The Canon Digital Learning Center published a in-depth article (updated) about how Canon’s Cinema RAW works. From the introduction:
As digital cinema camera technologies continue to evolve, one pattern has clearly emerged as the new flavor of our time: recording RAW camera sensor data. With the emergence of powerful post-production workstations, it makes theoretical sense that one would want to record all the unprocessed data the camera sensor has to offer and deliver it to post-production to process that data and create the final images we seek. Yet, in reality, the methodologies of implementing these steps seem as varied as the cameras themselves, suggesting that there are other factors at play that influence this seemingly straightforward concept.