Days since MCO

MCO started on Mar 18, 2020


Days till RMCO lifted

RMCO expected to lift on Mar 31, 2021


Our coverage on COVID‑19

Samsung introduces a 16MP CMOS Sensor based on 1.0 micron pixels


As smart phones get better in photography, the protruding camera bumps are unavoidable these days. This is due to size constraints of its camera sensor that’s harder to fit on ultra-thin designs. With Samsung being a major player in the semiconductor business, they have just announced the industry’s first 1.0 micron pixel based 16MP CMOS Image Sensor for mobile devices.

The Samsung S5K3P3 image sensor utilises their own ISOCELL technology that was first featured on the Galaxy S5. This helps reduce crosstalk between nearby pixels and it helps to increase light sensitivity as well.

As a result, the new 16MP sensor is tinier than other 16MP image sensors in the market with up to 20% reduction in height. This allows smart phone designers to create a ultra-thin device with less protruding lenses without compromising on image quality. Samsung reckons that it will produce images that are on par with other 1.2 micron based image sensors in the market. As comparison, the IMX240 sensor that’s being used on the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy S6, is still based on 1.2 micron pixel size. Meanwhile the popular IMX214 13MP Sony Sensor that’s used by majority of flagship smart phones is has a pixel size of 1.12 micron.

Looking at the timing of the announcement, this compact 16MP Samsung image sensor could find its way onto the upcoming Galaxy Note 5 that’s launching on 13th August. However from the earlier leaked images that we saw, the Galaxy Note 5 still has a camera bump but it doesn’t seem to protrude as much as the current Galaxy S6/S6 edge. Camera bumps or not, what really matters is if it takes good shots with minimal fuss. As chosen by our readers, the 16MP Sony IMX240 is a stellar performer and that’s the benchmark to beat for this new in-house developed sensor.


Alexander Wong