Does anybody know the exact chip which is built into the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4? I've done research on the internet already but couldn't found any exact specification.

What I need is the imaging area (width and height) of the cmos chip in mm.


The iPhone 4 uses the Omnivision OV5650, and the 3GS uses either the OV3650 or a very similar model.

The 3GS has a 1/4" sensor, which, using the bizarre industry standard, means a sensor diagonal of about 4mm. The OV3650 has an array measuring 3.626mm × 2.709mm, giving a diagonal of about 4.5mm, so that fits the spec. (Presumably some small portion of the edge of the sensor is not used in imaging — see this question). The overall iPhone 3GS sensor area is about 9.8mm².

The iPhone 4 uses the much improved OV5650 sensor module, which is classified as a 1/3.2" sensor, with measurements of 4.592mm × 3.423mm, again presumably not all used. The overall sensor area is about 15.7mm².

Interestingly, the number of photosites per cm² is about the same between the two — the iPhone 4's increase in pixels is just about exactly the same as the increase in sensor area. But the iPhone 4 sensor is constructed differently, using "backside illuminated CMOS", which is probably what accounts for the very dramatic increase in image quality between the two models.


Ok I managed to find some decent info on the iPhone4 camera, which uses an omnivision OV5650 sensor, according to a teardown of the device by chipworks. The sensor area measures 4.592mm x 3.423mm and each photosite is 1.75µm

  • The teardown is very helpful.
    – brutella
    Mar 14 '11 at 22:21

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