Samsung has announced the start of mass-production of its S5K3P3 image sensor for mobile devices. The new chip is thinner than previous generations, allowing for the design of thinner, more compact, camera modules. At under 5mm thickness, these new modules can be used in ultra-thin smartphones without resulting in protruding cameras as we've seen on some of the latest Samsung Galaxy models.

The slimming is achieved by reducing the size of each individual pixel. They now measure 1.0 micron compared to 1.12 micron in the sensors that are being used in the Galaxy S6 or Note 4. Samsung says that despite the smaller photosites, sensor performance is just as good as on previous models and conventional sensors with 1.12 micron photosites. The new chip also uses Samsung's ISOCELL technology which reduces color crosstalk of neighboring pixels and increases the chief ray angle by adding physical barriers between each pixel.

While it's impressive that Samsung is capable of designing and manufacturing such small sensors and camera modules, generally smaller pixels mean a reduction in sensor performance. So future buyers of an ultra-thin 'camera-hump-less' Samsung smartphone should be aware that they might be trading off some image quality for a sleeker device. Of course, we won't know if there is an image quality tradeoff until we hold one of the new devices in our hands. The new sensor may even make its debut in the Galaxy Note 5, which is expected to be launched on August 13.

Source: Samsung