Sigma Buys Chip-Maker Foveon

Lens and camera maker Sigma has acquired Foveon, the company that make image senors used...in Sigma cameras. This is interesting news for a couple of reasons. Foveon's chip differs from others in the way red, green, and blue pixels are arranged--not side by side, but stacked in layers, something like film. Ever since the technology was introduced in 2002, Foveon has garnered amazing press coverage, especially in the New York Times. So far, the chip has certainly not revolutionized camera technol

Lens and camera maker Sigma has acquired Foveon, the company that make image senors used...in Sigma cameras. This is interesting news for a couple of reasons. Foveon's chip differs from others in the way red, green, and blue pixels are arranged--not side by side, but stacked in layers, something like film. Ever since the technology was introduced in 2002, Foveon has garnered amazing press coverage, especially in the New York Times. So far, the chip has certainly not revolutionized camera technology, as was predicted by the Times. It isn't that the technology is bad--it's just that other kinds of chips also improved, matching the image quality that Foveon offered. It's a good case study for some business school student. By acquiring Foveon, Sigma hopes to streamline its product development.--David Schonauer

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