This has been another informative thread -- I'm learning a lot. Thanks guys and gals, especially jrista and others on the in-depth tech talk. Very cool stuff.
My guess is that if there's a big improvement in image quality from the sensor, it's probably produced on a new fab. That could also explain the delay in getting the 7DII out the door and perhaps the absence of patents that would point to something totally new.
On the patents things, there is another way they could bring something "totally new" (at least for Canon). They could license or buy a patent from another company. Any thoughts on this? Does Canon take too much pride in their own development to do this? Do they not need to because of the technology they're already working on? Is it still just market dominance that allows them to not need to make a huge leap? (Something tells me that while market dominance might mean they don't need to release a new leap in tech, it doesn't mean they aren't furiously working on developing new tech all the time.)
Anyway, I'm still guessing new fab, but what do you think? Any chance some other company's patent technology shows up in a new killer sensor for the 7DII?
Not sure how informative all of the opinions actually are. I would be more interested in the opinion of the guy testing it at the world cup. Short of that, all I want to know is when I can place my pre-order.