Saturday, December 15, 2018

IEDM 2018 HDR and GS Papers Review

This year, IEDM had quite a lot of image sensor papers. Some of them talking about HDR and GS are briefly reviewed below:

1.5µm dual conversion gain, backside illuminated image sensor using stacked pixel level connections with 13ke- full-well capacitance and 0.8e- noise
V. C. Venezia, A. C-W Hsiung, K. Ai, X. Zhao, Zhiqiang Lin, Duli Mao, Armin Yazdani, Eric A. G. Webster, L. A. Grant, OmniVision Technologies

Omnivision presented two stacked designs with pixel-level interconnects. Design A has been selected as a more optimal from the DR point of view:


A 0.68e-rms Random-Noise 121dB Dynamic-Range Sub-pixel architecture CMOS Image Sensor with LED Flicker Mitigation
S. Iida, Y. Sakano, T. Asatsuma, M. Takami, I. Yoshiba, N. Ohba, H. Mizuno, T. Oka, K. Yamaguchi, A. Suzuki, K. Suzuki, M. Yamada, M. Takizawa, Y. Tateshita, and K. Ohno, Sony Semiconductor

Sony presented its version of Big-Little PDs in a single pixel:


A 24.3Me- Full Well Capacity CMOS Image Sensor with Lateral Overflow Integration Trench Capacitor for High Precision Near Infrared Absorption Imaging
M. Murata, R. Kuroda, Y. Fujihara, Y. Aoyagi, H. Shibata*, T. Shibaguchi*, Y. Kamata*, N. Miura*, N. Kuriyama*, and S. Sugawa, Tohoku University, *LAPIS Semiconductor Miyagi Co., Ltd.

Tohoku University and LAPIS present an evolution of their LOFIC pixel with deeply depleted PDs on 1e12 cm-3 doped substrate:


HDR 98dB 3.2µm Charge Domain Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor (Invited)
A. Tournier, F. Roy, Y. Cazaux*, F. Lalanne, P. Malinge, M. Mcdonald, G. Monnot**, N. Roux**, STMicroelectronics, **CEA Leti, **STMicroelectronics

ST and Leti explain their dual memory pixel architecture:


High Performance 2.5um Global Shutter Pixel with New Designed Light-Pipe Structure
T. Yokoyama, M. Tsutsui,Y. Nishi, I. Mizuno, V. Dmitry, A. Lahav, TPSCo & TowerJazz

TowerJazz and TPSCo show their latest generation small GS pixel available for the foundry customers:


Back-Illuminated 2.74 µm-Pixel-Pitch Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor with Charge-Domain Memory Achieving 10k e- Saturation Signal
Y. Kumagai, R. Yoshita, N. Osawa, H. Ikeda, K.Yamashita, T. Abe, S. Kudo, J. Yamane, T. Idekoba, S. Noudo, Y. Ono, S.Kunitake, M. Sato, N. Sato, T. Enomoto, K. Nakazawa, H. Mori, Y. Tateshita, and K. Ohno, Sony Semiconductor

Sony presented its approach to shielding the storage nodes in BSI GS sensor:

Alipay Uses 3D Structured Light Camera in its Facial Recognition POS

Ecns, ChinaDaily: China's Alipay announces a major upgrade to its 'Smile to Pay' service, aiming to make its facial recognition process more accessible to merchants and customers. The new version, called Dragonfly, is claimed to be just one-tenth the size of a traditional POS terminal. It includes a 3D structured light camera to improve facial recognition accuracy, and an upgraded processor to speed up payment time.

Tens of thousands of merchants across 300 cities in China offer Alipay's facial recognition payment.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Melexis Single-Chip ToF Solution Planned for 2019

Melexis teases its 3rd generation ToF sensor to appear in 2019. It is promised to be single-chip ToF solutions with VGA resolution:


Lumileds, Melexis' ToF illumination source partner, publishes a white paper "Infrared Illumination for Time-of-Flight Applications" comparing LEDs with VCSELs:

Lucid Vision Presentations

Lucid Vision presentations on Sony polarization sensors and ToF camera are published on Vimeo:



