Update, January 29 2019 (2:35AM ET): It looks like Samsung has indeed acquired camera company Corephotonics, according to two outlets with knowledge of the matter.
Calcalist and Globes reported the purchase, confirming that the Korean brand splashed out $155 million for the innovative camera firm. We’ve contacted Corephotonics to clarify the news and will update the article if/when we receive a response.
The purchase could potentially spoil the party for Oppo, which has worked with Corephotonics in recent years to demonstrate better smartphone zoom capabilities. The two companies previously showed off a periscope camera setup that offered 5x zoom. The firms even signed a collaboration agreement last year, with the aim of developing Oppo’s camera roadmap.
Clearly, this acquisition could grant Samsung some impressive zoom technology, although it’s far too early to expect the tech in the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy Note 10.
Original article, January 28 2019 (3:38AM ET): Zoom is one of the biggest challenges facing mobile manufacturers, with telephoto secondary cameras often being used instead of bulky lenses. However, Samsung is reportedly in talks to acquire a company with some interesting zoom-related tech.
The Korean brand is in “advanced talks” to acquire Israeli company Corephotonics for between $150 million and $160 million, according to Israeli publication Globe.
Corephotonics is no stranger to the smartphone industry, having worked with Oppo to show off a periscope camera solution. The camera setup, demonstrated at MWC 2017, enables 5x lossless zoom with the aid of a prism.
The Israeli company also signed a collaboration agreement with Oppo last year. Coincidentally, the Chinese brand has been touting a 10x zoom solution this year, so we’d assume the Israeli company has contributed some of its know-how to this feature.
A zoom-focused triple camera setup?
Samsung could steal Oppo’s thunder if it chooses to buy the camera firm, acquiring a company with years of zoom-related expertise and roughly 150 filed patents in its arsenal. The Korean manufacturer could potentially obtain the periscope solution for 5x zoom as well. And this technology has been mooted for triple camera setups, according to the camera company’s 2018 triple camera white paper.
“Combined with multi-frame technologies, image fusion and multi-scaling, this camera (setup) could provide up to a total of 25x zoom factor,” read an excerpt of the firm’s white paper. By comparison, Huawei’s hybrid zoom technology on the Mate 20 Pro and P20 Pro tops out at 5x zoom.
A successful purchase means Samsung could potentially have a massive zoom advantage over the competition, then. But it would also come with some baggage, as the Israeli firm is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Apple. The camera company claims Apple used its patented technology in dual-camera iPhones.