Friday, April 16, 2021

Dongbu Hitek Announces Development of BSI GS Pixel and SPAD

DB HiTek announces that the company has developed 110nm based GS and SPAD processes and that DB HiTek will be expanding the specialized image sensor business. 

Based on 110nm BSI process, DB HiTek’s global shutter is applied with light shield, and light guide technologies. It also shows 99.99% performance of GSE (Global Shutter Efficiency) in varying pixel sizes of at least 2.8um.

DB HiTek SPAD achieved PDP of 3.8 % @905nm of 3.8% based on 110nm FSI process. The foundry plans plans to use BSI process and develop a SPAD with PDP of 7% @905nm within the year.

DB HiTek will continue on providing diverse customer support programs and plans to hold MPW for global shutter and SPAD in upcoming September.

TSMC Fab 14 Power Outage Might Impact Sony CIS Production

 TrendForce publishes its analysis of the April 14th power outage at TSMC Fab 14 Phase 7:

"TSMC’s Fab14 P7 in the Southern Taiwan Science Park suffered a power outage on April 14th. The cause of the power outage was an accidental damage of an underground power cable during construction work nearby.

The diesel uninterruptible power supply (DUPS) of the facility kicked in instantly when the power cable was cut, but there was still a short period of power interruption and voltage drop. As a result, some of the equipment systems in the facility temporarily experienced operational irregularity or malfunction. Based on past experiences with this type of incident, TrendForce believes that it will take 2-7 days to recalibrate the equipment systems so that they can return to normal operation.

...the Fab14 P7 facilities contain 45/40nm and 16/12nm production lines, and the outage will primarily impair end products including smartphones and automobiles

TrendForce further indicates that ... CIS logic products (manufactured at the 45/40nm nodes) are bearing the brunt of the outage’s impact... In particular, Sony CIS 40nm Logic products are primarily supplied for high-end smartphones."

DxOMark Analyzer 7.4 Adds Raw File and LED Flicker Mitigation Tests

DxOMark Analyzer v.7.4 adds LED flicker suppression measurements based on upcoming IEEE / P2020 standards. The module contains both software and hardware. The hardware includes the Universal LED Timer Mark II with 5 rows of LED lights that can be programmed to perform 5 tests simultaneously that allows for automation. The module measures the sensitivity of the camera to LED Flicker and proves essential to automotive cameras that need to ascertain flickering accurately.

The Raw module objectively measures the image quality of smartphone camera modules.The RAW Module now provides an overall score for indoor, outdoor and low light as well as sub-scores for each of these lighting conditions. The scores can now evaluate zoom capacity and video.

Pamtek Presents ToF Module Testing Systems

Pamtek presents its new ToF module testing systems:

Trendforce Forecasts 5B Camera Modules in 2021

Trendforce reports that despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the smartphone market in 2020, total mobile camera module shipment still underwent a 3% growth YoY due to the increasing number of camera modules featured per handset as a result of smartphone brands’ competition over camera hardware. Given that the upward trajectory of smartphone camera module shipment will likely persist this year, TrendForce therefore forecasts an annual shipment volume of 5.07 billion units for 2021, an 11% growth YoY.

In addition to increasing the number of camera modules per handset, smartphone brands have also been raising the specifications of their smartphone cameras. First, with regards to the primary camera, certain Android phones will feature up to 64MP camera modules, which will surpass a 20% penetration rate in 2021 (making this particular pixel count spec the fastest-growing among all primary camera specifications), whereas the latest iPhones will likely continue to feature a 12MP primary camera, since Apple is mainly focused on the overall image quality of photos as opposed to megapixel count. Second, with regards to CMOS image sensors, certain smartphone brands, such as Apple, Huawei, and Xiaomi, are expected to increase their smartphone cameras’ sensor sizes to one inch in order to improve these cameras’ performances in low-light or night settings.

Third, with regards to ultrawide cameras, Apple will look to strengthen the autofocus performance of its flagship iPhone models by equipping the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max with VCMs. On the other hand, Huawei and OPPO will incorporate FreeForm Lens technology to address the distortion effect commonly found towards the edges of photos taken with ultrawide cameras.

