Development of a Sigma three-layer image sensor camera

February 21, 2022

Sigma has confirmed that it is working on the development of its new three-layer image sensor, formerly known as the 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 CEO Kazuto Yamaki outlined the 3-step process for developing 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, CEO, SIGMA Corporation

The tri-layer image sensor has three layers of pixels, so each sensor pixel can capture color data, with red, green, and blue color information. Sigma bought 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 (pictured above).

Foveon X3 Sensor vs Bayer Filter Sensor (RGB Pixels)

Foveon X3 Sensor vs Bayer Filter Sensor (RGB Pixels)

From Sigma, 02/21/2022:

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

The development of the sensor is currently ongoing and can be roughly divided into three stages:

Step 1 – Repeated design simulations of the new three-layer structure to confirm that it will perform as intended.
2nd step – 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.
Step 3 – Final evaluation of the prototype using a full frame image sensor with the same specs including AD converter etc.

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

When we go to step 3, we will check the serial producibility of the sensor with research institutes and manufacturing suppliers based on the evaluation results, and then make a final decision on whether or not to proceed. 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 want to thank you all for your continued support of SIGMA.

Kazuto Yamaki
President and CEO, SIGMA Corporation


Further reading

Sigma fp review

Sigma dp0 Quattro review

SubscribeSubscribe

Michael C. Garrison