EA SoC imager offers adaptive dynamic rangeexpansion capabilities to help brighten shadowed areas of a picture andintensify brighter regions. The imager also has an anti-shake control featureand the ability to process 1080p resolution images at 30 frames-per-second forhigh quality video capture.

Although it will be a little while before you and I see thebenefits of this new imager in our phones, mass production of the imager is slatedfor the first quarter of 2010.

Samsung’s New5-Megapixel SoC Image Sensor Brings Digital Still Camera
Capabilities toHigh-end Mobile Phones

TAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESSWIRE)--Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a world leader in advancedsemiconductor solutions, announced its newest quarter-inch optical format,5-megapixel (Mp) system-on-chip (SoC) image sensor, the S5K4EA, which bringsdigital still camera functionality to high-end mobile phones. The chip was revealedat the sixth annual Samsung Mobile Solutions Forum held at the Westin TaipeiHotel. Targeted at smart phones and advanced handsets, the S5K4EA SoC imagercombines a CMOS image sensor with an image signal processor, giving mobilehandset designers a cost effective and size efficient solution.

“Mobile phones today allow us to stay in contact withfriends and family not only by voice and text but also with high resolutionimages,” said Dr. Lee Yun Tae, senior vice president, image development team,System LSI Division, Samsung Electronics. “To meet the current demand forslimmer, sleeker mobile phones with digital still camera capabilities, Samsungbrings 1.4-micron (um) pixel technology to this state-of-the-art imagersolution.”

Samsung’s S5K4EA imager has regionally adaptive dynamicrange expansion to brighten shadowed areas of a picture and intensify theclarity of brighter regions. In addition, its fast frame capture withanti-shaking control feature enables sharp pictures by reducing blur caused byjitter from unsteady hands. Capable of processing 1080p resolution images at 30frames-per-second, the S5K4EA supports high quality video capture on advancedmobile phones.

To meet the current trend of ever smaller mobile deviceswith HD capabilities, Samsung’s advanced pixel shrink technology was utilizedto achieve a tiny, ultra-sensitive 1.4um pixel size. Samsung’s proprietarypixel technology, the Samsung Enhanced Energy Steering (SEES), integrates morelight into an optimized pixel structure to present clear, high resolutionimages. Advanced noise removal logic is also used to further improve imageperformance.

Samsung’s S5K4EA also offers auto focus, Xenon flash,mechanical or electronic rolling shutter. For designers, this new imager has aYUV output interface over MIPI2 or parallel. It also has JPEG with thumbnailoutput to speed up picture browsing on the phone.

The S5K4EA imager is available in an auto focus 8.5x8.5x6mmor smaller module. Samples are currently available with mass production slatedfor the first quarter of 2010.

According to market research firm, Techno Systems Research,camera phones are forecast to rise from 750 million units sold in 2009 to 1.23billion units in 2013. The sales volume of 5Mp and higher high resolutioncamera phones is expected to reach 98 million units in 2009 and grow to 660million units in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate of 61 percent.
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neilganon replied on Tue, Sep 22 2009 10:09 PM

So a 5MP sensor? How is this different than the ones we have in phones today? I Guess its the signal processor, being able to output images at 1080p. Or is it higher quality?

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sonicb00m replied on Tue, Sep 22 2009 10:14 PM

I believe it's still 1080p but I'm not certain

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realneil replied on Wed, Sep 23 2009 12:31 PM

It's just better. Most phones have a 1.3MP or a 1.5MP sensor so a 5.0MP sensor means dramatically better quality pictures.

I think that's a good thing too.

Technology just keeps getting better all of the time and I love being along for the ride.

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