Japanese electronics giant Sony - the company that provides camera modules for Apple's iPhone 4S - has announced the slim and powerful CMOS image sensor, for use in smartphones and other mobile devices. The announcement was made on Monday.

The popularization of smartphones and other devices in recent years has been accompanied by an increasingly diverse use of camera functionality. This has brought heightened demand for more sophisticated cameras, to ensure adaptability to a wider range of scenes, and Sony developed this stacked CMOS image sensor to meet such demand, the Japanese electronics giant said in the statement.

A notice by PC Mag said Sony's stacked product is back-illuminated so as to deliver high quality images in compact sizes. The sensor features Sony's new RGBW Coding technology, which adds white pixels to the conventional Red-Green-Blue range, facilitates noise reduction and helps in the capture of sharper images or videos under varying light conditions. The product also integrates Sony's HDR high video capture function, which Sony said achieves brilliant color even when taking pictures against bright light.

It is believed the sensor could eventually make its way into Apple's next-generation iPhone - the iPhone 5 - allowing for slimmer handsets.

The new design and manufacturing process behind Sony's image sensor should help engineer a thinner iPhone due to less space used by the Sony chip. Additionally, the Japanese giant's new manufacturing process is cheaper and image quality is better, which are both important feats from Apple's standpoint. The camera module is said to be faster, consume less power and sport higher pixel numbers, said a report on 9to5Mac.

Meanwhile, recent reports also suggest Apple Inc. is looking to scale down battery sizes for its devices. This means Sony's announcement could be seen as another step in the right direction for the Cupertino, Calif.-based giant.

Finally, Sony has confirmed they will begin shipping samples of an 8 megapixel module sometime in March.