Samsung tipped to announce 144MP imaging sensor

Samsung tipped to announce 144MP imaging sensor
As we told you earlier today, the 108MP sensor rumored to be found on the Samsung Galaxy S11+ could employ a 9:1 pixel binning ratio as opposed to the usual 4:1 ratio. This would produce sharp 12MP images with a record pixel size of 2.4 microns. But if Samsung is going to keep using 12MP images, the pixel binning ratio could be rising to 12:1 before the end of next year. That's because graphs tweeted by tipster Ice Universe suggest that the tipster believes Samsung will announce a 144MP image signal processor (ISP) built using the 14nm FinFET process.

Interestingly, it was just last week when Samsung announced a new manufacturing system to produce imaging sensors using the 14nm FinFET process. The process number relates to the number of transistors inside a chip; the smaller the process figure, the larger the number of transistors packed inside an integrated circuit. Chips with more transistors offer improved performance and energy efficiency. The information that Ice Universe included with his tweets bare that out.

The competition among smartphone manufacturers to produce the best photographs in the industry is cutthroat


First, we should point out that the planar method involves building individual components of a transistor and then putting them together. FinFET ICs use "fins" to control the voltage of a chip helping it to increase performance with lower energy consumption. One graph shows that a 12MP ISP made using the 14nm FinFET process uses 37% less energy in digital and 18% less in analog than a 12MP ISP made using the 28nm planar process. A second chart simulates the power consumption of a 144MP ISP in 10fps capture mode. The chip, manufactured using the 14nm FinFET process, consumes 42% less energy in digital and 21% less in analog when compared to a similar ISP built using the 28nm planar method.

And with Qualcomm announcing that the Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform will support sensors up to 200MP, the rumor about an upcoming 144MP sensor could very well be true. We shouldn't expect to see a 144MP sensor in the Galaxy S11+, but perhaps the technology will be ready for the Galaxy Note 11+.


The Samsung Galaxy S11 line could be unveiled on February 18th and we could see as many as five cameras on the back of the Galaxy S11+. That would include the aforementioned 108MP primary camera, an improved ultra-wide camera, two telephoto cameras (one using a periscope technology to produce 5x optical zoom) and a Time of Flight (ToF) sensor for improved bokeh blurs on portraits, enhanced AR capabilities and secure 3D mapping. The 108MP sensor will reportedly team up with the telephoto cameras to deliver 50x hybrid zoom and 100x digital zoom. This is a feature that might be called "Space Zoom" by Samsung. A 144MP sensor is sure to take the potential of "Space Zoom" even higher.

Photography remains one of the most competitive battlegrounds in the smartphone industry. Apple took its game to a new level this year by adding the Deep Fusion computational photography feature, an ultra-wide camera, slow-motion selfies and Night Mode. But Samsung and Huawei are poised to set the tone for 2020 with the Galaxy S11 and P40 lines. And while photography has always been an evolving feature of the smartphone industry, this might be the most cutthroat we've seen it since Nokia, Apple, and Samsung battled over photographic supremacy (including low-light capabilities) six years ago. At that time, the Nokia Lumia 1020 featured the most ambitious smartphone camera ever used on a handset to that point. That camera weighed in at 41MP, offered OIS and an aperture of f/2.2. That compared to the 8MP rear camera used on the iPhone 5 and the 13MP camera employed by the Galaxy Note 3.

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11 Comments

1. darkkjedii

Posts: 31764; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Haters incoming.

3. Alcyone

Posts: 613; Member since: May 10, 2018

In my opinion, the biggest hater will be PA. My observations are that Samsung is under more scrutiny than others on PA when it comes to new tech/features. Thats juat honest opinion.

6. shafayatsohail

Posts: 50; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

Samsung sycophants are already here.

12. midan

Posts: 3227; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

I don't see any haters. You know those childish haters are in different brand comment sections ;)

2. Plutonium239

Posts: 1262; Member since: Mar 17, 2015

The lumia 1020 was my favorite phone of all time. However the chipset didn't fully support the camera and as a result taking pictures could be a slow process and wasn't as good as that sensor was otherwise capable of.

4. shafayatsohail

Posts: 50; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

For zooming, You need a proper lens arrangement, not a high mega pixel sensor. And what the hell am I going to do work a 144MP image which will look hazy? What don't they make a native 24MP 1/1.5" 6000x4000p sensor?

7. shawman

Posts: 89; Member since: Sep 18, 2012

as vincelongman posts below, this should be bigger than sensor on Pureview 808. Only phone released ever with bigger sensor was Panasonic one with 1" sensor. But that was camera with phone capabilities.

8. Whitedot

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 26, 2017

Same here. Although it will offer pixel binding by the factor of 9, OEM always brag about numbers. The higher is the "better". It makes people to doubt that one day they will do a poster print and they will need that resolution. Very few pictures ever end up in the print machine and most if not all in social media ocean. What uninspiring pixel war.

5. vincelongman

Posts: 5810; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

This if 144MP sensor has 0.8um pixels it would be roughly 1/1.15" That's about 13% bigger than the Nokia 808 PureView's 1/1.2" sensor

10. asirfaysal

Posts: 104; Member since: Jul 19, 2016

This mega pixel count comes handy when you take pictures of school posters.

11. shafayatsohail

Posts: 50; Member since: Jan 14, 2016

No matter what others think, I hate 3:4 sensors

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