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BIONZ is an image processor used in Sony digital cameras.

It is currently used in many of Sony α DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Image processing in the camera converts the raw image data from a CCD or CMOS image sensor into the format that is stored on the memory card. This processing is one of the bottlenecks in digital camera speed, so manufacturers put much effort into making, and marketing, the fastest processors for this step that they can. Some of the models that use the BIONZ image processors are DSC-W150, DSC-W170, DSC-W210, DSC-W350 etc.

History of BIONZ chips in Sony cameras[edit]

BIONZ – MegaChips MA07170 and MA07171[edit]

The first camera to officially use a so-called BIONZ processor was the DSLR-A700 in 2007, utilizing the MA07170 chip from a MegaChips (MCL) family of 32-bit RISC processors with MIPS R3000 core.

Similar MegaChips processors had been used in the DSLR-A100 (MA07169) as well as in the Konica Minolta 5D (MA07168) and 7D (MA07168), implementing Konica Minolta's CxProcess III running under MiSPO's NORTi/MIPS, an RTOS following the µITRON standard.

The MegaChips MA07170 was also used in the DSLR-A200, DSLR-A300, and DSLR-A350. The DSLR-A850 and DSLR-A900 used two such chips in parallel.

The MegaChips MA07171 was instead used in the DSLR-A230, DSLR-A290, DSLR-A330, DSLR-A380, and DSLR-A390.

BIONZ – Sony CXD4115 chips[edit]

The next major BIONZ generation was utilizing the Sony CXD4115 as image processor in the DSLR-A450, DSLR-A500 and DSLR-A550

The revised CXD4115-1 was used in the DSLR-A560, DSLR-A580, SLT-A33, SLT-A35, SLT-A55 / SLT-A55V, NEX-3 / NEX-3C, NEX-5 / NEX-5C, NEX-C3, and NEX-VG10.

While the DSLR-A450, DSLR-A500 and DSLR-A550 still used a proprietary operating system (most probably NORTi as well), all later models are Linux-based (CE Linux 6 with kernel 2.3).

BIONZ – Sony CXD4132[edit]

The following camera models utilize a Sony CXD4132 series chip as multicore BIONZ processor: SLT-A37, SLT-A57, SLT-A58, SLT-A65 / SLT-A65V, SLT-A77 / SLT-A77V, SLT-A99 / SLT-A99V / HV, NEX-F3, NEX-3N, NEX-5N, NEX-5R, NEX-5T, NEX-6, NEX-7 / Lunar, NEX-VG20, NEX-VG30, NEX-VG900, NEX-FS100, DSC-RX1 / DSC-RX1R, DSC-RX100 / Stellar, DSC-RX100M2.

BIONZ X – Sony CXD90014[edit]

Some recent Sony cameras use a significantly enhanced image processor based on the Sony CXD90014 series dubbed the BIONZ X, including the ILCE-7 / ILCE-7R, ILCE-5000, ILCE-6000, DSC-RX10, ILCA-77M2, DSC-RX100 III and DSC-RX0. This is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A5 SoC.[1] It features, among other things, detail reproduction technology and diffraction-reducing technology, area-specific noise reduction and 16-bit image processing + 14-bit raw output.[2] It can process up to 10 frames per second and features Lock-on AF and object tracking.[3]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]