Could a higher-resolution M43 sensor be just around the corner? It seems that it might be. Sony's semiconductor division has launched a new website, which lists some of the chips that Sony offers to potential buyers. Among familiar sensor units, such as the company's 20MP 1" type and 36MP full frame sensors, there are a few examples listed that we've yet to see in any cameras.

A number of these stood out to us, including a 20MP Four Thirds-type sensor, capable of faster readout than the current 16MP IMX159 used in some Olympus cameras, and a 20MP Stacked CMOS 1/1.7" chip that we may see replace the long-serving IMX144 used in many enthusiast compacts. That is, if the 1/1.7"-type sensor doesn't get entirely superseded by the 1"-type sensors Sony also sells. 

Also of note is a new APS-C sensor, the IMX271, which has a relatively high maximum full-resolution readout frame rate of 19fps (up from the 8.7fps readout of the previous generation IMX193 APS-C sensor, which is likely what is found in cameras like the Nikon D5300). This could be beneficial for high-speed readout applications. Furthermore, the IMX271 includes a Scalable Low Voltage Signaling Embedded Clock (SLVS-EC), which Sony claims is a new interface technology that can enable the use of high speed and multi-stream output functions of the sensor for high speed movies, as well as multi-frame, high dynamic range, and still/movie simultaneous capture. 

Full product details are not yet available, but for now the new site provides a glimpse into what we might see in the next generation of consumer digital cameras.*


*Note that this particular site provides a lineup of products available to other companies; Sony does have different sensors they use internally for their own cameras.