Saturday, June 25, 2016

Samsung Proposes Different Readout Order to Reduce Column-to-Column ADC Coupling

Samsung Patent application US20160173800 "Image sensor for performing coupling-free readout, and device having the same" by Kyoung Min Koh, Ju Ha Kim, and Jae Cheol Yun talks about the coupling between the column-parallel ADCs:

"A coupling effect is generated between adjacent analog-to-digital converters by parasitic capacitance that is present between the adjacent analog-to-digital converters. In particular, the coupling effect which is increased as a difference between pixels signals becomes large increases non-linearity of each of analog-to-digital converters. The non-linearity is one of sources of errors of an analog-to-digital converter."

Samsung team proposes to change the pixel readout order so that the pixels with similar values read simultaneously:

Friday, June 24, 2016

SMIC Buys 70% of LFoundry for 49M Euros

LFoundry (Italy) and its investor Marsica Innovation S.p.A. (MI) announce the agreement to sell to SMIC a 70% stake of LFoundry for 49M Euros. At the closing, SMIC, LFoundry and MI will own 70%, 15% and 15% of the corporate capital of the target respectively.

In fiscal year 2015, LFoundry revenue was 218M EUR. LFoundry’s capacity is 40,000 8-inch wafers per month. LFoundry used to be Micron's fab manufacturing image sensors for Aptina and continues it now as an independent foundry. At the same time, LFoundry offers 110nm CIS process on the foundry basis.

Sergio Galbiati, the Managing Director of MI and Chairman of LFoundry srl, said, “This is the beginning of a new era for LFoundry and our Italian fab. We are pleased to become part of a very strong worldwide player, SMIC. Together we can further improve LFoundry’s strength on optical sensor related technology, which is well recognized worldwide, and continue to contribute to the growth of technology in Europe, thanks to our partnerships with many relevant players. The agreement with SMIC will enable us to have a stronger level playing field in Europe.

LFoundry, Avezzano, Italy

Thanks to ESG for the link!

SensL Interview

Yole Développement publishes an interview with SensL CTO Carl Jackson and VP Marketing Wade Appelman. These days, SensL is focusing primarily on LiDAR for ADAS and consumer robotics and drones. Few quotes:

"Our core product is the Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM). The SiPM is a solid-state sensor that is closely related to SPADs (single photon avalanche diode). A simplistic description of SPAD is a binary photon-activated ‘switch’. An SiPM is formed of a close-packed array of SPADs with a summed output. This summed-matrix of SPADs, that forms the SiPM, acts as a quasi-analog sensor that retains single-photon sensitivity upon a large surface area.

SiPMs have very high internal gain and therefore do not require external amplification that would contribute additional noise to the signal. Therefore the SiPM will have a better SNR than the APD in many use cases.

The histogramming ToF approach reveals the time-correlated photons that would otherwise be lost in the background noise of the ambient light and is used to extract the distance measurement.

Softkinetic CARlib

Softkinetic publishes its automotive gesture control promotion video:

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Noise Reduction in Multi-Aperture Cameras

Shizuoka University publishes PhD Thesis "A study on low-noise high-sensitivity multiaperture camera with selective averaging" by Bo Zhang. From the abstract: "a prototype 3×3-aperture camera is developed. Under a low-light condition, in which the maximum average signal per aperture is 11e-, the RTS noise and dark current white defects are removed and the peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) of the image is increased by 6.3dB."

ISORG Demos its Printed Photodioodes

IDTechExShow Show held in Berlin publishes Youtube video about ISORG products:

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

2016 Electronic Imaging Proceedings On-Line

Proceedings of the Electronic Imaging conference 2016 are available on-line, free of charge, with no registration.

Thanks to AT for the link!

Image Sensor Architecture for Continuous Mobile Vision

Robert LiKamWa publishes his presentation at ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) 2016, Seoul, Korea "RedEye: Analog ConvNet Image Sensor Architecture for Continuous Mobile Vision" by Robert LiKamWa, Yunhui Hou, Julian Gao, Mia Polansky, Lin Zhong (Rice University). Few slides:

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

e2v Announces Gated NIR Imaging Optimized Sensor

e2v announces the Onyx EV76C664 1.3MP global shutter CMOS sensor. The new sensor features an embedded active imaging system which synchronises external illumination and internal electronic shuttering. This allows discernible color images to be produced at extremely low light levels and through diffusing environments (e.g. fog and smoke) by range-gating, making it ideal for Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) and security cameras.

The sensor has an innovative 10um-large pixel with extended sensitivity and performance in NIR, and can also cater for ‘all-light’ environments (typical of outdoor camera applications) where wide dynamic range is also needed. The new sensor is available in sparse colour and monochrome filter (EV76C664ACT) and black and white (EV76C664ABT).

2016 Harvest Imaging Forum Registration Opens

Albert Theuwissen announces a start of registration for 2016 Harvest Imaging Forum "Robustness of CMOS Technology and Circuitry outside the Imaging Core : integrity, variability, reliability."

The Imaging forum is split into two parts, divided over two days:
  1. The basic required knowledge to understand the robustness of CMOS integrated circuits. This first part of the forum will include physics, state-of-the-art CMOS processes and related design issues,
  2. The robustness of advanced CMOS integrated circuits. The second part of the forum includes:

    Signal integrity issues: cross talk, signal propagation, interference between ICs, current peaks, supply noise, substrate and ground bounce, on-chip decoupling capacitors and design consequences,

    Variability issues: difference between random variations and systematic variations, causes of process parameter spread, proximity effects, random dopant fluctuations, transistor matching and design consequences,

    Reliability issues and topics: electro-migration, latch-up, hot-carrier effect, NBTI, soft-errors (by cosmic rays and alpha-particles), electro-static discharge, etc.