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Samsung Announces 50-megapixel Image Sensor with Large 1.2μm-sized pixels

Samsung today introduced Samsung ISOCELL GN1, a new 50-megapixel (Mp) image sensor with large 1.2μm-sized pixels. The ISOCELL GN1 is Samsung’s first image sensor to offer both Dual Pixel and Tetracell technologies. The Samsung GN1 brings best-in-class auto-focusing with 100 million phase detection auto-focus (PDAF) agents. Samsung’s Dual Pixel technology places two photodiodes side-by-side within a single pixel that can receive light from different angles for phase detection. With all of the sensor’s active pixels working as auto-focusing agents, the GN1 can detect and focus onto a desired still or moving object from every corner in an instant, even in low-light conditions.

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When capturing images, a single pixel output is created by merging the outputs from the two photo diodes within the pixel. Samsung also provides a software algorithm that takes light information from each photodiode to produce image resolutions comparable to 100Mp. For ultimate low-light photography, the GN1 adopts Tetracell technology, a pixel-merging technique that improves the pixels’ capacity to capture and process more light. By binning four pixel signals into one, Tetracell doubles the image sensor’s pixel size to 2.4μm and quadruples the light sensitivity to take brighter 12.5Mp photographs. With improved light sensitivity combined with a powerful auto-focusing solution, the GN1 is able to focus on an object quickly even in extreme low-light environment to deliver both brighter and sharper results .

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In addition to Dual Pixel and Tetracell technologies, the GN1 comes with Smart-ISO that intelligently selects the optimal ISO, real-time HDR that captures the scene in multiple exposures simultaneously, and gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) that takes sharp images and video even when in motion. For premium video quality, the image sensor supports video recording at up to 8K resolution at 30 frames-per-second (fps). Samsung ISOCELL GN1 started mass production this month.