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New TFD “Foveon alike” sensor has 36 layers!

Spanish researcher from the University of Granada announced a new kind of sensor having 36 different colored layers(!). It works just like the Sigma Foveon sensor but Sigma uses only three layers (Red-Green-Blue) aligned vertically one below the other. The current Sigma and Bayer sensors only extracts information from one of these three colours (RGB) in each pixel within the image. To extract the information from the rest of colours in each pixel, it is necessary to apply algorithms which in most cases are among manufacturers’ best-kept secrets.

The new 36 layer sensor named “Transverse Field Detectors (TFD)” can obtain up to twelve times more color information than the human eye!

According to the PI in this group, Miguel Ángel Martínez Domingo:

“the new sensors developed at the Polytechnic University of Milan are called Transverse Field Detectors (TFD) and they are capable of extracting the full colour information from each pixel in the image without the need for a layer of colour filter on them.
In order to do so, they take advantage of a physical phenomenon by virtue of which each photon penetrates at a different depth depending on its wavelength, i.e., its colour. In this way, by collecting these photons at different depths on the silice surface of the sensor, the different channels of colour can be separated without the necessity of filters.”

There is yet no info about when these kind of sensor will make it into a real mass production camera.

More info about the sensor at and Canal.

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