Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Imaging Resource on Nikon Image Sensor Design

Imaging Resource publishes a very nice article "Pixels for Geeks: A peek inside Nikon’s super-secret sensor design lab" by Dave Etchells. There is quite a lot on Nikon-internal stuff that has been publicly released for the first time. Just a few interesting quotes out of many:

"Nikon actually designs their own sensors, to a fairly minute level of detail. I think this is almost unknown in the photo community; most people just assume that “design” in Nikon’s case simply consists of ordering-up different combinations of specs from sensor manufacturers.

In actuality, they have a full staff of sensor engineers who design cutting-edge sensors like those in the D5 and D850 from the ground up, optimizing their designs to work optimally with NIKKOR lenses and Nikon's EXPEED image-processor architecture.

As part of matching their sensors to NIKKOR optics, Nikon’s sensor designers pay a lot of attention to the microlenses and the structures between them and the silicon surface. Like essentially all camera sensors today, Nikon’s microlenses are offset a variable amount relative to the pixels beneath, to compensate for light rays arriving at oblique angles near the edges of the array.
"

Apparently, Nikon uses Silvaco tools for pixel device and process simulations:

Taiwanese CIS Makers Look for New Opportunities

Digitimes reports that Silicon Optronics and Pixart, and backend houses Xintec, VisEra, King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) and Tong Hsing Electronic Industries are moving their focus to niche markets as they fail to find grow in the mainstream smartphone cameras.

Kingpak manages to survive on smartphone market due to its contract with Sony to provide backend services for CIS. Other Taiwan-based CIS suppliers are unable to grow in smartphone applications, despite promising demand for multi-camera phones.

Meanwhile, Silicon Optronics (SOI) has held its IPO on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TWSE) on July 16. Its share price has raised by 44.55% in its first day of trading.

Mantis Vision Raises $55m in Round D

PRNewswire: Mantis Vision announces the closing of its Series D round of $55m with a total investment of $83m to date. New funds will serve to extend the company's technological edge, accelerate Mantis Vision's go-to-market strategy, expand its international workforce and support external growth opportunities. The Series D investment was led by Luenmei Quantum Co. Ltd., a new investor in Mantis Vision, and Samsung Catalyst Fund, an existing shareholder of the company.

Mantis Vision and Luenmei Quantum also announced the formation of a new joint venture, "MantisVision Technologies", to further strengthen Mantis Vision's position and growth in the Greater China Market.

Mantis Vision is planning to double its global workforce with an additional 140 employees in Israel, U.S., China and Slovak Republic by the end of 2020. As part of the latest series funding, Mantis Vision will expand its pool of talent engineers for advanced R&D algorithmic research in computer vision and deep learning, advanced optics experts, mobile camera engineers, 3D apps developers and 3D Volumetric studio experts amongst other open positions in program management and business development.

According to So Chong Keung, Luenmei Quantum Co. Ltd. President and GM: "Luenmei Quantum is closely following the Israeli high-tech industry, which creates outstanding technology. Mantis Vision's versatile and advanced 3D technologies is well positioned and suited for mobile, secure face ID applications and entertainment industries in China. We found that Mantis Vision is the right match for Luenmei Quantum, combining hi-tech, innovation and passion."

According to Gur Arie Bitan, Founder and CEO of Mantis Vision: "This latest announcement is another proof of Mantis Vision's meteoric advancements in this recent period, technologically and business-wise. We regard our continued partnership with Samsung Catalyst Fund and Luenmei Quantum Co. as a strategic partnership and thanks to our new joint venture, we will be able to further strengthen our grip in the Greater Chinese market."

NIST Publishes LiDAR Characterization Standard

Spar3D: NIST's Physical Measurement Laboratory develops an international performance evaluation standard for for LiDARs.

An invitation was sent to all leading manufacturers of 3D laser scanners to visit NIST and run the approximately 100 tests specified in the draft standard. Four of the manufacturers traveled to NIST (one each from Germany and France) to participate in the runoff. Another sent an instrument during the week for testing. Two other manufacturers who could not attend have expressed interest in visiting NIST soon to try out the tests. These seven manufacturers represent about four-fifths of the entire market for large volume laser scanners.

