A new, advanced component is expected to heat up the smartphone market and reduce the gap between digital camera and smartphone camera.Soon, consumers will not need to carry a digital camera separately for taking high-quality pictures, thanks to Sharp, which has unveiled the world's thinnest CMOS camera module with optical image stabilization for smartphones.

Japanese electronics major Sharp Corpn. has unveiled the world's thinnest smartphone camera module measuring 5.47mm (0.22 inches). The camera module, named RJ63YC100, is not only capable of recording full-HD (1080p) videos that can be transferred to LCD TVs for larger viewing, but also it has a 12.1-Megapixel, 1/3.2-type back-illuminated CMOS image sensor with optical image stabilizer that reduces blurring of images caused by camera shake.

The module is capable of capturing high-quality images under various conditions, such as shooting under dim light setting or shooting fast moving objects.

The optical image stabilizer in this camera module uses a lens-shift system to control the lens inside the module, Sharp said in a statement.

A 12.1-megapixel camera in a smartphone is not new but a 12.1-megapixel camera with image stabilization feature in a smartphone is new. However, don't be surprised by the noise during a shoot as 12.5 megapixel has been squeezed into such a tiny sensor.

It is not yet known which smartphones will carry this module but it is certain to attract smartphone makers who seek thinner, lighter components.

It is rumored that the next generation iPhone aka. iPhone 5, will be equipped with this module. Presently iPhone 4S features 8-megapixel camera, built by Sony.

Sample shipments of the camera module called 'RJ63YC100' has begun on December 2 and mass production is expected to commence as early as January 10, 2012. Hopefully by mid-2012, we can expect to see them in new, thinner smartphones.