Sony is well aware of the fact that camera performance and image quality is at or near the top of most buyers' smartphone wish list. The company's imaging sensors are already used in a number of different smartphones to produce stunning (for a camera phone) results which will only improve thanks to Sony's latest creation.

The Japanese tech giant recently announced the commercialization of the Exmor RS IMX230 stacked CMOS imaging sensor, its latest sensor for smartphone cameras.

Sony said to the press that the sensor will be capable of capturing 21-megapixel stills and is the first CMOS image sensor for smartphones to be equipped with an onboard image plane phase detection AF signal processing function that can use up to 192 auto-focus points.

In Layman's terms, it means equipped smartphone cameras will offer improved focus tracking of fast-moving subjects.

The sensor is also capable of recording High Dynamic Range (HDR) still images and videos. In this instance, Sony's sensor is able to gather data from two different exposure conditions to create a single image output that attempts to correctly expose both bright and dark areas.

On the video side, the Exmor RS IMX230 can capture 720p clips at up to 120FPS and 1080p quality at 60FPS. 4K footage (4,096 x 2,160) videos can be recorded at 30FPS.

Sony expects to ship its new image sensor in April of 2015 which means we may be able to see it crop up in smartphones by this time next year.