Samsung Launches Its First Auto Camera Sensor, Makes Driving at Night Safer

Known for usually producing sensors for smartphones, Samsung is seeking to shift its presence beyond consumer electronics. With that in mind, the tech giant has introduced its first automotive image sensor designed for safe driving. Called the ISOCELL Auto 4AC, it will be used for the vehicle's rear-view cameras and surround-view monitors, offering HD resolution images.
A Hyundai Sonata N Line 6 photos
Photo: Hyundai
Samsung launches its first ISOCELL image sensor for automotive applicationsSamsung launches its first ISOCELL image sensor for automotive applicationsSamsung launches its first ISOCELL image sensor for automotive applicationsHyundai Sonata N LineSamsung launches its first ISOCELL image sensor for automotive applications
Different light conditions on the road might make it difficult for drivers to adapt to them. It may take a few seconds for one's eyes to adjust from a dimly lit area to a bright environment, such as going out of a tunnel.

This new ISOCELL camera sensor takes advantage of CornerPixel technology, which places 3 micron photodiodes and 1 micron photodiodes in a single pixel. What these two photodiodes do is to capture images in different exposures at the same time, allowing for smoother transitions between poorly illuminated areas and bright ones while preserving more details of the road in front of the car.

Additionally, flickering from LED headlamps or traffic signals could become more visible on the video screen of the automobile system. To reduce LED flickering, the exposure period of the smaller photodiode can be increased, preventing pulsating LED light from appearing as flickering on the camera screen. This offers the driver a better viewing experience and the vehicle system more accurate image data on LED-embedded items to recognize.

It's not the first time when the South Korean tech company focuses on LED systems. A few months ago, Samsung has tested the automotive waters with PixCell LED, an LED module optimized for intelligent headlights, such as adaptive driving beam (ADB) systems.

But the ISOCELL Auto 4AC proves to be much more, offering LED flicker mitigation for surround-view monitors or rear-view cameras in HD 1280 x 960 resolution. Moreover, the ISOCELL camera sensor can operate between a temperature range of -40°C to 125°C (-40°F to 257°F) .

According to Samsung, this is only the first product out of a large line-up of automotive sensors, focused primarily on camera monitor systems, autonomous driving, and in-cabin monitoring. Currently, ISOCELL is in mass production and it is not yet known which cars will use the new sensor.
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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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