Sunday, September 15, 2019

QIS Sensors to Help NASA Missions

EurekaAlert: NASA is awarding a team of researchers from Rochester Institute of Technology and Dartmouth College a grant to develop a detector capable of sensing and counting single photons for future astrophysics missions. The detector leverages Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) technology and measures every photon that strikes the image sensor. While other sensors have been developed to see single photons, the QIS has several advantages including the ability to operate at room temperature, resistance to radiation and the ability to run on low power.

"This will deliver critical technology to NASA, its partners and future instrument principal investigators," said Don Figer, director of RIT's Center for Detectors, the Future Photon Initiative and principal investigator for the grant. "The technology will have a significant impact for NASA space missions and ground-based facilities. Our detectors will provide several important benefits, including photon counting capability, large formats, relative immunity to radiation, low power dissipation, low noise radiation and pickup, lower mass and more robust electronics."

The project's co-investigators include RIT Assistant Professor Michael Zemcov and Dartmouth Professor Eric R. Fossum. Fossum has focused on inventing the QIS technology while RIT is leading application-specific development that leverages their expertise in astrophysics.

"We're excited for this collaboration with RIT to build upon Dartmouth's proof-of-concept QIS technology to research and develop instrument-grade sensors that can detect single photons in the dimmest possible light," Fossum said. "This has tremendous implications for astrophysics and enables NASA scientists to collect light from extremely distance objects."

The researchers will develop the technology over the next two years. The Center for Detectors will publish results, reports and data processing and analysis software on their website at

Thursday, September 12, 2019

CCD vs CMOS in Display QC Application

Radiant Vision, a Konica Minolta company, publishes an interesting comparison of CCD and CMOS cameras in display quality control applications:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Harvest Imaging Forum is 75% Full

Harvest Imaging Forum to be held in December 2019, in Delft, the Netherlands, is quickly approaching a fully booked status. More than 75 % of the seats have been sold. The Forum topics this year are:

  • "On-Chip Feature Extraction for Range-Finding and Recognition Applications" by Makoto IKEDA (Tokyo University, Japan)
  • "Direct ToF 3D Imaging : from the Basics to the System" by Matteo PERENZONI (FBK, Trento, Italy)

Image Sensors for Machine Vision

ON Semi publishes a webinar "The Current State of Machine Vision Technology: Image Sensor Challenges and Selection."

BusinessWire: ON Semi also announces a 0.3MP machine vision sensor with 2.2um BSI pixels, the 1/10-inch ARX3A0. The new sensor has 1:1 aspect ratio and features ON Semiconductor’s NIR+ technology.

The 560 x 560 pixel sensor can operate at 360fps speed. It consumes less than 19 mW when capturing images at 30 fps, and 2.5 mW when capturing 1 fps.

Gianluca Colli, VP and GM, Consumer Solution Division of Image Sensor Group at ON Semiconductor said: “As we approach an era where Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral part of vision-based systems, it becomes clear that we now share this world with a new kind of intelligence. The ARX3A0 has been designed for that new breed of machine, where vision is as integral to their operation as it is ours.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

MCT and Microbolometric Imagers in China

China has achieved a lot of advances in cooled MCT and microbolometric imagers, including high resolution up to 2.7K x 2.7K and pixel size down to 10um. These are imagers from Norinco, CETC, iRay, GST, HikVision, and Dali presented at CIOE Show held in Shenzhen, China, last week:

-Norinco picture removed due to the absence of publishing permission-

Thanks to AB for the info!

Monday, September 09, 2019

Sony Unveils 61MP Full-Frame and 26MP APS-C Sensors for Security Applications

Sony unveils 4 new sensors for security and surveillance applications: IMX415-AAMR, IMX455AQK-K, IMX533CQK-D, IMX571BQR-J

Sunday, September 08, 2019

UBS: Galaxy S10 5G Cameras Cost $73

IFNews: According to UBS report, Samsung Galaxy S10 5G cameras, including ToF ones, cost $73. The cameras are the 2nd most expensive component after the display:

Front cameras:
  • Selfie Camera
  • ToF Depth Camera

Rear cameras:
  • Telephoto Camera
  • Wide-angle Camera
  • Ultra Wide Camera
  • ToF Depth Camera

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Huawei Kirin 990 5G Camera Features

HuaweiCentral: Huawei presents its new mobile processor Kirin 990 5G at IFA 2019 in Berlin, Germany. One of its most impressive imaging features is the AI-based ability to determine the heart rate and breath rate just from a selfie camera video stream:

Another impressive feature is a real-time video segmentation:

More pictures form the company's IFA presentation:

Friday, September 06, 2019

DARPA Starts Curved IR Imagers Program

DARPA FOcal arrays for Curved Infrared Imagers (FOCII) program is created to expand upon the current commercial trend for visible sensor arrays by extending the capability to both large and medium format midwave (MWIR) and/or longwave (LWIR) infrared detectors. The program seeks to develop and demonstrate technologies for curving existing state-of-the-art large format, high performance IR FPAs to a small radius of curvature (ROC) to maximize performance, as well as curve smaller format FPAs to an extreme ROC to enable the smallest form factors possible while maintaining exquisite performance.

FOCII will address this challenge through two approaches to fabricating a curved FPA. The first involves curving existing state-of-the-art FPAs, while keeping the underlying design intact. The focus of the research will be on achieving significant performance improvements over existing, flat FPAs, with a target radius of curvature of 70mm. The fundamental challenge researchers will work to address within this approach is to mitigate the mechanical strain created by curving the FPGA, particularly in silicon, which is very brittle.

The second approach will focus on achieving an extreme ROC of 12.5 mm to enable a transformative reduction in the size and weight compared to current imagers. Unlike the first approach, researchers will explore possible modifications to the underlying design, including physical modifications to the silicon that could relieve or eliminate stress on the material and allow for creating the desired curvature in a smaller sized FPA. This approach will also require new methods to counter the effects of any modifications during image reconstruction in the underlying ROIC algorithm.

Thanks to TL for the link!

Thursday, September 05, 2019

LiDAR News: Lumotive, LeiShen, CoreDAR, Hitachi

GlobeNewswire: Lumotive, a Bill Gates-funded LiDAR startup, used Himax’s LCOS display with Lumotive’s patented Liquid Crystal Metasurfaces (LCMs) to improve the performance, reliability and cost of LiDAR systems. Other LiDAR sensors utilize MEMS mirrors or optical phased arrays. However, both of these approaches lack performance due to the small optical aperture of MEMS mirrors and the low efficiency of phased arrays. In a first for LiDAR, Lumotive leverages Himax’s unique, tailor-made LCOS process to convert semiconductor chips into dynamic displays that steer laser pulses based on the light-bending principles of metamaterials.

Lumotive’s LiDAR systems offer performance advantages, including a combination of:
  • Large optical aperture (25 x 25 mm) which delivers long range
  • 120-degree FoV with high angular resolution
  • Fast, random-access beam steering

Leishen Intelligent System presents its broad range of low-cost LiDARs. An automotive grade hybrid LiDAR CH16 3D is priced at $599 in quantities of 10,000:

Update: LeiShen kindly sent me their price list for small quantity purchases:

CoreDAR presents its tiny LiDAR concept:

Hitachi presents its view on LiDAR's role in smart city applications: