November 7, 2013
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samsung 13MP ois camera moduleThis year’s top smartphone models from Samsung, including the Galaxy S4 and Galaxy Note 3, feature a 13 megapixel camera, but for next year the electronics giant is planning to up the ante and ship devices with 16 megapixel cameras. According to a report by the Electronic Times, the default camera for Samsung’s 2014 premium smartphones will be a 16 megapixel module as the company continues to outdo Apple in the numbers game.

It is believed that Samsung will use the 16 megapixel module in up to 25 percent of its smartphones planned for release next year. Since Samsung’s estimated smartphone shipments for 2014 is some 360 million units, that means that the 16 megapixel camera could find its way into around 90 million Samsung smartphones.

However the existing 13 megapixel modules won’t disappear as it is bumped to lesser devices and it will still appear in any of the current models which will continue to be manufactured next year. According to the report, the 13 megapixel camera will be shipped in around 36 million units during 2014.

Samsung currently makes its own camera modules in a factory in Vietnam which is operated by Samsung Electro-Mechanics, one of the Samsung Group’s subsidiaries. With the demand for 16 megapixel modules expected to increase significantly over the next 12 months the factory is reportedly already increasing its production to 20 million units per month.

At the moment Sony is the biggest maker of CMOS image sensors for 13 megapixels or higher, but Samsung is quickly gaining ground on its Japanese competitor.  However the actual image sensor isn’t the only part which goes into making a camera. Other parts needed include auto-focus (AF) actuators, lenses and filters. As the demand for 16 megapixel sensors increases so will the demand for these other components.

What are your thoughts? Are you looking forward to the Samsung Galaxy S5 or Galaxy Note 4 with a 16 megapixel camera?

Gary Sims
Gary has been a tech writer for over a decade and specializes in open source systems. He has a Bachelor's degree in Business Information Systems.He has many years of experience in system design and development as well as system administration, system security and networking protocols. He also knows several programming languages, as he was previously a software engineer for 10 years.
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