Sony announces Exmor RS: Stacked CMOS image sensor

by XB on 20th August 2012

in Featured Content, Imaging

Sony has lifted the lid on its new ‘Exmor RS’ camera sensor, which we saw trademarked recently. Shipments of the new CMOS image sensor will commence in October.  It uses the same stacked structure that we’ve heard of before, so it sounds as if ‘Exmor RS’ is the new marketing name for this CMOS chip.

The stacked structure of the Exmor RS sensor “layers the pixel section, containing formations of back-illuminated pixels over the chip affixed with mounted circuits for signal processing, in place of conventional supporting substrates used for back-illuminated CMOS image sensors.”

Sony plans on launching three models of the Exmor RS sensor for smartphones and tablets along with three corresponding auto-focus image modules that will have these sensors baked in. The two higher-end sensors will be released in 2013 and feature RGBW coding (captures clearer images in low light due to the inclusion of a white pixel in addition to the RGB matrix) and HDR video functionality. Another advantage of the chip is its compact size.

This news confirms our suspicions that the Sony Xperia GX and soon-to-be released Xperia T/TX with its 13MP camera sensor will not be using this new stacked structure. However, the release date of the new 13MP stacked sensor and imaging module for March 2013 puts it right on target for Sony Mobile’s 2013 flagship.

Three Exmor RS sensors/imaging modules to be released:

1) IMX135: Type 1/3.06 model with 13.13 effective megapixels.
Features: ‘RGBW coding’ function and ‘HDR (High Dynamic Range) movie’ function.
Release: January 2013
Cost: 1,500 JPY

Imaging module ‘IU135F3-Z’
Features: Bright, high-resolution F2.2 lens.
Release: March 2013
Cost: 8,000 JPY

2) IMX134: Type 1/4 model with 8.08 effective megapixels.
Features: ‘RGBW coding’ function and ‘HDR (High Dynamic Range) movie’ function.
Release: March 2013
Cost: 1,000 JPY

Imaging module ‘IU134F9-Z’
Features: Thin and compact lens (W:8.5 x D:8.5 x H:4.2mm)
Release: May 2013
Cost: 5,000 JPY 

3) ISX014: Type 1/4 model with 8.08 effective megapixels.
Features: Built-in camera signal processing function.
Release: October 2012
Cost: 1,200 JPY

Imaging module ‘IUS014F-Z’
Features: All-in-one imaging module that comprises an image sensor with built-in camera signal processing function and built-in auto-focus and picture adjustment function.
Release: November 2012
Cost: 6,000 JPY

Via Sony.

  • luckystar

    this so makes me want to skip til next year for a new phone!

  • .cj

    … that means, the iphone5 doesn’t get use of this chip either, or?

  • Kaostheory

    A new cybershot finally?

  • Roy

    Exmor RX + Pixel Eyes + MagicWhite = My dream Sony.

  • Roy


  • betatesterz

    Who knows. The next tier of Exmor technology may be named RX since it has quite a nice ring to it XD

  • Vikramaditya

    No, no, the iPhone 5 (in all probability) gets a chip better than this.

  • rafi

    Wow.. 2.2f that superb… preveously with 2.4f

  • Feanor

    ??? Apple’s camera module supplier is Sony. Does Sony produce better sensors exclusively for Apple and they don’t use them in their own devices? Fat chance, I’d say…

  • Feanor

    Hmm… The T and the TX use 13MP Exmor R sensors whereas the S and Ion use 12MP sensors. It’s a rather small difference which doesn’t make sense from a business point of view. They might as well save the additional development costs and fit in the T and TX the same 12MP sensors from the S and the Ion. They would still be top of the game.
    The only way that this makes sense is that the sensors in the T and TX are somewhere between the previous generation and the next one. Something like half way there.

  • SONY release only one high end smart phone with

    Exmor RS + White Magic + Cyber Shot + Bravia Engine+ Walkman + HDMI + Xloud + Playstation Certified + Track ID + High End Specification + 4000 mAh Battery

  • Coolkid

    Full detail is here… Also 1080p with 60 fps video recording is comin up with 13.13 mp and HDR recording…. All hail Sony…!!!

