Friday, August 22, 2014

Sony Re-Packages Security Camera CCDs

Sony announces new ceramic packages for ICX810 and ICX811 CCDs for security cameras (NTSC and PAL respectively). The new packages are more compact and sustain higher temperatures in reflow soldering process:

One has to note that the recommended reflow temp profile is quite delicate - most common reflow processes have heat peaks at 245-250C.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sharp Announces 1-inch 12MP CMOS Sensor

Sharp Japan web site publishes an announcement of RJ5DY1BA0LT, the 12MP, 1-inch image sensor capable of 4K2K video at 60fps. The sensor is based on 3.1um pixels with 1420mV/lux-sec sensitivity (3200K light source, F5.6). When shooting 4K/60fps video, the sensor consumes 420mW, said to be the lowest power in the industry.

The 2014 Q3 Sharp LSI catalog shows somewhat lower sensitivity of the new sensor - 1170mV/lux-sec:

Rumor: Heptagon Acquires MESA Imaging

The rumor is that Heptagon has acquired Swiss ToF camera and image sensor maker MESA Imaging. MESA ToF cameras and sensors are mainly used in industrial applications, while Heptagon is oriented to mass market wafer optics used in many camera phones. The synergy between the two cameras is not clear to me.

Historically, both companies started from Switzerland CSEM technology:

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mantis Vision Reviews 3D Camera Technologies

Mantis Vision's CTO, Gur Bittan presents "Mobile Depth Sensing Methods and What They're Good For" at GPU Technology Conference held in March 2014. One can download the presentation video here or see it below.

InSilixa Presents DNA Testing Sensor

EETimes: InSilixa comes out of stealth mode with a promise to deliver a cheap DNA testing technology PCR by means of 32 x 32 image sensor array. The sensor is supposed to cost $20-$50, has 100um pixel pitch and is manufactured in IBM 250nm process:

In 2013, the startup company won Nokia XCHALLENGE award, as seen in this Youtube video:

Olympus Proposes 2-Layer RGB-IR Sensor

Egami blog publishes Olympus Japanese patent application 2014-135535 proposing a 2-layer RGB-IR sensor. The main purpose is to remove the need in IR-cut filter.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

iFixit Reveals Mantis Vision 3D Camera inside Google Project Tango Tablet

iFixit teardown shows that Mantis Vision structured light camera is responsible for Google Project Tango tablet 3D vision. The teardown team quotes Google: "The IR projector is from Mantis Vision, and designed specific to our specs for field of view and resolution. It is custom designed to work in partnership with the 4MP RGB-IR camera on the other side."

Monday, August 18, 2014

ON Semi Defines Post-Acquisition Aptina Organization

Business Wire: ON Semiconductor announces the completion of its acquisition of Aptina Imaging. ON expects to establish a new reporting segment, which will incorporate the financial results of the company’s consolidated sensor businesses, including the recent acquisitions of Aptina Imaging and Truesense Imaging, and ON Semiconductor’s existing optical, image and touch sensor businesses. The company expects to begin reporting financial results for the newly created segment from Q3 2014.

Taner Ozcelik, has been named SVP of the Aptina image sensor business and will report to Keith Jackson, president and CEO of ON Semi. Before the acquisition, Taner Ozcelik used to be Aptina SVP responsible for the Automotive and Embedded business.

For the Q3 2014, the acquisition of Aptina will likely contribute revenue in the range of $60M to $70M. Excluding the costs related to restructuring, and other acquisition related items, the acquisition of Aptina is expected to be slightly accretive to the ON's non-GAAP net income in Q3 2014.

In its investor presentation, ON Semi shows financial targets for Aptina business:

ESPROS Improves its ToF Evaluation Kit

Espros Photonics presents an improved version of the evaluation kit for its epc610 ToF sensor:

"The new epc610 Evaluation Kit is a significant upgrade from the former version. We opted for a completely new hardware design of the camera module. This module is based on our thorough background on TOF and incorporates the recent learnings from our customers.

A first novelty is an LED subsystem, which is optimized to illuminate the operation range in a more uniform way. Seven LEDs (Osram SFH 4059) are placed at the edge of the camera PCB. These LEDs cover the more distant operating range. Together, they deliver a high intensity, but due to the placement away from the receiver lens, their effect drops drastically at close range. This is where the single short range LED jumps in. Placed close to the receiver lens this single LED is much better suited to delivering light on to close objects, while its effect fades when the targets move further away. The result of this design is an illumination intensity with reduced peaks at certain distances. On signal level, this translates to a lower dynamic range that needs to be covered by the the detector system. Ask your sensor specialist and he will tell you why he likes that! With this design, the epc610 Camera Module works in a range from zero up to about three meters – depending on the target reflectivity.

Taiwan LIPS Presents ToF Stereo 3D Camera

As written in comments to the previous post, Taiwan-based LIPS posted Youtube videos demoing a 3D camera based on combination of ToF and stereo. No explanation of the technology is given, other than saying it's compatible with Primesense openNI 1.5 and 2.x software.