Sony's New Mobile Sensor Captures Twice The Light

Sony is one of the most powerful companies in mobile photography. Sony cameras mount on devices from many brands, such as Xiaomi or Realme.

Sony has introduced a new type of stacked CMOS sensor that uses "two-layer transistor pixels" to double the light gathering ability.

Typical image sensors have light-sensitive photodiodes and pixel transistors that control and amplify the signal on the same layer. However, the new design places the photodiodes at the top and the pixel transistors at the bottom, "doubling the saturation signal levels," they say from Sony.

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Sony pioneered stacked sensors that place fast memory and other electronics directly below the sensor, allowing for faster read speeds and thus fast burst shooting and a lowered rotary shutter on cameras and smartphones. 

The latter sensor uses a similar idea, but packages the pixel transistors on a separate substrate under the photodiode layer.

That means each layer could be optimized, allowing Sony to double the sensor's light saturation or the amount of charge each pixel can hold. That, in turn, allows for roughly twice the light-harvesting capacity.

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