Sony Enters Polarization Imaging Market

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Lucid Vision Labs, a Canadian company founded by ex-Point Grey Founder, President and VP of Engineering Rod Barman, appears to be the first one presenting a camera with Sony IMX250MZR (a polarization version of 5MP 3.45um GS pixel IMX250 mono sensor):

"Sony expands their sensor technology leadership beyond visible imaging with their first ever polarized sensor. Built upon their Pregius 5.0 MP IMX250 CMOS sensor, the new IMX250MZR (mono) sensor incorporates a layer of polarizers above the photodiodes. Four different angled polarizers (90°, 45°, 135° and 0°) are placed on each pixel with every block of four pixels making up a calculation unit. The relationship between the different directional polarizers in this innovative 4- pixel block design is able to calculate both the degree and direction of polarization.

Sony’s IMX250MZR polarizer array layer is an air-gap nano wire-grid coated with an anti-reflection material that suppresses flaring and ghosting. The polarizer array is positioned on-chip as opposed to on-glass. Because of this placement, the on-chip polarizer is closer to the photodiode and produces high extinction ratios.

Sony 4-pixel polarizer structure

Lucid presents its Phoenix polarized camera based on Sony sensor at Photonics West:

"Polarization imaging can be used to detect stress or defects in manufacturing of materials such as plastic, glass and carbon fiber. With the help of polarization cameras, many material properties that were impossible to identify with conventional RGB sensors can be easily acquired now. Polarization imaging can be a cost-effective way to solve imaging challenges and uncover hidden material properties to better perform inspection and classification in industrial applications."

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