Sony’s latest smartphone camera sensor collects twice as much light

Sony has disclosure a new type of stacked CMOS sensor that uses “double-layer transistor pixels” to double its light-gathering capacity. Typical image sensors have light-sensitive photodiodes and pixel transistors that drive and amplify the signal on the same layer. However, the new design places photodiodes on top and pixel transistors on the bottom, “nearly doubling signal saturation,” says Sony.

Sony pioneers sensor stacked placing flash memory and other electronics directly under the sensor, allowing for faster readout and therefore fast continuous shooting and reduced rolling shutter (jello effect). camera and smartphone. This latest sensor uses a similar idea, but packs pixel transistors into a separate substrate below the photodiode layer.

Sony has revealed a new type of stacked CMOS sensor using


That means each layer can be optimized, allowing Sony to double the sensor’s light saturation (well depth), or the charge each pixel can hold. That allows for double the light-gathering capacity.

Sony notes that since the transistor pixels are on a separate layer, it is possible to increase the size of the gain transistor. That allows for a larger signal boost, reducing noise when taking photos at night or other photos in dark locations. According to Sony, the increased dynamic range will enable “high-quality, low-noise images to be produced even in low light.”

Sony specifically states that this technology will allow for higher quality smartphone photography. With twice as much light gathering, it will allow for much improved light sensitivity even in relatively small, high-megapixel sensors. Sony has yet to say when the technology will appear in smartphones or cameras, but it plans to further improve the design for both large and small sensors.

Sony's latest smartphone camera sensor can collect twice as much light


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Tom Vazquez

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