Monday, January 17, 2022

EI 2022 Course on Signal Processing for Photon-Limited Imaging

Stanley Chan from Purdue University publishes slides for his 2022 Electronic Imaging short course "Signal Processing for Photon-Limited Imaging." Few slides out of 81:

Actlight DPD Presentation

Actlight CEO Serguei Okhonin presented at Photonics Spectra Conference held on-line last week "Dynamic Photodiodes: Unique Light-Sensing Technology with Tunable Sensitivity." The conference registration registration is free of charge. Few slides from the presentation:

Sunday, January 16, 2022

"Electrostatic Doping" for In-Sensor Computing

Harvard University, KIST, Pusan University, and Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology publish a pre-print paper "In-sensor optoelectronic computing using electrostatically doped silicon" by Houk Jang, Henry Hinton, Woo-Bin Jung, Min-Hyun Lee, Changhyun Kim, Min Park, Seoung-Ki Lee, Seongjun Park, and Donhee Ham.

"Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors are a visual outpost of many machines that interact with the world. While they presently separate image capture in front-end silicon photodiode arrays from image processing in digital back-ends, efforts to process images within the photodiode array itself are rapidly emerging, in hopes of minimizing the data transfer between sensing and computing, and the associated overhead in energy and bandwidth. Electrical modulation, or programming, of photocurrents is requisite for such in-sensor computing, which was indeed demonstrated with electrostatically doped, but non-silicon, photodiodes. CMOS image sensors are currently incapable of in-sensor computing, as their chemically doped photodiodes cannot produce electrically tunable photocurrents. Here we report in-sensor computing with an array of electrostatically doped silicon p-i-n photodiodes, which is amenable to seamless integration with the rest of the CMOS image sensor electronics. This silicon-based approach could more rapidly bring in-sensor computing to the real world due to its compatibility with the mainstream CMOS electronics industry. Our wafer-scale production of thousands of silicon photodiodes using standard fabrication emphasizes this compatibility. We then demonstrate in-sensor processing of optical images using a variety of convolutional filters electrically programmed into a 3 × 3 network of these photodiodes."

Quanta Image Sensor Presentation

Eric Fossum presented a keynote at Phototics Spectra Conference last week (free registration) "Quanta Image Sensors: Every Photon Counts, Even in a Smartphone." Few slides:

Saturday, January 15, 2022

TrendForce: 4-camera Modules in Smartphones Become Less Popular

TrendForce analysis shows that 4 camera modules in smartphones become less popular:

"The trend towards multiple cameras started to shift in 2H21 after a few years of positive growth. The previous spike in the penetration rate of four camera modules was primarily incited by mid-range smart phone models in 2H20 when mobile phone brands sought to market their products through promoting more and more cameras. However, as consumers realized that the macro and depth camera usually featured on the third and fourth cameras were used less frequently and improvements in overall photo quality limited, the demand for four camera modules gradually subsided and mobile phone brands returned to fulfilling the actual needs of consumers.

Overall, TrendForce believes that the number of camera modules mounted on smartphones will no longer be the main focus of mobile phone brands, as focus will return to the real needs of consumers. Therefore, triple camera modules will remain the mainstream design for the next 2~3 years.

Although camera shipment growth has slowed, camera resolution continues to improve. Taking primary cameras as an example, the current mainstream design is 13-48 million pixels, accounting for more than 50% of cameras in 2021. In second place are products featuring 49-64 million pixels which accounted for more than 20% of cameras last year with penetration rate expected to increase to 23% in 2022. The third highest portion is 12 million pixel products, currently dominated by the iPhone and Samsung's flagship series."

Samsung Hyper-Spectral Sensor for Mobile Applications

De Gruyter Nanophotonics publishes a paper "Compact meta-spectral image sensor for mobile applications" by Jaesoong Lee, Yeonsang Park, Hyochul Kim, Young-Zoon Yoon, Woong Ko, Kideock Bae, Jeong-Yub Lee, Hyuck Choo, and Young-Geun Roh from Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and Chungnam National University.

