Sharp has unveiled a new image sensor for 4K HD video recording.

The new CMOS image sensor is designed for shooting video at 4K and has a resolution of 12-megapixels, with each pixel having a size of 3.1 x 3.1 micrometers. The pixel size, combined with a sensitivity level of 1.42 V/lux-sec, was achieved using Sharp’s own proprietary image cell technology. The sensor is capable of recording 4K or 2K video at 60 fps. Power consumption rate is at a mere 420 microwatts, allowing the sensor to considerably reduce image noise due to heat.

Specialty-wise, the new CMOS image sensor is more geared for darker environments. However specifications-wise, it seems to be just as capable of adjusting easily to different lighting levels to constantly snap and record clear images and video. In fact, Sharp advertises the image sensor as a versatile unit that can be used both for recording digital video and still photography at a level that, while still considerably lower, is already very near what professional high-end cameras can do.

More important than simple versatility though, the idea of a 4K HD CMOS image sensor for a mobile device could set a whole new standard for upcoming smartphone cameras in the near future. 4K HD would no longer be limited to larger TVs and more sophisticated cameras, and we could even expect 4K HD to permeate deeper into the consumer tech market as a normal resolution standard.

Samples of the new CMOS image sensor are to be shipped towards the end of the week at around $190.00 per unit. Mass production will start by the end of October. Sharp plans to manufacture at least 80,000 units each month as the new CMOS image sensor becomes available commercially.