Samsung Launches 20MP Ultra-Thin ISOCELL Camera Sensor For Punch Hole Display Phones

Samsung today officially announced its latest ISOCELL camera sensor, which was specifically designed with "punch hole" displays in mind, or in Samsung parlance, Infinity-O. The problem with the tiny holes cut into the display to make room for a front-facing camera is the accompanying image sensor also has to fit within this cutout.

ISOCELL Slim 3T2 front back

Enter the ISOCELL Slim 3T2, which Samsung says is the industry's smallest image sensor, measuring just 1/3.4 inches (5.1 millimeters) diagonally. Samsung's new 20MP sensor features pixels that are 0.8 microns in size and uses pixel-binning, which it calls Tetracell, to combine four pixels to function as one.

With this in mind, Samsung says that its new ISOCELL Slim 3T2 sensor can capture images with sharp details in extreme low-light conditions. In fact, Samsung says that Tetracell technology would allow a smartphone to capture images using the equivalent of a 5MP 1.6-micron sensor.

While the ISOCELL Slim 3T2 was designed with punch hole displays in mind, it can also be used in multi-camera, rear-facing configurations as well. However, the sensor will rely on a standard RGB color filter array in this instance rather than Tetracell.

galaxy s10 evan blass
Samsung Galaxy S10 family with Infinity-O displays.

“As the demand for advanced imaging capabilities in mobile devices continue to grow, we will keep pushing the limits in image sensor technologies for richer user experiences," said Jinhyun Kwon, Samsung's VP of System LSI sensor marketing.

Samsung says that the ISOCELL Slim 3T2 will enter mass production this quarter, and we're likely to see it show up in a number of the company's own smartphones including the upcoming Galaxy S10 family.