Galaxy S5 to feature 16MP camera sensor: Korean report

October 21, 2013
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samsung isocell camera sensor 2

8MP Isocell sensor manufactured by Samsung System LSI

Galaxy S5 rumors began circulating early this year, supposedly due to Samsung’s decision to bring forward its release in early 2014, to offset the slumping sales of the Galaxy S4.

Korean IT portal ETNews reports today that Samsung opted for a 16MP CMOS camera sensor for the Galaxy S5, that may be manufactured by Sony or by Samsung’s own System LSI division.

Sony has so far held a dominant position in the high resolution (above 13MP) CMOS sensor market, supplying the 13MP sensor in most Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3 units. But Sony has strong competition from System LSI, Samsung’s chip making division.

System LSI has recently announced the mass manufacturing of an 8MP sensor with Isocell technology, which separates physical pixels to prevent light bleeding and thus reduce glare and noise in low lighting conditions. Samsung System LSI has also sampled 13MP and 16MP sensors to potential partners.

As the largest sensor maker in the world, Sony benefits from economies of scales, so it’s able to offer 16MP sensors at smaller prices, but Samsung System LSI is increasing its output to match Sony’s bid, says the report. Samsung will reportedly pick the sensor supplier for the Galaxy S5 by the end of the year.

As for the actual camera module, Samsung’s Electro-Mechanics division may be a good candidate: the group recently announced the development of a 13MP module with optical image stabilization (OIS).

Citing a Samsung “insider”, ETNews’ report states unequivocally that the “next big thing” will be equipped with a 16MP camera. With that said, nothing is set in stone this early in the development cycle, so caution is advised.

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