The future of X-Trans? Fuji files patent for sensor with enlarged green and white pixels
posted Friday, January 17, 2014 at 2:35 PM EDT
Fujifilm has something of a reputation for pushing boundaries when it comes to sensor technology, and it looks set to continue that tradition, with a new patent from Japan. Taking into account the fact that the human eye is more sensitive to luminance noise than color noise, Fujifilm's patent specifically has larger green and/or white pixels, which would specifically help with that.
If it sounds like we're a bit fuzzy on the details, that's because we are. We're attempting to pick apart a machine translated Japanese blogpost, as well as the patent itself. The patent itself was filed in 2012, and published in late December of 2013 — though we're not 100% sure if that means the patent has been awarded. But from the translated version of its description:
The solid state image pickup device according to claim 1 with which the aforementioned predetermined color is characterized by being a color with the largest contribution to luminance S/N most highly [ spectral luminous efficacy ] among the aforementioned multiple color.
the aforementioned multiple color -- red -- green and blue
The solid state image pickup device according to claim 2, wherein the aforementioned predetermined color is green.
the aforementioned multiple color -- white and red -- green and blue
The solid state image pickup device according to claim 2, wherein the aforementioned predetermined color is white.
In other words, it's a sensor with a larger white and/or green pixel in its pixel array, as those have the largest impact on luminance noise, which is the type of noise that stands out most to the human eye. By specifically enlarging those color pixels, you could hopefully drop noise levels substantially while still keeping the other pixels small, and having an overall small-sized sensor. Based on the image above, it would require some degree of puzzle solving to have the multiple sizes fit together properly. But it seems that Fujifilm is still going to keep working on interesting ways to improve the peformance of their sensors!