In an official blogpost, Samsung has hinted that it has started work on image sensors with resolutions as high as 600MP which places its camera lenses at a position beyond the human eye. The Korean technology giant was among the first to manufacture and use 108MP ISOCELL camera sensors in smartphones. The blog post also delved into the details of how Samsung became capable of using such a high number of megapixels in small sensors. The company has been using ‘Nonacell technology’ which employs a 3×3 pixel structure compared to a standard 2×2 array.
This allows nine 0.8μm pixels to function as one 2.4-μm pixel thereby also increasing the amount of light absorption that the pixels are capable of. This setup also improves low-light performance of the sensors.
Sensors for taste and smell
Beyond high megapixel sensors, Samsung is also researching sensors that can detect wavelengths beyond the human eye’s capability such as ultraviolet light. These could be used to detect cancer cells while the infrared sensors could be put to use in dark light photography. Furthermore, the company also indicated that its research scientists would be working on sensors that can register smell or taste.Apart from smartphones, Samsung says that it is looking to provide camera sensors for autonomous vehicles, drones, and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices.
When can be expected?
Samsung hasn’t actually detailed a road map as to when we could see these sensors or how it would overcome the challenges towards achieving such high megapixel counts. However, it reiterated that the high MP count trend will continue through 2020 and beyond. It is also possible that 600MP sensors might not be used in smartphones at all as there is nothing in the blogpost that actually suggests such a possibility. This bit of news comes amidst reports that we could possibly see a 256MP camera by the end of this year itself.
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