Foveon X3 5M 1/1.8" type sensor

Aug 8, 2003 at 06:35 GMT

Foveon has released specifications for the 'Foveon X3 5M CMOS Image Sensor'. This is a very interesting sensor because it is the same size as the now almost standard 1/1.8" type used in many of todays compact digital cameras. The X3 5M has 4.53 MPS (million pixel sensors) in an array of 1420 x 1060 x 3 layers. This sensor is also capable of 640 x 480 full color video (3 colors per output pixel) at an impressive 30 frames per second using Foveon's Variable Pixel Size (VPS) capability. Could this be a sign that we will soon see consumer level digital cameras with X3 sensors? (Note: According to our friends at Imaging-Resource mention was made of this sensor back in March but until now we had not seen the specifications).

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Click here for the Foveon X3 5M CMOS Image Sensor Datasheet (460 KB, PDF)

Product Brief:

Foveon X3 5M CMOS Image Sensor (F19X3-A50)

The Foveon X3 5M is a 1/1.8-inch CMOS image sensor that incorporates the breakthrough Foveon X3 technology. Foveon X3 image sensors capture full-measured color images through a unique three-layer pixel sensor design. By capturing fullmeasured color images, the need for color interpolation and artifact-reducing blur filters is eliminated. As a result, the Foveon X3 5M delivers the highest effective resolution possible without color artifacts for the 1/1.8-inch optical format. The Foveon X3 5M features the powerful VPS(Variable Pixel Size) capability. VPS provides the on-chip capability of grouping neighboring pixels together to form larger pixels that are optimal for reduced noise, high frame rate or dual mode still/video applications. Other advanced features include: low fixed-pattern noise, ultra-low power consumption, and integrated digital control.



Effective Pixel Sensors 4.53 MPS (million pixel sensors)
1.51 million pixel locations x 3 layers
(1420 columns x 1060 rows x 3 layers)
Total Pixel Sensors 4.7 MPS (million pixel sensors)
1.57 million pixel locations x 3 layers
(1440 columns x 1088 rows x 3 layers)
Pixel Pitch 5.0 µm
Effective Area 7.1 x 5.3 mm
Effective Diagonal 8.8 mm
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Frame Rate 7 fps for 1420c x 1060r x 3 layers
30 fps for 640c x 480r x 3 layers (VPS)
Variable Pixel Size Increments Integer Multiples