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Restricted no more - Qualcomm's new SoCs have support for 192 MP sensors

That's probably another advantage over other SoCs. (Source: Qualcomm)
That's probably another advantage over other SoCs. (Source: Qualcomm)
Older Qualcomm SoCs were so limited most couldn't even support camera sensors with resolutions of more than 40 MP or thereabouts. The new Snapdragon chipsets don't have that weakness, however, and instead have ISPs powerful enough to support up to 192 MP.

A new report by XDA-Developers has confirmed that Qualcomm’s new batch of SoCs has the ability to support camera sensor hardware of up to 192 MP.

A few years ago, smartphone companies embarked on something of a pixel-count war, with each company trying to outdo the other by cramming in sensors with large resolutions. It didn’t take long for them to realize that higher resolution images didn’t at all correlate with better image quality, especially since Apple’s iPhones still had the upper hand with their smaller-res sensors.

Time is a flat circle, they say, so it’s no surprise that we have something like that on our hands once again. Starting with the Huawei P20 Pro’s 40 MP sensor, companies have once again taken to utilizing—and advertising—devices with big sensors, with the most popular of the lot being the 48 MP Sony IMX586.

Older SoCs generally don’t have ISPs capable of supporting large sensors. Case in point would be the Snapdragon 660. The SD660 lacks support for a true 48 MP sensor, which is why Xiaomi used it on its budget Redmi Note 7, and featured the Samsung GM1 sensor on the device—a sensor marketed as being 48 MP, but actually only getting to that resolution through something akin to software interpolation.

The new batch of Snapdragon SoCs, however—the Snapdragon 855, 710, 670, and 675—all support up 192 MP of resolution. Of course, that figure is the total the SoCs are capable of; ergo, the sum total the resolutions of all the cameras on the device cannot exceed 192 MP.

While that looks like a big, impressive number, the nature of smartphone optics ensures that no one is going to make a 192 MP sensor anytime soon. While the images would probably look amazing with the help of pixel binning, factors such as shutter lag, physical space, noise, and computational speed limitations make it unfeasible.

It’s still nice to know that these chipsets can take pretty much any sensor you throw at them, though, and we reckon it won’t be long until there’s an OEM crazy enough to use two 48 MP sensors on a device.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 03 > Restricted no more - Qualcomm's new SoCs have support for 192 MP sensors
Ricci Rox, 2019-03-11 (Update: 2019-03-11)