Sony has announced a new compact, yet capable stacked CMOS image sensor. The Exmor IMX318 is the company's latest innovation when it comes to smartphone camera tech, which introduces a number of new features. It's certainly a step in the right direction for the company, and is a measure we think Sony needs to take this year to remain relevant.

The IMX318 is a type 1/2.6-inch stacked 22.5 megapixels CMOS image sensor, which is more compact than previous generations, yet promises to offer improved performance and greater image quality. It's boasted as the industry's first imaging sensor to be equipped with built-in hybrid autofocus, which can result in speeds of up to a staggering 0.03 seconds. Then you have 3-axis image stabilization for even better shots, making the IMX318 quite the capable little sensor.

"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."

As well as superior photos, the new sensor will allow for 4K recording at 30fps (frames per second), while 1080p and 720p offer 120fps and 240fps, respectively.

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The new imaging sensor is expected to start shipping in May later this year. We can look forward to seeing the company implement the new tech in its product line-up. We'll hopefully learn more about Sony's plans for 2016 and beyond at MWC so stay tuned. Should you be interested to learn more about Sony's new sensor chip, we strongly urge you to check out the company's official announcement.

Find out more about the new Exmor RS