In the late Twentieth Century, rudimentary steps were taking toward applying solid-state and information technologies to the capture of photographic images. The crop of resulting "digital" cameras are so far known for making "digital-looking" images, and have not made much progress in displacing film cameras in the photographic market. Starting in 1999, Foveon has been selling a new kind of camera, based on measuring all three primary color channels at every pixel location. This "full-measured- color" approach to electronic image capture contrasts with the conventional color-filter-mosaic approach that only measures one of red, green, or blue at each pixel location. The resulting images are in many ways better than can be obtained with film. More recently, Foveon has taken the full-measured- color approach into a realm where it can be much more cost-effective, and can proliferate across product categories. The recently introduced "Foveon X3" technology uses a stack of three photosensors at each pixel site in a silicon solid-state sensor, using the silicon itself as a color-separation filter. The resulting color separation is surprisingly good, and the images obtained this way are even more astounding than those previously possible with three sensors on a color-separation beam-splitter prism. The X3 technology and the information systems that surround it provide a model of what photographic technology might look like through coming decades.
Why this talk is important
About the speaker:
Richard F. Lyon received the B.S. degree in engineering and applied science from California Institute of Technology in 1974 and the M.S. degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1975. He has worked on a variety of projects involving communication and information theory, digital system design, analog and digital signal processing, VLSI design and methodologies, and sensory perception at Caltech, Bell Labs, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Stanford Telecommunications Inc., Xerox PARC, Schlumberger Palo Alto Research, and Apple Computer. Presently, he is chief scientist and vice president for research of Foveon, Inc., where he has been a leader in developing technologies and products for a new generation of digital photography based on "full measured color."
Richard F. Lyon