Sony patent shows off 3-layer sensor with optimized micro lenses

by Gannon Burgett

posted Thursday, June 4, 2015 at 10:33 AM EDT

An illustration of Sigma's three-layer Foveon X3 sensor

A new patent from Sony shows off the underlying framework for a multi-layer sensor, similar to Sigma’s Foveon sensor.

The patent, originally filed back in December of 2011, explains the basic premise behind a three-layer sensor, which uses individual layers to capture red, green, and blue light separately. By using this stacked sensor technology, Sony, like Sigma, can improve image quality due to the fact multi-layer sensors capture full color information on every pixel.

Similar patents from Sony have come around in the past, so this isn’t a guarantee that anything will come to life. But, the more patents and technology obtains in regards to the technology, the more promising it will likely be if it comes to fruition.

(via SonyAlpha Rumors via Egami)

Update: The original version of this article stated the micro lenses shifted to better focus light on individual pixels. After more thoroughly looking at the diagrams and parsing through translated text, it appears the micro lenses are fixed in position and instead are designed to direct light straight onto the photodiodes based on their position on the sensor. Thanks, Zig.