Samsung’s ‘Nonacell Technology’ Used in the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 108MP Camera Improves Pixel-Binning, Light Absorption and More

Samsung’s ‘Nonacell Technology’ Used in the Galaxy S20 Ultra’s 108MP Camera Improves Pixel-Binning, Light Absorption and More

Samsung recently unveiled the Galaxy S20 series and the headliner of the flagships is the Galaxy S20 Ultra. It features a 108MP wide-angle camera, which is an improved version of the sensor previously seen in the Xiaomi Mi Note 10. The South Korean giant has now detailed its 108MP ISOCELL Bright HM1 sensor which features the company’s ‘Nonacell Technology’.

In addition to Nonacell Technology, the 108MP ISOCELL Bright HM1 unit also uses Smart-ISO tech to deliver high-resolution images in all kinds of lighting. It’s a 1/1.3-inch sensor with 0.8μm pixels and F/1.8 aperture, which should allow it to capture sufficient amounts of light. However, compared to phones with bigger 1.4μm pixels, noise can potentially be a concern. That’s where Samsung’s new and improved pixel binning technology that it calls Nonacell comes in, which uses a three-by-three array to replicate a 2.4μm pixel to increase light absorption.

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It’s supplemented by the aforementioned proprietary ISOCELL Plus technology that addresses the problems related to pixel-binning, reducing crosstalk, optical loss, and light reflection. The sensor also features Smart-ISO technology that allows for the selection of optimal ISO based on the setting. In mixed-light environments, the 108MP sensor uses real-time HDR technology to optimize exposure and produce natural-looking images and photographs.


The sensor separately assigns the most fitting exposure length to every pixel and takes images in multiple exposures at the same time to generate HDR photos in real-time for preview and capture modes. For even better results, the unit gets a gyro-based electronic image stabilization (EIS) and Super-Phase Detection for faster and more accurate auto-focus. The 108MP sensor also lets you take pictures at up to 3x lossless zoom which provides zoom without affecting the quality of the image in any way. That’s because the unit is capable of converting the pixels directly using an onboard hardware IP.

Thanks to the pixel binning technology, the HM1 will theoretically be able to produce well-exposed 12MP images in dark conditions too and it will be interesting to see how the Galaxy S20 Ultra stacks up against the iPhone 11 and Pixel 4 in this regard.

Other interesting camera-centric features include 100x Space Zoom, 8K video recording support, and a 40MP selfie camera. Whether the handset will set a new benchmark in smartphone photography remains to be seen, but it won’t be long before we find out.

You might also like to know more about the Galaxy S20 series by checking out our coverage below:

News Source: Samsung Newsroom

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