Samsung to build its own 1,000 fps camera to challenge Sony

Sony was the first to build a mobile camera with on-chip memory – the Motion Eye camera on the Xperia XZ Premium and XZs (later XZ1 too). Now chatter from Korea suggests that Samsung Semiconductors is looking to build a similar camera in November, ready to use in the next-generation Galaxy S phone.

The advantage of on-chip memory is that the camera can store many frames very fast – enough to shoot 1,000fps or so for slow-motion video. Streaming those to the main RAM will be too slow, so Sony built a three layer chip – pixels, control logic and memory.

Samsung’s design is reportedly slightly different. It uses a traditional two layer chip to which a DRAM chip is bonded. Apparently this is to avoid infringing certain patents.

Samsung will reportedly build its own 1,000 fps camera to challenge Sony

While Samsung’s design is not as sophisticated as Sony’s, the company has an advantage – it has in-house factories that produce both image sensors and memory chips. Sony has to rely on Micron for the 1 gigabit memory chip.

Currently, Samsung uses a mix of Samsung and Sony-made sensors on its phones. For example, Korean Galaxy S8 phones come with a Samsung image sensor, the US models have a Sony sensor. The S9 could use all-Samsung sensors if this pans out.