Samsung's new ISOCELL sensor has on-board DRAM, shoots 960fps video

Peter, 26 February 2018

With the Galaxy S9 phones, the focus was on improving the camera. To that end, Samsung unveiled the ISOCELL Fast 2L3 image sensor with on-board DRAM and 960fps video recording.

The new ISOCELL Fast 2L3 sensor has a 3-layer design. Usually, the first layer holds the pixels that capture light, the second layer converts that into a digital information to be sent to the chipset for processing and finally to the phone’s RAM. Samsung has added a third layer, 512MB DRAM, that can quickly read and store the data from the sensor – much faster than the chipset can.

This enables video capture at 960fps for a cool 32x slow down. The sensor also features motion detection so it can start the slow-motion recording faster than you can.

But this sensor also takes better photos. It can move all data from the pixel layer to the DRAM layer in 1/120th of a second, which reduces rolling shutter (the jello effect).

And at that speed, it can snap several shots to be used for the 3D Noise Reduction in low-light or for better HDR in the daylight.

Samsung's new ISOCELL sensor has on-board DRAM, shoots 960fps video

The ISOCELL Fast 2L3 is a 12MP sensor with 1.4µm pixels, each of which works as a phase detection AF point – the so-called Dual Pixel autofocus. The sensor is currently in mass production.

Note that, in the past, Samsung has used a mix of in-house and Sony sensors, but they were built to have identical performance.

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Reader comments

  • AnonD-124856

Hahahha 720p recording vs 1080p xz2 pro will kick most smartphone in camera department this year

  • Anonymous

Funny! Now you don't care who came first. I thought Samsung ALWAYS did things first in which samboys are always bragging at.

ahhh, a feature that is rumored to be in the S8