Sony has announced that it has developed the next-generation of back-illuminated camera sensors destined for smartphones. The CMOS image sensor uses a new stacked structure that delivers improved camera quality in a smaller chip size. Other features of the new image chip include faster speeds and lower power consumption.
The sensors also have been developed with Sony’s “RGBW Coding” function, important for low-light photography, and the proprietary “HDR (High Dynamic Range) Movie” function that can achieve dynamic colours even when taking pictures against bright light. See some demos of these functions below.
Samples of the new CMOS image sensor will start shipping from March 2012. First up will be the 1/4″ 8MP sensor that will come equipped with built-in signal processing functionality. In June, Sony will ship the 1/3.06″ 13MP sensor that will come with both RGBW Coding and HDR Movie functions. Then in August, Sony will sample the 1/4″ 8MP sensor, which will also support RGBW Coding and HDR Movie functions. We wouldn’t expect any smartphones using these new chips until the end of the year at the earliest.