Sony Corporation today announced the development of an absurdly powerful new image sensor for smartphones. Its DRAM layer, added to the conventional 2-layer stacked CMOS image sensor, makes it possible to capture still images of fast-moving subjects with minimal focal plane distortion, as well as shooting “super slow motion” movies. We’re talking speeds up to 1,000 frames per second here, in full HD (1920×1080).
The industry’s first’s 3-layer stacked configuration delivers a high-speed readout of a 19.3 million pixel image in only 1/120th of a second. That’s about 4 times faster than conventional products. The technology minimizes the focal plane distortion in still images that tends to occur when shooting fast-moving subjects on smartphones, which usually lack a mechanical shutter to control your exposure time with.
The sensor’s high-speed readout capability also makes it possible to record slow motion HD video up to 8 times faster than conventional products. Normal speed shooting data and high-speed shooting data up to 1,000fps is exported from the image sensor on an external image signal processor (ISP), making it possible to record vibrant movies on a smartphone that seamlessly combine normal speed movies and “super slow motion” movies.
To ensure that users don’t miss split-second moments in “super slow motion” movies, it is possible to adjust settings to automatically detect sudden subject movement and trigger high-speed shooting. Because the high-speed shooting data is stored on the DRAM and output at a normal speed, a conventional ISP can be used.
In a video on YouTube, Sony demonstrates the possibly game changing capacity of the new sensor. Admittedly, it looks pretty impressive.