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Sony invests close to $1 billion in the production of "stacked" smartphone camera sensors

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Sony invests close to $1 billion in the production of
Sony apparently has big plans for its newfangled CMOS cameras that "stack" the circuitry and the sensor on top on one another instead of side by side, saving space, which is a precious commodity in smartphones. 

Sony invests close to $1 billion in the production of "stacked" smartphone camera sensors
Moreover, these sensors allow you to shoot HDR video on the fly, and the first one found its place in the 13MP Sony Xperia GX, which is bound to hit Japan next month. 

Apple, Samsung and, of course, Sony, are using the company's sensors in their smartphones, so it will be interesting to see whether the "stacked" tech will make its way into the new iPhone 5 that is bound to arrive in the fall.



It might not be accidental that the Japanese are investing $994 million to expand plant production to 60, 000 wafers a month for making many of those stacked camera sensors.


Press Release

23 Comments
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posted on 22 Jun 2012, 10:04 3

1. mercorp (Posts: 968; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


So nokia likely invested $100 billion for their pureview.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 11:13 8

3. tahnik (Posts: 133; Member since: 17 Jul 2011)


Adding more and more megapixel doesn't mean it changing the picture revolutionary...Everything depends on sensor...That's why Apple and Samsung uses Sony camera sensors....

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 17:43 1

13. pegasso (Posts: 137; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


yup, more megapixel doesn't mean it changing the picture revolutionary,
but Nokia Pureview has 1/1.2" sensor.
and that really means something.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 14:39 7

8. AnukulVcool (Posts: 123; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)


lol! nokia itself is worth 25 billion

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 15:09 2

10. SleepingOz (unregistered)


HAHAHAHA!

posted on 23 Jun 2012, 14:27 1

19. the_matchless (Posts: 33; Member since: 01 Apr 2012)


Lolzzzz

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 10:37 6

2. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)


wow nice, i would like to see full 13 Mega pixel size photo comparison :) hopefully Sony will provide the full size pictures soon :)

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 11:38 2

4. borganwa (Posts: 5; Member since: 22 Jun 2012)


I wonder why Sony didn't use their best camera sensor to all of their XPERIA phones. XPERIA ray, neo V, mini/pro/live/active, U, sola cameras quality are still behind iPhone 4S (which sensor was also made by Sony)

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 17:54

14. pegasso (Posts: 137; Member since: 27 Nov 2011)


Sony Mobile Communications AB is a separate company.
if they decided to use Sony camera sensor, then they must bought the sensor from Sony Corporation (ソニー株式会社).
and knowing their current financial condition, i don't think Sony Mobile has the money to bought the best camera sensor available.

posted on 23 Jun 2012, 05:16

17. groupsacc (Posts: 232; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


Umm.. separate company but under the same conglomerate right?

posted on 23 Jun 2012, 18:28 1

20. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


There was a quake in Japan that destroyed a lot of lenses. The original Xperia Arc and Xperia Neo used to have the same sensors, but after the quake they had a shortage of the 8MP sensors. Sony Ericsson was forced to change the sensor of the Neo, hence the birth of the Neo V which is exactly a Neo but with a 5MP sensor.

Also, about the other xperia devices not getting the top-end sensor, it's because they needed variety. Just like how other manufacturers have top-end phones with better sensors than their low-end ones.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 12:13 1

5. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1047; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)


What happened to that sensor that could keep everything that was in in view in focus? That was cool and definitely worth the money.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 12:55

6. rnk.khch (Posts: 86; Member since: 30 Jan 2012)


Do they want t compete with Nokia's PureView?! No chance!!!

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 15:12 1

11. SleepingOz (unregistered)


Really?

posted on 24 Jun 2012, 23:44

21. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


if you know better, like the way you SOUNDED, you should know that more megapixels doesn't mean better image quality..
that's called the Megapixel Myth, just so you know in case you are still behind us..

posted on 24 Jun 2012, 23:55

23. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Yep, higher megapixels does not mean better image quality. But have you seen the 8MP pics captured on the pureview mode? Blows any other smartphone out of the wate.... no earth! Even holds it's ground against dedicated cameras.

http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_808_pureview_low_light-review-775.php

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 14:00 5

7. whothisperson (Posts: 102; Member since: 06 May 2012)


Very nice, I like. It's going to be a war like back in the days when Sony and Nokia had the BEST cameraphones in the world. I.e. Sony Ericsson K lines (k800, k850, etc.) and Nokia N lines (N50, N80, etc.)

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 14:42 8

9. AnukulVcool (Posts: 123; Member since: 02 Jun 2012)


not just samsung and apple, even nikon buys sensors from sony

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 15:29 2

12. osanilevich (Posts: 244; Member since: 29 Sep 2009)


Honestly if there is one manufacturer who can break into this apple vs Samsung thing we got going on its Sony. Always got great build quality and cameras now they just gotta get up to date processors and such and maybe tweak their proprietary UI a bit. Also, japan isn't the only country in earth, a few more international releases of high end devices can't hurt

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 19:28 1

15. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Yep pureview is awesome. But too pricey. Sony sensors are among the best (if not the best and excluding the pureview) among mobile phones in the 8mp category so continuously improving on it is of course a good idea. Besides, I want the good camera in a droid!!!! :p

Even the original X10 takes killer pics and vids.

posted on 22 Jun 2012, 20:44 1

16. mercorp (Posts: 968; Member since: 28 Jan 2012)


sorry for my bad comment.

posted on 23 Jun 2012, 05:17

18. groupsacc (Posts: 232; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


Sony spends $1bil in research. Meanwhile, in Cupertino......

posted on 24 Jun 2012, 23:47

22. bayusuputra (Posts: 941; Member since: 12 Feb 2012)


I remember that SIGMA has done this Foveon sensor, where they stack up the pixels instead of using the conventional Bayern pattern.. and indeed, the image looks more fantastic, since one color-subpixel gets the area of the whole sensor, and not just a third of it.. it improves the noise handling capability of the sensor, too.. maybe it's the dawn of the era when smartphones will finally replace PnS..

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