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Samsung Galaxy S III uses identical Sony-made camera seen in iPhone 4S

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It was revealed during a teardown by iFixit in conjunction with chip analysts ChipWorks that Samsung is sourcing a newer version of the same Sony imaging sensor used in the iPhone 4S for the South Korean company's new Galaxy S III smartphone.

ChipWorks confirmed on Friday that the backside-illuminated sensor found in Samsung's new Galaxy S III handset is being sourced from Sony and may be a newer version of the component used in Apple's iPhone 4S.

While iFixit initially claimed that the sensor is "basically the same unit" used in the iPhone 4S, further examination of the chip revealed that it could be a slightly refreshed product. It seems that the camera's sensor is where the similarities between the two devices end, however, as Samsung uses its own memory and optics to complete the unit.

Other interesting findings include the Samsung-designed 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos package-on-package ARM processor which is built on the same 32nm process as Apple's A5 rev. 2 chip seen in the newest iPad 2 and third-generation Apple TV. Although Apple design the internals of its A-series processors, Samsung takes care of the fabrication at its foundries, one of which is located in Texas.

Sony sensor (left) and assembled camera unit (right) in Samsung's new Galaxy S III smartphone. | Source: ChipWorks and iFixit

From the teardown:

  • Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core A9 processor with 1GB LP DDR2 Green Memory (K3PE7E700M-XGC2)
  • Murata M2322007 WiFi Module
  • Samsung KMVTU000LM eMMC(16GB)+MDDR(64MB) NAND Flash
  • Intel Wireless PMB9811X Gold Baseband processor
  • MAX77693 and MAX77686
  • Broadcom BCM47511 Integrated Monolithic GNSS Receiver
  • Wolfson Microelectronics WM1811 stereo codec
  • Skyworks SKY77604 Multi-Band Power amplifier
  • Silicon Image 9244 low-power MHL Transmitter
  • NXP PN544 NFC Chip
  • Infineon PMB5712 RF transceiver

Samsung's massive phone sports a 4.8-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels covered by Corning's new Gorilla Glass 2. Powering the beast is a 3.8-volt 2100 mAh battery with an incorporated Near Field Communications (NFC) module used in the company's "S Beam" service. For reference, Apple's 13" MacBook Pro sports a resolution of 1280x800 pixels and the iPhone 4S uses a 1420 mAh battery.