Rumor: Samsung’s 12 megapixel camera sensor is now being mass produced

Weeks before Samsung’s 5.5 inch Galaxy Note II was announced, many of the rumor sites said it was supposed to ship with a 12 megapixel. That obviously didn’t happen, but it does bring up an important question: When will Samsung release devices with 12 megapixel cameras? We know megapixels aren’t everything, and that there are multiple factors, such as optics and ISPs, that contribute to image quality, but the geeks in us just want to know.

According to SammyHub, mass production of the S5K3L1 image sensor has begun. It’s a backside illuminated 12 megapixel sensor that measures 1/3.2″ across. That translates to each individual pixel being just 1.1 nanometers in size. The sensor itself is 6 mm tall, it can capture 1080p video at 60 frames per second, and if you have a processor that supports it it can even do 12 megapixel video at 30 frames per second. Is this baby going to be inside the Galaxy S IV? Mobile World Congress is less than half a year, so it won’t be too long until we find out.

Back to today’s rumors, there’s also word that Samsung has begun development of a 13 megapixel camera sensor called the S5K3L2. It’s slightly larger at 1/3.0″, it’s also backside illuminated, and we don’t know too much else. In fact, we’re kind of confused. We thought that the next logical step up from 12 megapixels would be something elegant like 16 megapixels. The number 13 is not only bad luck in most countries, it’s also both an odd number and a prime number, making it stand out for all the wrong reasons.

Anyway, all we know is that camera technology in mobile phones simply gets better and better with each passing year. Nokia’s at the front of the pack, which isn’t too surprising given how closely they work with their partners, but everyone else is doing a great job at catching up.

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Author: Stefan

Stefan has been writing about the mobile phone industry since November 2006. He also spent 14 months at Nokia between 2008 and 2009, but has since purchased a Nexus One and an Apple iPhone. He's watching Windows Phone like a hawk, hoping it'll get better with time.