Sony will debut 16.41MP CMOS digital camera sensors which will be used in high end smartphones as early as the first half of 2011 since the components will be distributed to manufactured next January.
The Exmor-R CMOS image sensors will be back illuminated to reduce noise and improve sensitivity. The 16.41MP sensor will be complemented by a 8.13MP model.
The 16.41MP sensor, known as the IMX081PQ, will also feature a unit pixel size of only 1.12 micrometre, the smallest of the industry while the 8.13MP version will offer higher sensitivity, especially useful in low light settings.
The latter is likely to be incorporated in cheaper mobile phones without flash and is cheaper than the 16.41MP model by nearly 40 per cent.
Sony says that while a smaller unit size may give rise to color mixture among smaller unit pixels, it managed to solve it by implementing "a unique formation of photo diodes optimally designed for fine pixel structure".
Sony also said that it will launch two new lens modules which will include the smallest and smallest model for mobile phones.
Ultimately, pixel count is only a minor component of the overall quality of a photo; lens quality and the electronics used need to be excellent enough to deliver good pictures capable of rivalling with entry level stand alone cameras.