Sony Announces the First Stacked CMOS Image Sensor with Built-in Hybrid Autofocus and 3-Axis Electronic Image Stabilization

Sony announces a new type 1/2.6 22.5-Megapixel Exmoor RS sensor. This is the industry’s first stacked CMOS image sensor with built-in hybrid autofocus and 3-Axis electronic image stabilization.

The IMX318 comes with 22.5 effective megapixels, and it boasts a more compact size, greater image quality, and higher performance.

The brand new kind of sensor has electronic 3-Axis stabilization that  corrects both, in camera shake and lens distortion. The demo videos and full press text can be seen below.

Sony Announces a New Type 1/2.6 22.5 Megapixel Exmoor RS Sensor

This new Exmor RS is the industry’s first to be equipped with built-in high-speed hybrid autofocus, as fast as 0.03 seconds, and built-in 3-axis electronic image stabilization technology for video. Sony aims to begin shipments for this new CMOS image sensor in May, 2016.


Main Features

1. The industry’s smallest unit pixel size at 1.0μm, achieving compact size (type 1/2.6) while realizing 22.5 effective megapixels high resolution
As smartphones grow ever thinner, so too are image sensors growing increasingly more compact. In line with this trend, Sony has developed a miniscule 1.0μm pixel sensor that, despite its small size, realizes high image quality. To accomplish this, Sony employed manufacturing technology that improves light utilization efficiency, as well as circuit design technology that eliminates noise, a root cause of deterioration in image quality. With this innovation, Sony has realized an image sensor that delivers high quality images, while also boasting small optical size and a high resolution of 22.5 megapixels. Night shots have long been a weak point for the compact cameras used in smartphones, with the lack of light translating into excessive visual noise. The IMX318 addresses this weakness and realizes beautiful photography in nighttime conditions.
2. The industry’s first*1 image sensor with built-in hybrid AF, as fast as 0.03 seconds, and 3-axis electronic image stabilization
Hybrid AF
Hybrid AF, which merges image plane phase detection AF with contrast detection AF, has previously been realized through the combination of an image sensor and an application processor. But with the IMX318, Sony has created the industry’s first*1stacked CMOS image sensor with hybrid AF built into the sensor’s internal signal processor. The IMX318 leverages Sony’s high-speed AF technology that has been honed over many years, boasting an AF as fast as 0.03 seconds*2 (and as fast as 0.017 seconds when shooting video at 60fps). With this power in hand, the user can capture those decisive moments reliably in focus, whether shooting stills or video.


3. 4K and high frame rate video recording, through high-speed communications leveraging the latest MIPI specifications
Sony elected to adopt the MIPI (Mobile Industry Processor Interface) Alliance’s latest C-PHY 1.0/D-PHY 1.2 specifications for this image sensor’s interface. With this interface, the IMX318 is able to achieve more power efficient and faster data transmission from the image sensor to the application processor. As a result, even at the high resolution of 22.5 megapixels, transmission is realized for all pixels at 30fps. This enables seamless switching between high resolution video and still image photography, realizing the best of both worlds. Since the image sensor can transmit greater-than-4K resolution images for all pixels to the application processor, the user can capture 22.5 megapixel still images even while in the middle of recording video in 4K*3 at 30fps.

Key Specifications

Model name IMX318
Effective pixel count 5488 (H) x 4112 (V) 22.5 megapixels
Image size Diagonal 6.858mm (Type 1/2.6)
Unit cell size 1.00μm (H) x 1.00μm (V)
Frame rate Full 30fps
4K (3840 x 2160)
Sensitivity (standard value: F5.6) 61mV
Sensor saturation signal (minimum value) 330mV
Power supply Analog 2.8V
Digital 1.05V
Interface 1.8V
Key features Hybrid AF, 3-axis image stabilization for video, HDR imaging, lens resolution correction, white spot correction, NR
Output MIPI C-PHY 1.0 (3 trio) / D-PHY 1.2 (4 lane)
Image format Bayer RAW