Samsung Electronics will supply its new image sensor “ISOCELL GN2,” which was released on Feb. 23, for Xiaomi's latest smartphone Mi 11 Ultra.

Samsung Electronics has been strengthening cooperation with Xiaomi in the image sensor field. For instance, it supplied "ISOCELL HMX," the industry’s first product with 108 million pixels, to Xiaomi.

ISOCELL GN2 is a new 50-megapixel image sensor with an enhanced automatic focus function. Samsung Electronics applied the 'dual pixel' technology, which diagonally divides pixels, to the new product for the first time in the industry.

Image sensors are emerging as a next-generation growth driver in the field of system semiconductors as the area of image sensors has recently expanded to self-driving cars, IoT devices, and drones as well as smartphone cameras.

The top three companies account for more than 70 percent of the global market, with Sonly holding a 45.1 percent share, Samsung Electronics 19.8 percent and OmniVision in China 12.2 percent. Sony mainly supplies image sensors for mobile devices to Huawei. Samsung Electronics has joined hands with Xiaomi to catch up with Sony.

The market share gap between Sony and Samsung shrank from 30.4 percentage points in 2019 to 25.2 percentage points in 2020. Industry insiders believe that the gap narrowed in 2020 as a result of U.S. sanctions against Huawei, a big customer of Sony.

The global image sensor market is expected to reach US$17.9 billion in 2021 and grow 11.4 percent annually to expand to US$24.8 billion in 2024, said Japanese market research company TSR.