Thursday, February 10, 2011

Samsung Announces 1.12um BSI Pixels with RGB-W Option, Companion ISP

Korea IT Times, Korea Newswire: Samsung announced 1.12um BSI pixel-based 12MP imager. The new 1/3.2-inch S5K3L1 speed is 30fps at full resolution, 60fps in 1080p HD video mode, 90fps at 720p or 120fps at VGA resolution for slow motion playback function in mobile phones. The new sensor also includes an on-chip pixel correction feature, compensating color and luminance response variations "to address image distortion".

In addition, the 12MP imager offers an optional RGB-white color filter array claimed to deliver 30% brighter image over that of a conventional RGB color filter array. The RGB-white filter feature works in conjunction with a complimentary logic chip (S5C73L1), which converts RGB-White pattern to RGB Bayer for back-end Bayer ISP compatibility. The logic chip also provides features such as lens shading correction, image down scaling, noise reduction and significantly enhanced modulation transfer function to reproduce fine details.

Samsung's S5K3L1 imager is designed to fit into 8.5mm x 8.5mm auto focus camera module with a z-dimension of 6.0mm for slim mobile phones and small form factor applications.

Samples of the S5K3L1 imager are available now with mass production scheduled in Q3 of this year. The S5K3L1 will be displayed at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain.

14 comments:

  1. since samsung is sampling this, i guess you can say they beat ovt to market with a 1.12 um bsi pixel. just amazing.

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  2. Right. They beat them to market with orange and blue CAD renderings. Amazing that this is considered amazing.

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  3. they have samples circulating right now.

    Samples of the S5K3L1 imager are available now with mass production scheduled in Q3 of this year. The S5K3L1 will be displayed at the Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain.

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  4. The RGB-W array sounds like what Kodak CMOS sensors announced several years ago but were never able to successfully bring to market - is this different or did they license it? Anybody can tell?

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  5. Who's Sausung?? Fake Samsung in China??

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  6. Why should Samsung license the panchormatic pixel architecture from Kodak ? This was already done by Sanyo in the late '80s. Not everything announced by Kodak is also invented by Kodak. Even stronger : not everything patented by Kodak is also invented by Kodak ....

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  7. Good point about Kodak. The pinned photodiode for CMOS is a good example of a Kodak patent not invented by Kodak.

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  8. "The pinned photodiode for CMOS is a good example of a Kodak patent not invented by Kodak."

    I remember the day Tom Lee and I invented this device together at a white board, at Kodak. I went there, from JPL, to discuss a collaboration on CMOS APS and we were tossing around ideas of what to make together. The first pinned photodiode CMOS APS was presented in 1995 in a joint JPL/Kodak paper.

    The fact that Kodak management later decided to leave JPL/Caltech (me) off the patent probably means there is no defensible Kodak patent on the CMOS APS with pinned photodiode, but what do I know?

    So, while it was not invented solely by Kodak, I am not sure what else you are suggesting.

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  9. I should say that JPL/Caltech had no involvement in the method of fabrication so if they claimed only this, it would have been sensible to leave JPL/Caltech personnel off the inventor list.
    US Patent 5,625,210 instead has much broader claims so it should have included me and possibly Russell Gee as co-inventors. The patent and all its rights still would have been assigned to Kodak so their motivation is still hard to fathom.

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  10. Right. The fabrication of a pinned photo diode for CMOS is taken right from the CCD. The application to CMOS is a straight shot so there is no need to worry about being left off the list. As an expert you may have seen why this was the best way to make a pixel, but any other expert sees the same thing. To anyone skilled in the art, it is obvious. It'll be difficult for Kodak or the new guy to make good on the claims if not only for the other reasons you mention.

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  11. Hey, from legal point a view, let's not worry about it. If it dates back to 1995, its day is over.

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  12. Well, we can argue your point indefinitely.
    "Obviousness" is really determined by the examiner at the time of the patent, assuming he had a good grasp of the state of the art. It is almost impossible to look at an idea from 1995 (or before) and say it was obvious at the time. You can argue that it may now appear obvious especially given the widespread use of this technology. The main argument against this though is if was so obvious, how come no one else did it?

    I can say that at the time we were quite concerned if we could make the pinned photodiode work well enough at small CMOS operating voltages. CCDs were using 15 volts or more to do the transfer. That makes complete charge transfer without lag a lot easier to accomplish. So, I would have to testify that it was not obvious at the time.

    I think we have had this discussion before. No real sense having it again.

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  13. "Hey, from legal point a view, let's not worry about it. If it dates back to 1995, its day is over. "

    Kind of true. Patents have a way of having their useful life extended. It is why lawyers earn more than engineers, usually.

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