Friday, February 19, 2021

Sigma Scraps Next Generation Foveon Sensor Design Due to a Critical Flaw and Restarts from Scratch

ImagingResourceSigma publishes a statement about its full-frame Foveon X3 sensor development issues:

"In February 2020, we announced our decision to restart our plans for a full frame Foveon X3 sensor camera, beginning with the development of a new sensor technology. We have not been able to share any information regarding this project in the time since, and I would like to use this short message to provide an update about the situation.

As previously announced, we halted development of the project after the sensor we were working with could not go into mass production due to a critical flaw. As a result, we also terminated our contract with the sensor manufacturer with whom we had been collaborating. Further, we determined that the original sensor specifications would make it difficult to develop a product that will meet our and our customers’ high standards, and accordingly we decided to go back to the drawing board.

At present, we are fully engaged in research and development of the project, led by our head office, and are reviewing specifications to ensure that we will be able to satisfy the expectations placed on this project."

Sigma publishes a video with its CEO Kazuto Yamaki saying that due to the critical flaw in the design "we scrapped all the schematics and all the tooling and then re-started the project from the beginning":

8 comments:

  1. Albert Theuwissen - Harvest ImagingFebruary 20, 2021 at 10:50 AM

    Wauw, I never have seen such an open and honest confession in the CIS world. Pressure must be enormously high by these people. Wishing you the best with the project.

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    Replies
    1. A part of the openness might come from the fact that this is a mistake of other company that Sigma has contracted for the sensor design. I doubt that Sigma would admit the mistake in that same straight way, it it's made by its own engineers.

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    2. Sigma has been very open in the past, giving praise to a Sony or Tamron lens design for example.

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  2. Vladimir, the title should use "Critical Flaw," not "Critical Flow."

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  3. Replies
    1. They used Dongbu HiTek for their 15,36 (x3 layers!) Foveon sensor used in the SD1/M (2010), DP1/2/3/M (2012&2013), but haven't disclosed who manufactured their recent-most Foveon Quattro (2014) sensors.

      However they did introduce a Californian fab (TSI Semi) as a partner in fall 2018 at Photokina in their full-frame Foveon development announcement.

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  4. "A part of the openness might come from the fact that this is a mistake of other company that Sigma has contracted for the sensor design. I doubt that Sigma would admit the mistake in that same straight way, it it's made by its own engineers."

    AFAIK, Foveon was doing all the design for Sigma's X3 image sensors, and Foveon was a part of Sigma - until Foveon was fully shut down in 2020.

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