Finally, with regards to periscope cameras, their widespread adoption by Android smartphone brands in 2020 resulted in a massive 429% growth YoY. Compared to the telephoto cameras found in iPhones, which offer 2.5x optical zoom, periscope cameras are capable of 5x optical zoom at the bare minimum, which delivers much higher image clarity in long-range photography situations. However, the forecasted decline in smartphone shipment of Huawei and Honor, which are the most aggressive in the industry in terms of periscope camera adoption, will in turn negatively affect total periscope camera module shipment for 2021 as well. TrendForce believes that a return to massive growth will not take place unless periscope camera modules capable of continuous autofocus are successfully mass produced, and smartphone brands are willing to adopt such modules for their handsets.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

ST Aims to Embed its ToF into Every Power Switch

ST Micro publishes a use case of "Touchless Switch Using ST Time-of-Flight":

ON Semi and Ambarella Promote FaceID Access Solution

ON Semi publishes a promotional video "Smart Access Control with AR0237IR":

Gigajot Achieves 0.19e- Readout Noise in 16.7MP Sensor

IEEE EDL publishes Gigajot paper "A 0.19e- rms Read Noise 16.7Mpixel Stacked Quanta Image Sensor with 1.1μm-Pitch Backside Illuminated Pixels" by Jiaju Ma, Dexue Zhang, Omar A. Elgendy, and Saleh Masoodian.

"This paper reports a 16.7 Mpixel, 3D-stacked backside illuminated Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) with 1.1 μm-pitch pixels which achieves 0.19 e- rms array read noise and 0.12 e- rms best single-pixel read noise under room temperature operation. The accurate photon-counting capability enables superior imaging performance under ultra-low-light conditions. The sensor supports programmable analog-to-digital convertor (ADC) resolution from 1-14 bits and video frame rates up to 40 fps with 4096 x 4096 resolution and 600 mW power consumption."

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Tesla Self Driving Becomes Camera-Only, Abandons Radar

CleanTechnica and Teslarati quote Elon Musk tweets that the oncoming Full Self Driving (FSD) Beta V9.0 will rely only on cameras and use no radars anymore:

Teslarati adds more Elon Musk's tweets:

Smartsens Presents "Blue Ocean of Market Opportunities" for 3K Video

Smartsens unveils a "3K Line of Image Sensors" consisting of a previously announced 60fps SC500AI and a slower 30fps version of it named SC501AI.

3K Video Blue Ocean New Opportunity:

At present, 2K is the mainstream resolution of the image market. But in intelligent applications such as face recognition and intelligent detection, 2K resolution has gradually become unable to meet the market demand for high-definition video. However, in the process of many high-end video applications transitioning to 4K resolution, 4K video is limited by the transmission bandwidth. After the H.265 encoding and compression, the final rendering effect did not meet the application expectations for 4K images. Therefore, a blue ocean market opportunity for 3K video was born between 2K and 4K.

Ouyang Jian, Deputy General Manager of Smartsens, says, "With its continuous in-depth exploration of customer differentiation needs, Smartsens is keenly aware of the huge CIS Blue Sea market between 2K and 4K imaging and has launched a 3K-class product line to better meet the upgrade of end-customer application needs. In the future, Smartsens will continue to launch a number of different series of products to meet the growing application needs of various segments of the future HD video era."

Omnivision Announces Nvidia Drive-Qualified Automotive Sensors

BusinessWire: Omnivision uses Nvidia GPU Technology Conference to announce 2 new automotive sensors compatible with Nvidia Drive platform.

A new un-named 5MP image sensor is an automotive global shutter sensors for DMS applications. It also adds Nyxel NIR technology to achieve the world’s highest QE for DMS of 36% at 940nm wavelength.

As the industry’s first automotive image sensor with 140dB HDR, along with LED flicker mitigation (LFM) and high 8.3MP resolution, the new OX08B40 aims to front-view cameras, powered by an on-chip HALE (HDR and LFM Engine) combination algorithm.