Samsung started the production of camera sensors that can take 1000 photos in seconds

Adithya Kumar
Sep 19, 2017

Samsung is a global giant in the electronics market with a firm grasp on smartphones. Samsung mobiles come with a host of features that cater to the needs of all smartphone users, from high-end smartphones to feature phones.

Now, Samsung will start mass manufacturing a camera sensor that is capable of capturing up to 1000 frames per second. These sensors are used to shoot high-quality videos in slow-motion. These videos are mainly used during live sports events to review referee decisions. With this sensor, it is suggested that it can also be useful in capturing the movement of objects in detail.

3-ply Camera Sensor

Samsung Electronics will begin mass production of the '3-ply camera sensor' in November. The sensor is rumored to be made into a layered structure by connecting a logic system, which is responsible for calculations. DRAM chips that can store data temporarily through TSV technology. It is said that Samsung will soon order special equipment required for mass production of the sensor.

Today's flagship devices' camera sensors are based on a 2-ply structure. This consists of sensors and logic chips. Now Samsung is planning to throw a DRAM chip in the mix. Along with this new composition, the sensor can easily pick up to 1,000 frames in seconds.
Sony was the first company to develop a 2-ply camera sensor and they were the first to commercialize the '3 ply' sensor structure as well. Samsung and OmniVision are the only two companies that can commercialize a 2-ply camera sensor.


Sony's take on the 3-ply camera sensors.

These sensors are used for Sony Flagship devices like the Xperia XZ and the XZ1. The Sony sensor has a DRAM chip of 1 Micron between the image sensor and the logic chip. Sony used a batch process system to combine the sensors, DRAM chips, and logic chips onto the wafer units.

Samsung uses a different method. This method creates a 2-layer structure along with sensors and logic chips. Then the DRAM chip is attached through the Thermal Compression.However, if the end to end costs are considered, Sony is still in the lead. The reason Samsung has decided to use this method is to avoid patent infringement.


"Despite the increase in production costs, the main semiconductor industry more often prioritizes the use of TSV technology because the value of performance improvement is higher than the increase in production costs," said a representative in the camera industry.


Higher Production costs?

It is considered that Samsung will be receiving more supply and demand for the camera sensor than Sony because Samsung can create their own DRAM chips. Samsung is the world's largest DRAM manufacturer. Along with this, the stacking method used by Samsung is said to be more efficient and is said to improve the sensor's performance drastically. However, Samsung's production cost will be more than that of Sony's.

Samsung might use their 3-ply camera sensor in their next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S9. Samsung Electronics is said to received half of the sensor supply from Sony and the rest will be manufactured in-house by Samsung LSI. The devices with the camera sensor from Sony is expected to launch in the United States.

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