OmniVision announces the development of the world's smallest pixel for mobile image sensors
Companies in the business of making the sensors behind the newest and supposedly highest-end smartphone cameras often cite pixel size as an important part of their achievements and edge over the competition. A much higher density of pixels might determine overall resolution, not to mention buzz-worthy specs such as pixel-binning and how much more an ISP can do thanks to the size of the individual pixel, and so on.
Now, OmniVision has announced what it claims to be the smallest pixel for mobile CMOS yet. Its size is slated at a miniscule 0.56 micrometers (μm), a figure that does indeed beat the 0.8μm value of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra's ISOCELL HM3, not to speak of 0.64μm in the newer, 200MP ISOCELL HP1 and even the 0.61μm of OmniVision's own latest OVB0B sensor of the same resolution.
Accordingly, OmniVision points out that this latest pixel beats even the wavelength of some colors of light for size (for example, red light is in the ~0.7μm (or 700 nanometers (nm)) range).
Besides this technical feat, the OEM asserts that its new pixel, made using a 28nm TSMC node, will unlock "uncompromising" quantum efficiency and potentially improved quad phase-detection (QPD) autofocus capabilities with reduced power consumption for next-gen mobile devices.
Then again, as it only has just been unveiled, these possible enhancements may be far into the future, particularly as the aforementioned OVB0B has yet to have its day. Therefore, the new 0.56μm breakthrough leaves OmniVision with not much besides "pixel shrink" bragging rights for now.