Samsung launches first ISOCELL image sensor for automotive applications

Article by: Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd

The ISOCELL Auto 4AC sensor is Samsung’s first imaging solution optimized for automotive applications.

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd has launched ISOCELL Auto 4AC, an automotive image sensor that provides advanced 120dB high dynamic range (HDR) and LED flicker mitigation (LFM), especially for surround-view monitors ( SVM) or Rear View Cameras (RVC) in high-definition 1280 by 960 resolution. The new sensor is Samsung’s first imaging solution optimized for automotive applications.

“The new ISOCELL Auto 4AC combines Samsung’s innovative and proven image sensor technologies with a unique CornerPixel solution for advanced HDR and LFM capabilities, delivering exceptional viewing experiences in any lighting condition,” said Duckhyun Chang, executive vice president of the sensor business at Samsung. Electronic. “Starting with the ISOCELL Auto 4AC, we plan to expand our range of automotive sensors into areas such as camera monitoring systems (CMS), autonomous driving and in-cab monitoring.”

Various lighting situations on the road can create obstacles for the driver. Rapid transitions from a dimly lit environment to a brighter one, such as exiting a tunnel, can take a few seconds for the driver’s eyes to adjust. Additionally, the flickering of LED headlights or traffic signs, such as streetlights and traffic lights, may become increasingly noticeable on the car system’s camera screen.

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The ISOCELL Auto 4AC provides a safer driving experience with an improved field of vision for the driver thanks to its CornerPixel technology, which features a specialized pixel structure that attenuates LED light above 90 Hz. In a single pixel area, it incorporates two photodiodes, a 3.0µm pixel for viewing low-light images and a 1.0µm pixel placed at the corner of the large pixel for brighter environments. With two photodiodes capturing images in different exposures simultaneously, the sensor delivers up to 120dB HDR with minimal motion blur, enabling smoother transitions between dark and bright areas while preserving more detail on the road ahead.

To minimize LED flicker, the exposure time of the smaller photodiode can be extended, preventing the pulsed LED light from displaying as flicker on the camera screen. This provides a more enjoyable viewing experience for the driver and more accurate image data of LED-embedded objects for the car system to recognize.

The Samsung ISOCELL Auto 4AC is available in a 1/3.7 inch optical format with 1.2 million 3µm pixels, and for streamlined client system installations an Image Signal Processor (ISP) is integrated in the sensor.

The 4AC meets stringent AEC-Q100 Grade 2 qualifications, including an operating temperature range of -40°C to 125°C, and is currently in mass production.

Michael C. Garrison