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iPhone 16 Could Feature Advanced Camera Sensor From Samsung


Apple is testing advanced CMOS image sensors (CIS) from Samsung that could debut in the iPhone 16 later this year, The Elec reports.


Apple is currently conducting a final quality assessment on CMOS image sensors provided by Samsung System LSI, the logic business unit of Samsung, according to the report. These sensors are slated for use in the main camera of the upcoming ‌iPhone 16‌. Historically, Apple has exclusively sourced CIS for its iPhones from Sony, but recent developments are said to indicate a strategic pivot away from the Japanese supplier due to concerns about reliability and the need to incorporate new technologies into its camera system.

The decision to engage Samsung is said to stem from issues Apple faced with Sony last year. Apple requested that Samsung begin the development of new image sensors in 2023 after Sony failed to deliver them in a sufficiently timely manner, which contributed to difficulties in setting a launch date for the iPhone 15. If Samsung passes the ongoing quality tests, it will be the first time the company supplies an iPhone CIS.

The new image sensor developed by Samsung features a more advanced three-wafer stack design. These three wafers each house distinct elements: the photodiode, transistors, and analog digital converter logics. In contrast, current and previous ‌iPhone‌ image sensors have a two-stack design that combines the photodiode and transistors on a single wafer.

In a CIS, the photodiode converts light into electrical signals, while four transistors are responsible for transferring, amplifying, reading, and erasing these signals. The separation of these components into three wafers allows for higher pixel density, reduced noise, and smaller pixel sizes.

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The new technology employs wafer-to-wafer hybrid bonding, which attaches these wafers directly through a copper pad, eliminating the need for signal-transferring bumps. This enables the CIS to be smaller and increases data transfer speeds.

The ‌iPhone 16‌ lineup is widely expected to be announced in the fall with new camera features such as a dedicated “Capture” button, a 48-megapixel Ultra Wide camera, and more.



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