The new standard ASTM E3125 is available here.

Monday, July 16, 2018

PMD Presentation at AWE 2018

PMD VP Business Development Mitchel Reifel presents the company ToF solutions for AR and VR applications at Augmented World Expo:

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Panasonic PIR and Thermopile Sensor Presentation

Panasonic publishes a video presenting its PIR and Thermopile sensor lineup:

Saturday, July 14, 2018

TI Unveils AFE for ToF Proximity Sensor

TI ToF proximity sensor AFE OPT3101 integrates most of the ToF system on a single chip:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Magic Leap Gets Investment from AT&T

Techcrunch reports that AT&T makes a strategic investment into Magic Leap, a developer of AR glasses. Magic Leap last round D valued the startup at $6.3b, and the companies have confirmed that this AT&T completes the Series D round of $963m.

So far, Magic Leap has raised $2.35b from a number of strategic backers including Google, Alibaba and Axel Springer.

AutoSens Announces its Awards Finalists

AutoSens Awards reveals the shortlisted finalists for 2018 with some of them related to imaging:

Most Engaging Content:

  • Mentor Graphics, Andrew Macleod
  • videantis, Marco Jacobs
  • Toyota Motor North America, CSRC, Rini Sherony
  • 2025AD, Stephan Giesler
  • EE Times, Junko Yoshida

Hardware Innovation:

  • NXP Semiconductors
  • Cepton
  • Renesas
  • OmniVision
  • Velodyne Lidar
  • Robert Bosch

Software Innovation:

  • Dibotics
  • Algolux
  • Brodmann17
  • Civil Maps
  • Dataspeed
  • Immervision
  • Prophesee

Most Exciting Start-Up:

  • Hailo
  • Metamoto
  • May Mobility
  • AEye
  • Ouster
  • Arbe Robotics

Game Changer:

  • Siddartha Khastgir, WMG, University of Warwick, UK
  • Marc Geese, Robert Bosch
  • Kalray
  • Prof. Nabeel Riza, University College Cork
  • Intel
  • NVIDIA and Continental partnership

Greatest Exploration:

  • Ding Zhao, University of Michigan
  • Prof Philip Koopman, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Prof Alexander Braun, University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf
  • Cranfield University Multi-User Environment for Autonomous Vehicle Innovation (MUEAVI)
  • Professor Natasha Merat, Institute for Transport Studies
  • Dr Valentina Donzella, WMG University of Warwick

Best Outreach Project:

  • NWAPW
  • Detroit Autonomous Vehicle Group
  • DIY Robocars
  • RobotLAB
  • Udacity

Image Sensors America Agenda

Image Sensors America to be held on October 11-12, 2018 in San Francisco announces its agenda with many interesting papers:

State of the Art Uncooled InGaAs Short Wave Infrared Sensors
Dr. Martin H. Ettenberg | President of Princeton Infrared Technologies

Super-Wide-Angle Cameras- The Next Smartphone Frontier Enabled by Miniature Lens Design and the Latest Sensors
Patrice Roulet Fontani | Vice President,Technology and Co-Founder of ImmerVision

SPAD vs. CMOS Image Sensor Design Challenges – Jitter vs. Noise
Dr. Daniel Van Blerkom | CTO & Co-Founder of Forza Silicon

sCMOS Technology: The Most Versatile Imaging Tool in Science
Dr. Scott Metzler | PCO Tech

Image Sensor Architecture
Presentation By Sub2R

Using Depth Sensing Cameras for 3D Eye Tracking
Kenneth Funes Mora | CEO and Co-founder of Eyeware

Autonomous Driving The Development of Image Sensors?
Ronald Mueller | CEO of Vision Markets of Associate Consultant of Smithers Apex

SPAD Arrays for LiDAR Applications
Carl Jackson | CTO and Founder of SensL Division, OnSemi

Future Image Sensors for SLAM and Indoor 3D Mapping
Vitality Goncharuk | CEO & Founder | Augmented Pixels

Future Trends in Imaging Beyond the Mobile Market
Amos Fenigstein | Senior Director of R&D for Image Sensors of TowerJazz

Presentation by Gigajot