SmartSens launches first new 50 MP ultra-high resolution image sensor based on 22 nm process

Recently, SmartSens, a supplier of advanced CMOS image sensors, launched its first 1.0μm pixel size ultra-high resolution 50MP new product image sensor ―SC550XS. The new product adopts the advanced technology 22nm HKMG stack process as well as the multiple proprietary technologies of SmartSens, including SmartClarity®-2 Technology, SFCPixel® technology and Pix Gain HDR® technology to enable excellent imaging performance. Additionally, it can achieve 100% autofocus coverage in all directions via ADAF AllPix® technology and is equipped with MIPI C-PHY 3.0Gsps high-speed data transmission interface. The product is designed to meet the requirements of smartphone flagship main camera in terms of night vision color imaging, high dynamic range and low power consumption.

Innovative technologies enable high-end imaging performance

SC550XS has a 50 megapixel ultra high resolution with a small pixel size at only 1.0µm. Based on the advanced 22nm HKMG stack processthe sensor combines the unique technology of SmartSens SFCPixel® technology and high gain in PixGain technology with 2×2 SmartQCell™ micro-lens design to further improve the light acquisition rate of a single pixel, making it have superior sensitivity performance under the same specifications. These technologies, combined with low noise readout circuit design and improved color process allow the sensor to present a movie-like image quality in night shots.

Several HDR technologies such as PixGain HDR® are supported

The SC550XS incorporates the innovation of SmartSens Pix Gain HDR® technology thanks to the combination of High gain (high conversion gain) and low gain (low conversion gain) double frames under the same frame exposure, realizing artifact-free motion capture with high quality HDR imaging. Additionally, the SC550XS also supports 4K 30fps video in 3-exposure offset HDR with up to 120dB and 60fps video in HDR offset at two exposures by 100 dB. Thus, by means of the combination of various high dynamic range technologiesthe camera can capture richer details in highlights and shadows of a scene.

ADAF AllPix® technology provides 100% AF coverage all pixels in all directions

Compared with the technology that uses part of the pixels for shooting on the sensor as phase focus, ADAF AllPix® technology used on SC550XS features full pixel SmartQCell™ 2×2 Micro Lens design—a combination of horizontal and vertical pixel binning to achieve 100% AF coverage of all pixels in all directions. It is therefore able to offer precise and fast autofocus in dark sceneswhile improved autofocus performance on objects with blurry edges.

Better performance comes with less power consumption

The SC550XS uses a advanced 22nm HKMG stack process who offers faster device speed and works at a lower voltage than the 40nm process used in the industry’s previous generation CIS main camera, allowing image sensors to operate at a higher frame rate and lower power consumption. At an equal level of performance, the energy consumption of the 22nm process can be reduced by 30%. Also, benefited from the innovation of SmartSens low-power circuit designthe Operating energy consumption of the SC550XS reaches a significant level 43% decrease compared to similar products in this industry, offering extended battery life for high-end smartphones. SmartQCell™ 2×2 micro-lens design fused with improved pixel process allows the QE (quantum efficiency) of the SC550XS to reach 82%resulting in excellent low-light shooting performance.

Moreover, next to similar products in the industry, the SC550XS gets 20% increase in CCand 20% and 40% reduction in readout noise and FPN, respectivelywhich further enhances the delicate texture of imaging while maintaining optimal low-light performance.

dr. Yaowu-Mo, Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer at SmartSens said:

SC550XS is our flagship high resolution, high performance product for flagship mobile phone applications which integrates multiple SmartSens core patented technologies for high-end image sensors, including SFCPixel® technology, SmartQCell™ micro-lens design, AllPix ADAF® technology and multi-row parallel read technology, and also takes advantage of the advanced 22nm HKMG process, allowing it to support up to 50MP/8K Bayer RAW 30fps high-speed output with excellent dark light results as well as color reproduction and ultra-low power consumption. Several hardware-level image processing and phase-focusing algorithms are also integrated on-chip, enabling high quality 50MP/8K/4K video output with high dynamic range and real-time phase focus.

“In terms of high-speed transmission interface circuit design, we have broken through the voltage limit under 0.9V power supply and innovatively achieved full compatibility with C-PHY/ D-PHY to meet the needs of high resolution, high frame rate video transmission. In addition, as the current 5G radio frequency interference in mobile phones becomes more and more serious, we not only reduce the sensor radiation of image itself through spread spectrum technology to achieve better EMI performance, but also supports C-PHY output swing to be greatly adjustable, further improving its own anti-interference ability to ensure normal data reception at the module end.

“We hope that this ingenious work that integrates several core technologies of SmartSens can provide customers with better photo and video results and create a performance-optimized imaging system.”

X represents both the unknown mystery and the endless possibilities of the future, as well as the Roman numeral 10. As a tenth anniversary flagship, the SC550XS strives to bring high-end mobile phone camera applications advanced performance. It will start sampling in Q2 2022 and is expected to reach mass production in Q3 2022. Customized specification products based on the same process and technology platform are also welcome. For more information on SmartSens SC550XS, please contact SmartSens sales department.

About Smart Sense

Smart Sens technology (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. is a high-performance CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) chip design company. It is headquartered at Shanghai and has research centers in many cities around the world.

SmartSens has been committed to pushing the boundaries of imaging technology and gaining popularity with customers since its inception. SmartSens CMOS image sensors provide advanced imaging solutions for a wide range of fields such as surveillance, machine vision, automotive cameras and mobile phones.

SmartSens is committed to continuous product innovation and fueling the growth of many industries by offering a more complete line of image sensors.

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Michael C. Garrison