Samsung's ISOCELL Bright GW1 Sensor Could Bring 64MP Imagery To Galaxy S11

Samsung on Thursday announced a pair of new ISOCELL pixel image sensors that will likely find their inside the company's future phones, paving the way for higher resolution and sharper photographs. One of them, the 64-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GW1, could end up in the company's flagship Galaxy S11 next year.

The other ISOCELL addition is a 48-megapixel ISOCELL Bright GM2. Both of them are 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensors. With these two new sensors, Samsung offers a lineup of 0.8-micrometer pixel image sensors ranging from existing 20 megapixels all the way up to now 64 megapixels.

"Over the past few years, mobile phone cameras have become the main instrument for recording and sharing our everyday moments," said Yongin Park, executive vice president of sensor business at Samsung Electronics. "With more pixels and advanced pixel technologies, Samsung ISOCELL Bright GW1 and GM2 will bring a new level of photography to today’s sleekest mobile devices that will enhance and help change the way we record our daily lives."

Of course, when it comes to camera performance, there is more to it than just the number of megapixels. To that end, Samsung touts a fancy algorithm in the GW1 that it says can produce bright 16-megapixel images in low light environments, while delivering "highly-detailed 64-megapixel shots in brighter settings." It also supports high dynamic range (HDR) photography.

"To take pictures resembling the way the human eye perceives its surroundings in a mixed light environment, GW1 supports real-time high dynamic range of up to 100-decibels (dB) that provides richer hues. In comparison, the dynamic range of a conventional image sensor is at around 60dB, while that of the human eye is typically considered to be around 120dB," Samsung says.

Samsung claims its 48-megapixel GW2 also excels in low light conditions, but did not get into specifics, other than to say that both it and the GW1 utilize Tetracell technology. This involves merging multiple pixels to work as one to increase light sensitivity. In theory, allowing more light should reduce noise that is associated with photos taken in darker environments.

Both the GW1 and GW2 are sampling to customers and will go into mass production later this year. That means we could potentially see them in smartphones by the end of the year, or early 2020.