Sony's new 13MP CMOS image sensor may power next iPhone camera

Sony has announced a new 13 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS image sensor, which could one day allow for thinner iPhones that take even higher quality photos and HDR (High Dynamic Range) video.

This image sensor layers the pixel section containing formations of back-illuminated structure pixels onto chips containing the circuit section for signal processing, which is in place of supporting substrates for conventional back-illuminated CMOS image sensors. This structure achieves further enhancement in image quality, superior functionalities and a more compact size that will lead to enhanced camera evolution.

The setup separates the CMOS sensor from the imaging circuits which, along with a bit of optics-magic, results in higher quality images. It also thinner, which means iPhones and iPads, if Apple implements it, could be thinner.

Source: Sony

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

  • The current camera lens and sensor are the sole reasons for the current thickness of the iPhone, right? I thought I read that somewhere. It would be nice to have an even thinner iPhone. I'm not one of the iOS users that yearns for a bigger screen, however a thinner iPhone would be welcome... for me, anyway.
  • I don't care if it's gets thinner, I just want A6 processor a gig of ram and a 4 in screen.
  • Well since it will probably have a Quad-Core, why settle for 1GB of RAM? why not 2 or at least 1.5. I really hope Apple really steps up the specs like they did with 4 from the 3gs. Can you imagine the 5 with 1-2GB RAM, Quad-core 1GHz (although it will actually be down-clocked at 800MHz, which iOS makes it run as if it was 1.2GHz (look at the 4 and 4s), 13mp camera with a f2.2 or even f2.0 aperture lens and a trueHD front camera. Don't forget 802.11ac radio for wifi, NFC and LTE. Man that would make me cry, no wait it will make me WEEP of joy, Yeahh weep, because thats what real men do lol.
  • Oh I forgot the great 4 inch screen (which of course you noted).
  • After the lack of memory upgrade in the 4s I'm too scared to wish for anything more than a gig that they might smite me again
  • Apple would never provide an extra ounce of computing power than your phone currently needs. They are professionals at knowing which specs and features to ad that are JUST enough to get people to upgrade.
    Take Siri for example, it can run perfectly fine on an iPhone 4, yet Apple will not put it on there. Why? Because they have likely performed the market research and know that if they did only released Siri on the 4s it would equal x amount of upgrades.
  • people rave about the camera and it is good for a cell phone camera but honestly, my 6 year old Canon pwer shot sd700IS takes clearer pictures. maybe it's one of those sensor things but indoors the iphone pics are kinda grainy and hit or miss. iphones not horrible but in anything but bright light i find it less then great.
  • They should think about somehow integrating optical lens into the phones - now that's what will make phone cameras good, not ever increasing megapixels.
  • I mean optical zoom, sorry ;-)
  • I still don't understand how the megapixel war is still relevant. I would much rather take a 5MP camera (perfect for 8x10) over an 8MP if the quality was better. The extra pixels just mean wasted space.
    Tell me, who the hell prints 20x30" photos from a cell phone??