Advertisement

Sigma three-layer image sensor camera development

February 21, 2022

Sigma has confirmed that it is working on development of its new three-layer image sensor, previously known as Foveon X3 sensors, and last seen in the 2016 Sigma sd Quattro, and sd Quattro H, which featured 29MP APS-C, and 45MP APS-C Foveon Quattro sensors.

Sigma’s CEO Kazuto Yamaki has laid out the 3 stage process for development of this sensor for use in a full-frame production camera:

“Although we have not yet reached the stage where we can announce a specific schedule for mass production, we are determined to do our best to bring this camera to market as soon as possible.” Kazuto Yamaki, Chief Executive Officer, SIGMA Corporation

The three-layer image sensor features three layers of pixels, so that each pixel in the sensor can capture full colour data, with red, green, and blue colour information. Sigma purchased Foveon in 2008, and later released an updated version of the sensor, the Foveon Quattro, which uses a higher resolution top layer. Since then, Sigma has released full-frame cameras using standard Bayer filter sensors, including the Sigma fp, and Sigma fp L (shown above).

Foveon X3 Sensor vs Bayer Filter Sensor (RGB pixels)

Foveon X3 Sensor vs Bayer Filter Sensor (RGB pixels)

From Sigma, 21/02/2022:

SIGMA would like to share the development status of its three-layer image sensor as of 21 February 2022.

Development of the sensor is currently under way and can be roughly divided into the following three stages:

Stage 1 – Repeated design simulations of the new three-layer structure to confirm that it will function as intended.
Stage 2 – Prototype evaluation using a small image sensor with the same pixel size as the product specifications but with
a reduced total pixel count to verify the performance characteristics of the image sensor in practice.
Stage 3 – Final prototype evaluation using a full-frame image sensor with the same specifications, including the AD converter, etc.

We believe that these three stages are necessary to the development of this sensor, and we are currently in the process of creating the prototype sensor for Stage 2. Based on the evaluation results of the prototype sensor, we will decide whether to proceed to Stage 3 or to review the design data and re-prototype Stage 2.

When we proceed to Stage 3, we will verify the mass-producibility of the sensor with research institutes and manufacturing vendors based on the evaluation results, and then make a final decision on whether or not to go ahead with mass production.

Although we have not yet reached the stage where we can announce a specific schedule for mass production, we are determined to do our best to bring this camera to market as soon as possible.

I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of SIGMA.

Kazuto Yamaki
Chief Executive Officer, SIGMA Corporation


Additional reading

Sigma fp review

Sigma dp0 Quattro review

SubscribeSubscribe
Receive a free welcome gift worth £77.90 with your subscription!

Get your first 6 months of Amateur Photographer for only £57.99, saving 36%! PLUS, receive a free Passport Duo travel pack & JOBY portable mini tripod!