Thursday, November 08, 2012

Sony IMX128 Inside Nikon D600 DSLR

Chipworks published nice pictures of Nikon D600 internals featuring Sony 24MP, 5.9um pixel IMX128 sensor. From M1-level SEM photo, it looks like Sony uses 4-way shared pixel or 2-way sharing with mirrored layout:

Other than the main sensor, Chipworks analyzed the secondary AF assist sensor which also features what Nikon calls "Scene Recognition System" for evaluating "situation, brightness and color". Chipworks photo reveals non-Bayer color pattern on this sensor:


  1. I always thought a RGB stripe pattern was a bad idea from an artifact point of view. Maybe ISP has progressed to where it isn't so bad.

  2. You are right about the stripes, but this sensor is not intended for capturing consumer images, but to be used for auto-focusing. In that case the requirements are different !

  3. I believe this is actually the metering sensor in the camera. Nikon began using a non-Bayer stripe back with the F5 when they pioneered this use of an image sensor. Since then, they've been upping the resolution with each generation of cameras, but still using a striped array. I suspect the use of the striped array is to allow direct use of color information for a "position" without having to demosaic. Given that the "positions" in the metering sensor always overlay a larger number of actual imaging pixels, it's likely that Nikon is looking at broad color patterns, not precise ones.


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