  • Coolkid
    Full detail is here… Also 1080p 60 fps and 720p 60 fps video recording is comin up with 13.13 mp and HDR recording(1080p 30 fps)…. All hail Sony…!!!

  • miki69

    wasn’t this already announced back in Jan?
    same 13MP 1/3.06″ sensor??? Quite confusing


  • miki69

    well not necessarily. One X has f2.0, still it makes shitty images.
    Somehow I don’t like those small (why not full size?) Sony press images. Low light shot has been artificially blown (over-bright colors).. I’ll pass my judgement as we see more real life samples.

    Reading this, I’m not sure if I should go for GX/Mint our should I wait for 2013 xperia lineup.


  • jxPerience

    ok dont forget the Sony’s new Pixel Eye Panel with this i think no need for OLED display.
    So now we have

    Exmor RS for CAMERA
    Pixel Eye, White Magic, Floating Touch, Bravia Engine for DISPLAY
    Walkman, xLoud, Clear Stereo, Clear Phase, Track ID, S-Master MX Digital Amplifier, Dynamic Normalizer for MUSIC
    Playstation Mobile for GAMING
    Video/Music Unlimited, Play Memories for Entertainment

    what else we can ask for the NEXT XPERIA?

  • jxPerience

    T and TX camera use the 2nd gen exmor R whereas the ION, S and ACRO S used the 1st GEN exmor R.

    This exmor RS i guess is the third generation.

  • lovebmw

    and not to to compress the pictures so much…. 13mp with a 2mb picture is just a waste of a sensor

  • jxPerience

    my xperia pro 2.6 but still good in low light what more if 2.2 wow!

  • jxPerience

    ok fine maybe you forget its HTC not SONY. So ONE X is better if they use the SONY CAMERA SENSOR

  • miki69

    what is the difference between 1st and 2nd gen, except for the obvious 12MP and 13MP?


  • miki69

    of course :) It’s a Sony! (God, I miss this slogan from the 80’s :) Sony has a great history of even greater camera phones (k750, c905, Satio….) they KNOW how to do it! I really hope Sony would also consider Xenon in Xperia line (well, in some foreseeable future). That would bring them to the top, and completely separate Xperia from the rest of smarphones…


  • jxPerience

    correct me if im wrong i think there was one android device (not from sony) used a xenon flash. I think its from motorola but im not sure. Anyhow what do you think the reason why mostly of android vendors do not invest xenon flash for the mobile devices?

  • jxPerience

    i think i am wrong the T and TX still uses the 1st gen Exmor R sensor. and the 2nd gen that was announce earlier this year is this one (exmor rs) i thought that the xperia GX and SX used the 2nd gen sensor but i guess its not.

  • miki69

    yes, you’re right – there was Motorola XT720. Why more vendors don’t invest – simple, not their target group, as most photos are used for sharing to various social services (eg, not full size, mostly resized), image quality doesn’t come as a top priority, plus they all want to make as slim device as possible. Hope this will change.


  • alfino

    don’t forget X-Reality Display Pro

  • miki69

    a bit off-topic: more GX image samples for final retail unit

    I would say, save 13MP sensor, exactly the same as Xperia S.


  • Jan

    I would like these all technologies but on quad Xperia Play 2/HD

    but they want to push PS Vita salary. Vita is nice but mainly daily no space in my pockets. I have space for one smartphone that could be gaming-smartphone, and i wish that would be new powerful Sony device. Previous Xperia Play was not so very premium, but very exclusive. New must be monolithic and good battery :) piano black for Me!

  • dereknobuyuki

    I shot a bunch of comparative shots (GX vs. GH2) in different lighting conditions but have yet to shoot comparisons of different ISO levels….

    but hopefully will have them up this week.

  • Pingback: Sony makes spec changes to Exmor RS camera sensor – ‘RGBW coding’ removed | Xperia Blog()

  • Pingback: Exmor RS sensor coming to Oppo Find 5; see first photo samples | Xperia Blog()

  • ripqhy

    actually it’s X-Reality for mobile..

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