Rumor: Samsung Galaxy S11+ sensor to use Nonacell technology

Yesterday we posted a story about the technology in Samsung’s 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX image sensor and said the chip was likely to make an appearance in the Korean manufacturer’s upcoming Galaxy S11 series.

It looks like this might not be entirely correct. According to a tweet by infamous mobile industry leakster Ice Universe the Galaxy S11 will use a customized version of the chip that uses a technology that Samsung calls Nonacell.

S11 unique new generation 108MP sensor seems to be called ISOCELL Bright HM1. It is a more advanced Nonacell technology than Tetracell. It merges a cluster of 9 pixels into a single pixel and allows 0.8μm pixels to be converted to 2.4μm pixels, greatly improving Low-light shoot

— Ice universe (@UniverseIce) December 18, 2019

The standard sensor comes with the company’s tetracell technology, also known as Quad-Bayer, that uses pixel merging for better detail and lower noise levels in low light. Nonacell follows the same concept but instead of four combines — you guessed it — nine pixels into one.

The sensor is said to be called ISOCELL Bright HM1 and will be the successor to the HMX variant that we’ve seen in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. On the latter four 0.8µm pixels are combined into one 1.6µm effective pixel. On the new sensor the effective pixel size would increase to 2.4µm, theoretically allowing for significantly improved low light performance at a still more than acceptable 12MP output size.

The Galaxy S11 series is scheduled to launch in February 2020, so hopefully, we’ll be able to have a closer look at then sensor and its performance then.

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