Samsung is a powerful number 2. Faced with the leader Sony, the Korean continues to grab market share in the field of image sensors. After ramping up in CMOS sensors, here is Samsung bulking up its muscles when it comes to the so-called ToF (Time of Flight) time-of-flight sensors and announces its ISOCELL Vizion 33D.
A sensor that holds the high for Sony models in terms of image definition with its 640 x 480 pixels (0.3 Mpix) and its 7 micron photodiodes – yes, it is not very defined, but it is nevertheless the top of what is done in ToF!
The new component from Samsung has the advantage of enjoying a refresh rate of up to 120 Hz as well as a demodulation on four angles: 0 °, 90 °, 180 ° and 270 °. The benefit of this technology? The Vizion 33D can generate a depth image in a single shot, not by compiling multiple images. Enough to further accelerate authentication by facial recognition, for example.
Operating on objects placed between 20cm and 5m away, this ToF sensor is energy efficient – 400mW in use for the IR illuminator and sensor – and very small. It can therefore be placed on the front as well as on the back of a smartphone, where it can be used for augmented reality (AR) as well as for autofocus support.
No information has filtered out as to its possible implementation in the next generation of Galaxy terminals or at another brand. But what is certain is that the acceleration of competition in time-of-flight sensors should allow the technology to evolve even more rapidly.