The Samsung ISOCELL family of camera sensors for smartphones has replenished with another novelty- a model called ISOCELL GN1. She has two key features: the first-larger "pixels" of 1.2 microns in size, the second is Samsung's first sensor, supporting both Dual Pixel and Tetracell technologies. Thanks to its relatively large photosensitive cell size, Samsung ISOCELL GN1 is said to take mobile cameras to the next level, combining higher photo-sensitivity for low-light shots and faster auto-focus like SLR cameras for dynamic scenes.
1.2 microns is the cell size used in traditional photo sensors for smartphone cameras, while the last year on the market there is a clear tendency to rapidly increase the resolution and reduce the physical size of individual cells (yes, the megapixel race). If we talk about Samsung, we can recall that the transition from 64MP to 108MP that took only six months- it is the sensor of this resolution (second generation) that is used in the current flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra. Also, according to the latest rumors, by the middle of the year, Samsung will move to the next stage with the release of the next-generation inch high-resolution sensor with a resolution of 150MP. We also heard about ambitious plans to create a 600MP camera sensor to the market, which could be used in various fields like autonomous vehicles, drones, and IoT. Returning to the topic of news, Samsung ISOCELL GN1 is a direct competitor to the new Sony IMX689 sensor, which is characterized by a resolution of 48MP and a cell size of 1.22 microns. By default, the Samsung sensor will capture photos with a resolution of 12.5MP combining the signal of four neighboring pixels.
Dual Pixel is another prominent feature of the new sensor. As you know, the latest flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra with a 108MP camera without Dual Pixel had problems with focusing-after complaints from journalists and users, the company released several firmware updates to improve camera performance. According to Samsung, the new ISOCELL GN1 sensor has the fastest phase-detection AF system on the market. Dual Pixel technology places two photo-diodes next to each other in one pixel, which can receive light from different angles to determine the phase. Thanks to this, the sensor is able to instantly detect and focus on the desired stationary or moving object from any angle, even in low light conditions. Samsung also provides a software algorithm that receives light information from each photo-diode to produce high-resolution images comparable to 100MP.
Samsung ISOCELL GN1 also supports Smart-ISO technology to automatically select the "correct" value of light sensitivity depending on the environment, electronic stabilization, and supports video recording up to 8K at 30fps. Samsung has already started mass production of ISOCELL GN1, so you probably won't have to wait long for the first smartphones to appear with it.