This tiny new image sensor Will revolutionise smartphone photography

The camera sensor technology kind of matured. We have been using the same kind of sensors for a decade without much innovation. But that is about to change thanks to a semiconductor company Spectricity.

The most amount of improvements we saw in sensors is in smartphone camera sensors. There is ISOCELL technology from Samsung. RYYB colour filter technology from Huawei. The semiconductor company Spectricity unveiled a new sensor which will revolutionise smartphone photography forever.

The prototype of the sensor

Spectricity has developed a proprietary spectral imaging technology that can capture colours more accurately in any lighting condition. They call it the S1 multispectral image sensor. This sensor can see more light than any regular RGB sensor. It can also see the near-infrared spectrum. As a result the sensor can take more natural photos with better white balance.

According to Spectricity’s CEO Vincent Mouret in a Digital Trends interview said “We add filters to create up to 16 different images with different colors, different wavelengths of light, light coming from different sources, and the reflected light coming from the object of the scene. You can identify many different properties thanks to these different images compared to a standard RGB.”

Image demo of the sensor

All the smartphone company’s (Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei) process colours in different ways. Photos look different in different lighting conditions. In the same scene taken with a spectral imager the colours look as if they are seen by our naked eyes.

The spectral imager analyses the lighting conditions to give photos the right tone. This imager is just a sensor just like a depth sensor. It takes photos but the photos are not individually usable. The sensor has to be used alongside a conventional RGB sensor.



Mouret said to Digital Trends “Our image sensor has a VGA resolution, 800 x 600 pixels. You need to combine this smaller spectral image with an RGB image. The module itself is really very small. It has been designed to be integrated in a smartphone. So it’s 5mm by 5mm by 6mm,

The Spectricity S1 sensor is a world’s first. The sensor will have to be used with a Image Signal Processor (ISP) used by smartphone processors from Qualcomm and MediaTek.

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The first phone with this sensor is expected to come on high-end phones. It will be in small volume in 2024 but higher volume in 2025. And then starting in 2026, it will be more widespread. The CEO expects that the sensor will be used in all smartphones within the coming years.


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