Sony unveils 48-megapixel smartphone sensor

Sony unveils 48-megapixel smartphone sensor

Sony has announced the IMX586, a new smartphone sensor offering 48-megapixel resolution with a Quad Bayer design.

The new stacked sensor is 6.4 x 4.8mm, or a half-inch, making it about twice the size of the traditional 1/3-inch smartphone sensors.

And with a compact pixel size of 0.8 μm Sony is able to place 48 million pixels on the chip.

Sony says it designed the IMX586 sensor for low light and that it was ‘manufactured with techniques that improve light collection efficiency and photoelectric conversion efficiency over conventional products, resulting in the world’s first 0.8 μm pixel size, with both high sensitivity and high saturation signal level.’

By adopting the Quad Bayer color filter array, where the adjacent 2×2 pixels come in the same color, the new sensor delivers both high sensitivity and high resolution. In low light situations, such as shooting at night, the signal from the four adjacent pixels are added, raising the sensitivity to a level equivalent to that of 1.6 μm pixels (12 effective megapixels), to capture bright, low-noise photos and videos. When shooting bright scenes such as daytime outdoors, the built-in, original signal processing function performs array conversion, making it possible to obtain high-definition 48 effective megapixel images in real time.

Original Sony exposure control technology and signal processing functionality are built into the image sensor, enabling real-time output and a superior dynamic range that is four times greater than conventional products. Even scenes with both bright and dark areas can be captured with minimal highlight blowout or loss of detail in shadows while viewing the image on the smartphone display.

The IMX586 will also be capable of recording 4K (4096×2160) video at up to 90fps.

The new Sony smartphone sensor will be released in September 2018.