Samsung Exynos Technology Advanced ISP, Image Signal Processor

Advanced ISP

Artistic brain that draws
photo and video
When you run a camera app and touch the shooting button on a display, billions of arithmetic operations are performed to generate better focus, exposure, white balance, color, noise reduction for an amazing photograph. This is what Image Signal Processor in Exynos does to take that perfect picture in a twinkle.

Background

Processor for converting
light information
into an image
The image sensor converts the light received through the optical lens into an electric form. And this data is sent to an ISP where it is rebuilt as a picture or a preview on a display. Even when the lighting isn’t at best for photo taking, ISP does the magical wonders to improve image quality.
Illustrative image of image sensor converts the light information into an electric form
Lens System Image Sensor isp display
Illustrative image of image sensor converts the light information into an electric form
Lens System Image Sensor isp display
To enhance the quality of a photo, more lights are needed to reach the image sensor along with advanced ISP to process it. To do so, a camera module will need to be large in size to use bigger size lens and feature packing image sensor. But the problem is there isn’t much space available to utilize in a slim designed smartphones. So Samsung has developed advanced Image Signal Processor to enhance the feature of camera and quality of photo by using tiny optical components.

Advanced Features

Faultless techniques for
flawless images
Auto White Balance (AWB)
When you take a picture of a white blank paper under an incandescent light bulb, the digital sensor can hardly illustrate the color of paper as a white. The advanced ISP detects the ambient light condition by analyzing color information from the image sensor and corrects overall color to be balanced automatically.
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Auto
White Balance : Auto
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Daylight/Sunlight
White Balance : Daylight/Sunlight
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Shade
White Balance : Shade
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Cloudy
White Balance : Cloudy
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Tungsten
White Balance : Tungsten
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Fluorescent
White Balance : Fluorescent
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto White Balance, AWB : Flash
White Balance : Flash
Scenery of village with Custom White Balance
Custom White Balance
Auto Exposure (AE)
Auto Exposure is a feature that automatically determines how much light the image sensor is receiving. ISP analyzes the brightness information from the sensor, and calculates and controls the aperture, shutter speed and ISO for appropriate exposure.
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto Exposure, AE
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto Exposure, AE
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, Auto Exposure, AE
AF: Contrast AF and PDAF
In conventional contrast AF, ISP calculates the correct adjustment of focus by finding out highest contrast of colors through continuous trials and errors. Phase Detecting AF technology, once only available in premium DSLR cameras, is now available on mobile devices. ISP with PDAF solution calculates the distance from the object and finds the correct adjustment allowing camera to focus at once.
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP Advanced Features, AF, Contrast AF and PDAF
Demosaicing
An image sensor, in general, consists of pixels in red, blue and green. These pixels are only able to recognize one of the three colors, so reconstruction process is needed to transform the color information into full color image. ISP calculates and interpolates each pixel’s color by analyzing RGB color information around of the pixel resulting in vivid and natural color image.
Image of a girl holding an ice cream cone with a Dalmatian in RGB color RGB Pixels
Image of a girl holding an ice cream cone with a Dalmatian in Natural color Demosaicing
Noise Reduction
In a low light condition, image sensor can hardly receive enough light information. So higher ISO or slower shutter speed is required, but this causes heating issue that makes noisy image. The ISP in Exynos features advanced noise reduction algorithm to reduce diverse color or pattern noise while preserving texture details. Notably, 3DNR feature reduces the visible noise in the video footage as well. It distinguishes and reduces noises from the useful details by analyzing neighboring frames in the video stream.
Noisy image of a girl reading a book on the bed Noisy image
Clear image of woman using tablet with Advanced Noise Reduction Advanced Noise Reduction On
Lens and Sensor compensation
Smartphone camera has a handicap due to its usage of small sized components. So lens shading, a vignetting, chromatic aberration, and lens distortion could occur due to non-uniform colors and fixed focal length from the imperfect of a tiny camera module. ISP in Exynos processor with advanced color and distortion correcting algorithm adjusts erroneous color and deformed shape information.
Distorted image of people celebrating on a rooftop Distorted image
Corrected image of people celebrating on a rooftop with Advanced color and distortion correction Advanced color and
distortion correction
Gamma Correction
Human eyes are more sensitive to changes in dark and less in bright part whereas image sensor receives and exports light information linearly. And the light intensity is described nonlinearly in the display of mobile device as well. ISP encodes and decodes the light information generated by image sensor to the nonlinear information for human eyes watching display.
Image of people having fireworks on the beach in Linear RAW image Linear RAW image
Image of people having fireworks on the beach with Gamma correction Gamma correction
Dynamic Range Compression
ISP analyzes dynamic range of an image and adjusts the brightness locally so that the image could have perfect contrast of dark and bright areas. DRC adaptively generates a tone mapping curve and applies it to each pixel of the image allowing the heavily dark and bright parts to be lightened and dimmed respectively for balanced dynamic range.
Dark image of Santorini landscape RAW image
Image of Santorini landscape with perfect contrast of dark and bright areas through Dynamic Rage Compression Dynamic Rage Compression
Smart WDR (Wide Dynamic Range)
With Samsung image sensor that features zig-zag WDR pattern, ISP is able to generate the WDR image with just a single shot. WDR pattern consists of two types of pixel; one for long time exposure and another for short time exposure. ISP manages image sensor to capture the light by using two different exposure times in a single shot. Then two different light and color information are combined in to one image that displays great details in both bright and dark parts.
Image of people climbing a mountain with long time exposure Long time exposure
Image of people climbing a mountain with short time exposure Short time exposure
Image of people climbing a mountain with Smart WDR
Drag left or right to see Smart WDR image
Smart WDR
Video Digital Image Stabilization
VDIS controls video stability and reduces the effects of camera shake caused by hand jiggle or external environment. It differentiates unwanted object motions from the intentional camera movement and corrects them by smoothing the four axes with frame warping.
Two split image of a woman and a pet in VDIS Off and VDIS On VDIS Off VDIS On
Two split image of a woman and a pet in VDIS Off and VDIS On VDIS Off VDIS On
Dual ISP
The latest Exynos processor features dual ISP for smartphone that enables dual cameras feature on the front of back of devices. It enables picture to have richer tones and colors by using different light information from two separate cameras. Optical zoom is also possible by combining two lenses that have different focal lengths. In addition, with 2nd camera recognizing depth information, user can adjust focusing with depth of field after capturing a picture. The usage and benefit of dual ISP is not only enhanced performance but also enhanced power efficiency. The asymmetric dual ISP consists of low power ISP core and high quality core. Two ISP cores divide up the processing tasks efficiently by work load of each task so that the overall power consumption could be decreased.
Samsung Exynos Advanced ISP, Dual ISP, Dual camera