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Archive 2013 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement
  
 
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/aptina-sony-agreement/
Aptina Enters into Patent License Agreement with Sony

SAN JOSE, Calif.–Aptina today announced that it has signed a patent cross-license agreement with Sony, which provides each company with access to the other’s patent portfolio.
Aptina and Sony have built industry leading patent portfolios that include seminal image sensor patents covering image capture and processing methods. These technologies are fundamental to the world’s growing image sensor industry, with sales of over two billion units annually, and found in almost every consumer electronics device including smart phones, automobiles, tablets, televisions, gaming platforms, medical equipment and digital cameras.
This cross-license agreement enables these two innovation leaders to
...Show more
A very interesting move for both sensor manufactures, I'd say this will give them both ownership of the market for some time.
Please let the first sensor to benefit be the FF sensor of the NEX-9.



Mar 01, 2013 at 04:02 PM
HopeIsEternal
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


I can't imagine why Sony would need to give away it's entire CIS IP to Aptina. What great technology would Sony be getting from Aptina that would make this all worthwhile?


Mar 02, 2013 at 12:49 AM
curious80
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


No one is giving any IP to anyone. All this is saying is that they will not sue each other for patent violations when one of them uses a techniques similar to something described in other company's patent.


Mar 02, 2013 at 12:52 AM
carstenw
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


This sounds like bad news for Canon...


Mar 02, 2013 at 12:55 AM
kwalsh
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


carstenw wrote:
This sounds like bad news for Canon...


But good news for nearly everyone else.

Although to be fair it isn't 100% clear this would change anything about Sony or Aptina sensors. Perhaps it just prevents a costly patent fight like the ones occurring in the mobile space and leaves the two of companies free to continue doing what they've been doing already.

As for Canon - it has been bad news for a long while for them as far as sensors go. No improvement in years. (Not that their sensors are bad, or that a sensor is the only important part of a camera).

Ken



Mar 02, 2013 at 01:57 AM
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


Canon's sensors are good, just not equal to today's best, because they have been reusing the same tech and just adding PDAF pixels, something Sony has been doing with the 16MP APS-C sensor in the 5N/5R.

Canon is rumored to be ready to release a new sensor design(that hopefully will be as good or better than Sony's current stuff).



Mar 02, 2013 at 02:21 AM
 

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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


kwalsh wrote:
As for Canon - it has been bad news for a long while for them as far as sensors go. No improvement in years....



As much as I like what Sony is doing with its sensor tech, it would be an exaggeration to say that canon sensors have seen no improvements in years. Canon FF sensors have actually improved quite a lot in past few years. They just haven't been able to catch up with Sony in terms of low-ISO DR. But yes on the APS-C side they are standing still.

As far as I understand this is basically down to the fact that Canon is still stuck with the old 0.5 micron fabrication process while others like Sony have moved on to much finer fabrication technologies like 0.18 micron. It looks like there is not much canon can do to improve the high density APS-C sensors any further until they also move to the finer fab technology. That also is why they have not been increasing FF sensor resolution either. However it is rumored that in near future we will start seeing canon sensors with new process, which should bridge the gap.



Mar 02, 2013 at 02:25 AM
Lee Saxon
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


I really wish we knew who approached whom and what patent(s) they wanted permission to use.

Since both have plenty of small sensors, I'm leaning towards Aptina wanting to use some Sony IP to expand their large sensor offerings. *shrug*



Mar 02, 2013 at 03:22 AM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


Well as far as I know, Aptina can make really big sensors, so I think it might have something to do with that.

Canon doesnt need it actually, they are able to do 6x7 even today (if they wanted, which they apparently dont).



Mar 02, 2013 at 03:28 AM
AhamB
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


curious80 wrote:
As far as I understand this is basically down to the fact that Canon is still stuck with the old 0.5 micron fabrication process while others like Sony have moved on to much finer fabrication technologies like 0.18 micron. It looks like there is not much canon can do to improve the high density APS-C sensors any further until they also move to the finer fab technology. That also is why they have not been increasing FF sensor resolution either. However it is rumored that in near future we will start seeing canon sensors with new process, which should bridge
...Show more

That would explain why Canon has been falling behind. Upgrading fabs to a smaller process is very costly and complicated business.



Mar 02, 2013 at 11:00 AM
ricardovaste
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


curious80 wrote:
No one is giving any IP to anyone. All this is saying is that they will not sue each other for patent violations when one of them uses a techniques similar to something described in other company's patent.


Yes, I think we can go back to sleep. Beyond jumping into wild speculation, nothing interesting here.



Mar 02, 2013 at 11:07 AM
Mescalamba
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · SONY Aptina Patent License Agreement


AhamB wrote:
That would explain why Canon has been falling behind. Upgrading fabs to a smaller process is very costly and complicated business.


Its pretty similar to CPU/GPU business. I thought that Canon has some issues with manufacturing process due lack of improvement over... um ages.

If they really do that 46 mpix 1D Xs, then it will need newer process. Only problem is that, moving towards newer process usually lowers yields from wafers at start.



Mar 02, 2013 at 05:40 PM





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