Samsung’s new ISOCELL Vizion 33D is a Time of Flight (ToF) 3D sensor that can provide accurate distance data and track fast-moving objects for the purposes of faster autofocus and video bokeh.
The sensor produces depth maps with 640 x 480 px resolution. It can measure distances as between 0.2m and all the way to 5m (16 ft) with 10 or 12-bit resolution. It can go up to 120 fps for low-latency tracking.
When used as an autofocus assist, it requires 200 mW of power (for both sensor and IR illumination). For continuous tracking as needed by, say, AR games and video bokeh rendering, power use goes up to 400 mW, but that still shouldn’t drain the phone’s battery too quickly.
The Deep Trench Isolation tech that is part of ISOCELL reduces cross talk between pixels, which helps the sensor cleanly separate the subject from the background.
The Vizion 33D sensor can also be used for face ID, to secure mobile payment apps and phone unlocking, so you might see this sensor next to the selfie camera, not just at the back.
Samsung already used a ToF sensor on the Galaxy S20 Ultra and it is expected to promote its new sensor by adding it to future smartphones as well as other devices. Currently, Sony is the market leader in ToF sensor production with a 50% share (iPads and iPhones use Sony sensors).