updated 09:25 am EST, Tue November 11, 2008
Sigma buys Foveon
Kawasaki, Japan-based digital camera maker Sigma Corporation has purchased all stock of Foveon Inc., a company that developed the original three-layer image sensor for digital cameras. Prior to this Tuesday announcement, the two companies have worked together on the Foveon X3 sensors used in all Sigma digital cameras, including the recently introduced SD15 and DP2.
With the acquisition, Sigma will focus Foveon's San Jose, CA-based operations on better integrating the sensor with the company's cameras, resulting in improved performance and capabilities. The company also promises to develop new types of sensors for higher-end digital cameras, and plans are already set to release two new digital camera models with Foveon sensors in 2009.
Foveon is known for developing and patenting the first three-layer image capture technology that involves a stack of RGB pixels in each pixel location. This arrangement allows the sensor to detect the three primary colors in each pixel location to produce sharper images with reduced image artifacts. It also contributes to producing a more DSLR-like picture from compact models like the DP2.