MIPI Releases I3C Basic v1.0 Spec

MIPI Alliance releases MIPI I3C Basic v1.0, a subset of the MIPI I3C specification that bundles the most commonly needed I3C features for developers and other standards organizations. MIPI I3C Basic v1.0 provides 20 key features from MIPI I3C, including:
  • Backward compatibility with I2C
  • A multi-drop bus that, at 12.5 MHz, is over 12 times faster than I2C supports while using significantly less power
  • In-band interrupts to allow slaves to notify masters of interrupts, a design that eliminates the need for a separate general-purpose input/output (GPIO) for each slave and thus reduces system cost and complexity
  • Dynamic address assignment to avoid conflicting static addresses, providing flexibility and pin savings
  • Standardized discovery, and bus configuration and control
  • Uses standard low-cost pads and requires minimal cost in logic to support
We have seen tremendous interest in I3C from the mobile ecosystem. Now, with I3C Basic, the broader developer community can immediately and efficiently begin using these capabilities as an alternative to I2C,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of MIPI Alliance. ”In addition, we are already working with several standards organizations to integrate I3C Basic into their specifications. We believe it provides tremendous value to mobile and many other industries in multiple ways.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

WiLAN Licenses CIS Patents to Omnivision and ON Semi,

PRNewswire: WiLAN, a Quarterhill company, is "one of the most successful patent licensing companies in the world and helps companies unlock the value of intellectual property by managing and licensing their patent portfolios."

Wi-LAN announces that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Collabo Innovations, has granted a non-exclusive license with respect to CMOS image sensor products sold by OmniVision. The consideration payable to Collabo by OmniVision and all other terms of the agreement are confidential.

"Since we acquired the Collabo portfolio from Panasonic Corporation in December of 2013, we have made substantial progress," said Keaton Parekh, WiLAN's President and CEO. "Licensees to Collabo's patents for CMOS Image Sensor and semiconductor packaging technologies include ON Semiconductor Corp., Toshiba Corporation, STATS Chip PAC Ltd., Powertech Technology Inc., and now OmniVision."

Mediatek P90 SoC Imaging Capabilities

Mediatek unveils its high end P90 application processor for smartphones, aimed to compete with Qualcomm's SD 855. The new processor has an impressive imaging capabilities:

"MediaTek Helio P90 lets you capture the best pictures ever with support for a supersized 48MP camera or 24+16 MP dual cameras, bringing consumers the highest resolution advanced smartphone photography. Users can capture at 48MP with up to 30 frames per second (FPS) with zero shutter delay, or enjoy super slow-motion at 480FPS in HD to capture every moment. MediaTek brings a resolution revolution to imaging with upgraded triple image signal processors (ISPs) capable of 14-bit RAW and 10-bit YUV processing so photography enthusiasts have even more flexibility to capture and process stunning photos.

The new ISP AI engine, specially designed to provide AI camera experiences, can accurately detect faces and scenes in real-time under low light and motion conditions, making a great shot easier than ever for any user.
"

K-Lens Startup Presents its 3D Camera

German startup K-Lens presents its lens extension that allows 3D depth image capture with a single lens and a sensor:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Pixels with Deeply Depleted PDs

9th International Workshop on Semiconductor Pixel Detectors for Particles and Imaging, PIXEL2018, being held these days in Taipei, Taiwan, publishes Sensor Creations Stefan Lauxtermann presentation on deep depleted pixel challenges and rewards:

Front Camera-Less Vivo Phone Officially Announced

PRNewswire: The rumor about dual display Vivo phone that eliminates the need in front selfie camera has been officially confirmed.

"With an additional 5.49-inch Super AMOLED display gracing the phone's back, NEX Dual Display Edition successfully delivers an unconventional smartphone experience by allowing greater flexibility in using the rear cameras. Snapping high-quality selfies is now easier than ever before, as users can simply use the main cameras along with the rear screen to get the perfect angles for selfies."

On the rear of the phone, there are 3 cameras:

"NEX Dual Display Edition's triple camera setup consists of a 12MP Dual-Pixel main camera (featuring a Sony IMX363 sensor and 4-axis OIS), a specialized Night Video Camera and an innovative Time of Flight (TOF) 3D Camera.

The three cameras make the perfect combination for capturing beautiful moments and taking selfies from any angle. The pro-level Night Video Camera helps users film clear and stable footage in motion and low-light environments, while the TOF 3D Camera empowers users to see the world with an added dimension. Its 3D sensing capabilities not only enables point-to-point distance measuring, but also supports 3D Modeling of the user's face for enhanced facial recognition, protection and personalized beautification.
"

PhoneArena publishes nice explanatory pictures of the new phone: