Major camera module makers in Korea, including Samsung Electro-mechanics, Samsung Techwin and Sunyang DNT, are spurring to develop 5 million pixel camera modules in a race with forerunners in Japan.
Last month, Samsung Electronics launched a new camera phone installed with a 5-mega pixel camera module developed by Asahi Pentax of Japan, the first of its kind in the world.
Having introduced 3 million pixel camera modules recently, the three camera module manufacturers are now concentrating efforts on developing 5 million pixel products, skipping 4 million pixel modules, according to industry sources. These firms, however, will decide timing of commercial production depending on market situation.
"Since there exists little technological difference in developing 4 million and 5 million pixel camera modules, and 5 million pixel camera phones are already available in the market, it will be more effective to put focus on 5 mega pixel products than the other," said an industry observer.
Following shipment of its 3 million pixel camera modules last month, Samsung Electro-mechanics ( http://www.sem.samsung.co.kr) plans to introduce 5 million pixel product by the end of this year. The new complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS)-based camera module features automatic focusing function.
"As we stressed to reduce the size of 5 million pixel module to be fitted in mobile phones, it will be smaller than charge-coupled device (CCD)-based 3 million pixel modules of other companies," said a manager at Samsung Electro-mechanics. The camera module maker also intends to roll out a new 5-mega pixel product featuring optical zooming and electronic shutter functions in the third quarter of next year.
Sunyang DNT ( http://www.sydnt.co.kr) is in development of a CMOS-based 5 million pixel camera module with a goal to roll out its products during the first half of next year. In conjunction with the Gwangju Photonics Technology Institute, Sunyang DNT is presently incorporating optical zooming function in 3 million pixel camera module, and it will adopt the same function in its 5 million pixel products if it succeeds in the first attempt.
Samsung Techwin ( http://www.samsungtechwin.com) is in development of 4 million pixel and 5 million pixel camera module simultaneously, but it will very likely commercialize 5 mega pixel camera module eventually. The company, which has traditionally been developing CCD-based camera modules, may possibly adopt CMOS technology in modules with 5 million and larger number of pixels.