"We have demonstrated a compact and efficient metasurface-based spectral imager for use in the near-infrared range. The spectral imager was created by fabricating dielectric multilayer filters directly on top of the CMOS image sensor. The transmission wavelength for each spectral channel was selected by embedding a Si nanopost array of appropriate dimensions within the multilayers on the corresponding pixels, and this greatly simplified the fabrication process by avoiding the variation of the multilayer-film thicknesses. The meta-spectral imager shows high efficiency and excellent spectral resolution up to 2.0 nm in the near-infrared region. Using the spectral imager, we were able to measure the broad spectra of LED emission and obtain hyperspectral images from wavelength-mixed images. This approach provides ease of fabrication, miniaturization, low crosstalk, high spectral resolution, and high transmission. Our findings can potentially be used in integrating a compact spectral imager in smartphones for diverse applications."

Friday, January 14, 2022

One More Terabee iToF Webinar

 Terabee publishes "An introduction to Time-of-Flight sensing" webinar:

Emberion Raises €6M

Emberion, a developer of SWIR image sensors using nanomaterials, has raised €6M in funding from Nidoco AB, Tesi (Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) and Verso Capital.

We are disrupting multiple imaging markets by extending the wavelength range at a significantly more affordable cost. Our revolutionary sensor is designed to meet the needs of even the most challenging machine vision applications, such as plastic sorting. We look forward to helping customers access new information at infrared wavelengths, thereby critically enhancing their applications beyond today’s capabilities,” said Jyrki Rosenberg, CEO, Emberion.

We have created a new generation of image sensors using nanomaterials. Our high-performance industrial cameras can increase efficiency and reduce the loss of resources in many industrial processes. We innovate at all levels of camera design: nanomaterials, integrated circuit design, electronics, photonics and software. We are now stepping forward to expand our capacity to manufacture,” commented Tapani Ryh√§nen, CTO.

We are appreciative of the high interest and trust towards our technology from investors and customers. With this funding, our next step is to increase our production capacity to be able to serve our customers’ needs. We will also intensify our efforts to further develop mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and broadband solutions to expand our offerings and to enhance the capabilities of our current VIS-SWIR product line,” added Rosenberg.

IDTechEx on SWIR Sensor Technologies

Photonics Spectra conference held on-line this week (with free registration) features IDTechEx analyst Matthew Dyson presentation "Emerging Short-Wavelength Infrared Sensors." Few slides from the presentation:

Thursday, January 13, 2022

SWIR Multi-Spectral Sensor Nature publishes Eindhoven University's of Technology paper "Integrated near-infrared spectral sensing" by Kaylee D. Hakkel, Maurangelo Petruzzella, Fang Ou, Anne van Klinken, Francesco Pagliano, Tianran Liu, Rene P. J. van Veldhoven & Andrea Fiore.

"Spectral sensing is increasingly used in applications ranging from industrial process monitoring to agriculture. Sensing is usually performed by measuring reflected or transmitted light with a spectrometer and processing the resulting spectra. However, realizing compact and mass-manufacturable spectrometers is a major challenge, particularly in the infrared spectral region where chemical information is most prominent. Here we propose a different approach to spectral sensing which dramatically simplifies the requirements on the hardware and allows the monolithic integration of the sensors. We use an array of resonant-cavity-enhanced photodetectors, each featuring a distinct spectral response in the 850-1700 nm wavelength range. We show that prediction models can be built directly using the responses of the photodetectors, despite the presence of multiple broad peaks, releasing the need for spectral reconstruction. The large etendue and responsivity allow us to demonstrate the application of an integrated near-infrared spectral sensor in relevant problems, namely milk and plastic sensing. Our results open the way to spectral sensors with minimal size, cost and complexity for industrial and consumer applications."