Sony announces highest-resolution image sensor for phone cameras

Although the smartphone unit of Sony is not producing a remarkable performance, the company happens to still be the leader in the market of image sensors. The company has produced its latest CMOS design, the IMX586 with the potential of an advancement in the area of image quality with an increase in resolution to forty-eight megapixels (48MPs) or (8000 x 6000), that according to Sony is the highest pixel count in the industry.

The topic of image quality is not just one of adding more megapixels because adding more megapixels can even hamper its achievement as smaller pixels can lead to noisy photos in low light. The 0.8-micron pixels used in this new sensor will be the smallest available in the market. Be that as it may, Sony states that it will short-circuit this hack with the use of a quad Bayer colour filter array and it will let each pixel use signals from the four adjacent pixels which hypothetically serves to raise sensitivity to light to an equivalent of a 12-megapixel image captured with 1.6-micron pixels.

Devices from Nokia’s 808 PureView in 2012 to the Huawei P20 of this year have at one time ran tests with pixel-binning methods that are somewhat the same on sensors that have 40 megapixels or even more, however, the IMX586 of Sony appears to be a more conventional solution. Sony is keeping the size of the sensor at 8mm diagonal and this means that a huge camera bump will be absolutely unnecessary, even though the lens that is in front of the sensor will have a major role to play in the ability of the camera to resolve an image. The idea is also centered on producing images of 48 megapixels instead of producing images with lesser megapixels by default. Although this may not be entirely useful for the images that are taken every day, it should at the very least provide an instance for a better digital zoom.

The IMX586 should be available on smartphones by next year. Sony plans to begin shipment of the samples by September at a cost of 3,000 yen ($27) each.

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