Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Samsung Technology Interests

Samsung has held Innovation Days on Jan. 19-21, 2015 in Dresden, Germany. The event was envisioned to be the "focal point for the purchase of innovative technologies in Europe." The list of the technologies that Samsung interested in is dominated by imaging items:

New technologies & innovations for wearable devices:
  • New user scenarios
  • Next generation User Experience (UX)
  • Low power components

New technology for camera products:
  • Auto focus / MEMS actuator
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Active Lens technology
  • Actuators
  • High efficiency IR sensing image sensor

New material technology:
  • Transparent barrier / film
  • NIM (Nano Insulation Material) Organic
  • Heating surface
  • Material transmitting IR rays
  • Sapphire coating
  • 5 axis CNC
  • Technology for waterproofing / water repelling

MEMS Sensors:
  • Touch Sensor, Dust or particle, Fingerprint, Force, Reed, GSR Sensors
  • Ambient light / RGB Sensor
  • Gesture: Optical proximity sensor / 3D time of flight -TOF
  • Inertial Sensors: Accelerometers, Gyroscopes, Pressure sensor, Humidity sensor & Magnetometer
  • Vital Sign Sensors (for healthcare devices): non-contact, non-invasive, motion cancelling, low power

  • Fibre detection (cloth)
  • Thermopile Sensors: Non-contact temperature sensing
  • ToF = Time of Flight (measuring distance / length): non-contact distance measuring sensor
  • PIR / TIR Bolometer (IR) Sensor
  • Pressure
  • Temperature / humidity
  • Ultrasound sensor
  • Flex Sensor
  • Radon sensor
  • Non contact sleep detection sensor

Grand View Research on CMOS Sensor Dominance

Grand View Research report "Image Sensors Market Analysis By Technology (CCD, CMOS, CIS), By Application (Automotive, Consumer Electronics, Defense & Aerospace, Industrial, Medical, Surveillance) And Segment Forecasts To 2020" dated by Aug. 2014 shows that CCD market share shrunk to 14.5% in 2012:

CIS is Contact Image Sensor here

The global market was valued at $8,450M in 2012, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.6% from 2014 to 2020.

ST SPAD Array Captures Light in Flight

ST 32x32 SPAD array developed under EU funded FP6 project Megaframe with University of Edinburgh and partners is the basis of Heriot-Watt University 20 billion fps-fast camera. The open access Nature Communications' paper "Single-photon sensitive light-in-fight imaging" by Genevieve Gariepy, Nikola Krstajić, Robert Henderson, Chunyong Li, Robert Thomson, Gerald Buller, Barmak Heshmat, Ramesh Raskar, Jonathan Leach & Daniele Faccio.

A laser pulse is reflecting off multiple mirrors, passing three times
across the field of view of the SPAD camera (35 35 cm2).
The same laser is used to create a trigger sent to the camera.
The SPAD camera collects scattered photons from the laser pulse.
The field of view does not contain the mirrors because the
scattered light coming from the mirror surfaces is much more
intense than the Rayleigh-scattered light during propagation.
The histogram indicates the time of arrival of the laser pulse as
measured by pixel (22, 21). The time frames, shown at 0, 1, 2, 3
and 4 ns, show the evolution of the pulse in time as it propagates
across the scene. The integration of all frames gives the total
path followed by the light, similarly to what can be acquired
by an EMCCD camera at maximum gain for an exposure time of 7 s.

A Youtube video shows the light propagation process:

New Scientist too publishes an article on the new camera.

Thanks to LG for the link!

2nd International Symposium on Microoptical Imaging and Projection

2nd International Symposium on Microoptical Imaging and Projection (MIPS 2015) id to be held on March 24-26, 2015 in Jena, Germany. The symposium's call for papers mentions many invited speakers on image sensor technology:
  • Bernd Buxbaum, pmdtechnologies gmbh
  • Jacques Duparré, Pelican Imaging Corp.
  • Tigran Galstian, Université Laval
  • Flavien Hirigoyen, ST Microelectronics SA
  • Ryoichi Horisaki, Osaka University
  • Bernard Kress, Google [X] Labs
  • Christian Perwaß, Raytrix GmbH
  • Markus Rossi. Heptagon
  • Sabine Süßtrunk, EPFL, IC-IVRG
Thanks to AT for the link!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Camera-Based Random Number Generator

The paper on camera-based random number generator has been published half a year ago. Now the same group of researches from University of Geneve, Switzerland publishes their deck of slides "Quantum random number generation on a mobile phone" by Bruno Sanguinetti, Anthony Martin, Hugo Zbinden, and Nicolas Gisin.

And here is Youtube video of the presentation:

Teledyne DALSA Announces 9MP 99um Pixel X-ray Sensor

Teledyne DALSA announces Rad-icon 3030 CMOS X-Ray sensor featuring 3096 x 3100 pixel resolution, an active area of 30.6 x 30.7 cm, and 99um pixel size. The sensor delivers real-time frame rates of up to 30 fps, a very high frame rate for such a huge area sensor weighting 9KG with package:

Rambus CEO on Lensless Image Sensor Platform

SeekingAlpha: Rambus CEO Ron Black talks about lensless image sensor project status: "Coming up in early March in Barcelona Spain is the Mobile World Congress or MWC, which is the premier wireless conference. If you recall last year at the conference, we launched our Lensless Smart Sensor, the smallest, lowest power, lowest cost image sensor on the planet and won a Best of Show from Tom's Hardware, something that frankly surprised us and that we're exceedingly proud of.

Last year's show sparked enormous interest, especially with press from prominent outlets such as the MIT Technology Review and Gizmondo, and we work inundated with interest from all segments of the industry from medical to automotive, to industrial, to consumer.

Many of the parties requested us to provide a platform for the industry at large and especially the maker community in which to innovate. At the risk of leaking too much, we will be launching such a platform at this year's MWC and hope to generate even more interest and more importantly some commercial relationships for the Lensless Smart Sensor this year and next.

Later, he says that Rambus is considering "various monetization options for our Binary Pixel and Lensless Smart Sensor solutions."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pixpolar Pixel Simulations Paper

Journal of Instrumentation publishes Pixpolar's paper "Characterization of double modified internal gate pixel by 3D simulation study" by A. Aurola, V. Marochkin, and T. Tuuvab. "As it will be shown in this work thick fully depleted BSI deep buried channel double MIG image sensors have several benefits: they offer NDCDSR, interface generated dark noise and image lag free operation, very low 1/ f and RTS noise, 100% fill factor, excellent QE for low energy Xrays up to several keV as well as for NIR and visible light, very low crosstalk, inherent vertical anti-blooming mechanism, very fast operation, as well as good manufacturability with existing CMOS manufacturing lines." Unfortunately, only simulations with no measurement results have been shown.

Temporal Pixel Multiplexed Imaging

Gil Bub, Oxford, UK University Research Lecturer presents fast and high resolution imaging approaches, one of them being Temporal Pixel Multiplexing (TPM):

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rumor: Microsoft New ToF Camera

I was told that the strange medallion that Alex Kipman wore on his jacket during the HoloLens presentation is in fact the newest version of Microsoft ToF camera, designed in Israel:

The same medallion appears in the Dallas Morning News and the Verge: