Sony's New Image Sensor Gathers Twice the Light

It seeks to improve nighttime photography and combats overexposure

Sony has announced that its internal semiconductor division has created the world’s first stacked CMOS image sensor.

According to the Sony Semiconductor Solution Corporation, this technology has a lot of potential to further improve high-quality digital imaging. This new sensor doubles the amount of light gathered compared to current chips.

Semiconductor creation

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CMOS stands for Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor, and when used as part of an image sensor, acts as the film for a digital camera. The sensor is made of many photodiodes and pixel transistors that covert a subject into a digital image.

Typically, these photodiodes and transistors occupy the same space. What’s so special about Sony’s sensor is that it separates the two and places the transistors below the photodiodes. This new form factor allows Sony to optimize each layer to increase the amount of light that can be taken in and widen a camera’s range. Plus, it reduces noise in an image to ensure higher quality.

The wider range and reduced noise from this new tech will prevent exposure problems in areas that have both bright and dim lights. It’s also slated to allow high-quality images in low-light settings.

Taking picture of freeway

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It's unknown if and when Sony will bring this new stacking technology to its camera products. The company did say that it will contribute this 2-Layer Transistor Pixel technology to the betterment of smartphone photography, so it's likely we'll see the tech in our new smartphones before long.

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