Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Weekly Patent Review

10 to 15 image sensor related patent applications are filed each week. Some present very interesting ideas, while some others just reveal the authors ignorance. Not all of them are garnted in the end. In this weekly review I discuss the ideas that I find interesting, useful or entertaining.

Samsung tries to patent an idea of improving the resolution by moving the sensor, making few pictures and combine them into one with higher resolution (US20080007804 application). I see no difference between their idea and many similar ones used for many years in mass production.

Backside illumination application US20080001179 from STMicro proposes a new passivation structure on the back side. The passivation process should be low temperature to preserve metal stake. So implantation with annealing is problematic. Instead STMicro proposes a MOS structure on the back side which can be placed into accumulation mode. Quite an obvious idea and I believe that others tried this well before STMicro's group.

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