Sony’s Triple Layer Stacked CMOS Image Sensor Technology Comes To Smartphones

Main Image
  • Like
  • Comment
  • Share

Sony’s Stacked CMOS Sensor technology, which first debuted in its high-end point and shoot cameras like the popular RX 100 IV, is now coming to smartphones! At International Solid-State Circuits Conference, Sony announced new triple layer 1/2.3-inch 21.2 Megapixel Exmor RS sensor.

What’s triple layer stacked CMOS sensor with DRAM in smartphones?

In original CMOS sensors, the Photo diode surface (that gathers light) and the high-speed processing circuitry were all in one layer. Later on, the Back side illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensors moved most of this circuitry to the back of the photodiode layer thus freeing more surface area to capture light.

Notice that the [1] and [2] have been moved to separate layers
Notice that the [1] and [2] have been moved to separate layers
However, some high-speed circuitry was still along the edges. Data collected was first moved to the edges and then passed on to the processing chip stacked below.

The triple layer stacked sensors move all the high-speed processing circuitry behind the light-collecting pixels or photo diodes, thus facilitating faster readout time.

To allow Bionz sensor to read all the additional data effectively, sony also added a buffer layer of fast 1G Bit DRAM in between where pixel data will be stored before being passed on to the Bionz image processor.



The new triple layer stacked Sony smartphone camera sensor should be able to capture images faster and handle high-resolution photography, like 4K videos and slow motion videos at high FPS, better. It will also help avoid focal plain distortion. Sony also has a video demonstration of its practical advantages.


So, exactly how fast are we talking here?

Well, Sony claims 8X speed improvements over recently launched Sony IMX318 and that’s saying something.  The new sensor is capable of reading one still image of 19.3 million pixels in only 1/120 of a second. According to Sony, It can also shoot Full-HD slow-motion videos at 1000fps. But we will know for sure only when the sensor starts showing up in high-end smartphones, which is likely to happen very soon.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

Related Articles

ImageFlipkart Big Billion Days 2023 Sale: Dates, Early Access, and Sneak Peeks on Smartphone Deals

The big billion-day sale is back. Flipkart, the premier e-commerce platform in India, has officially unveiled the much-anticipated dates for the Flipkart Big Billion Days 2023 sale. This annual celebration of festive shopping is scheduled to run from October 8th to October 15th, offering an exciting array of irresistible deals and discounts for online shoppers. …

ImageApple to sport ‘state-of-the-art’ image sensor in iPhone 15 made by Sony

Apple’s iPhone is prominent in its image processing qualities. Using the best Sony image sensors and perfect image processing software, Apple has stayed ahead of other smartphones. The tradition will continue as Sony brings out the best for Apple. Sony will start shipping out new ‘state of the art’ image sensors to Apple for the …

ImageSamsung presents 14nm FinFET process for 144MP image sensors at IEDM 2019

Samsung unveiled a 14nm FinFET process for 144-megapixel sensors at the IEDM forum 2019 in San Francisco. This means going forward the CMOS sensors could be made on the 14nm process. So, to be clear, this new development caters to the process rather than the pixel size. Here’s how Samsung details the technology and its …

ImageSony Bravia XR-65A 80L OLED TV review: Where OLED Technology Meets Sony’s Excellent Processing

Sony’s Bravia A80L is like the cream of the crop when it comes to OLED TVs. It’s armed with a bunch of fancy-pants image and video processing technologies straight from Sony’s secret vault, making your home theater escapades way cooler. Whether it’s the good ol’ SD stuff or handling those crazy motion scenes, this TV …

ImageSony IMX 989 Sensor Phones: Best mobiles with IMX989 Camera sensor in India

As smartphone camera technology continues to evolve, the Sony IMX 989 sensor is poised to become one of the most sought-after features in mobile photography. With its impressive native resolution of 50.3 and 4-in-1 pixel binning technology, the Sony IMX 989 offers superior image quality and light sensitivity compared to other smartphone camera sensors. As …


Be the first to leave a comment.