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I understand the philosophy

I understand the philosophy of "one size fits all". The DNG-SDK persues the same strategy, but uses more than one plane for the remaining 1% of sensors, i.e. instead of using four values for one pixels it uses up to four pixel planes. But I certainly understand that you have to follow the design of dcraw.c closely. That will allow you to incorporate new cameras very easily into libraw.
Does 'half-size' processing mean that the top left corner, which may look as follows:
is merged into one pixel with four values? In other words, is 'half-size' processing lossless?