Friday, June 28, 2013

NHK Exhibits Stacked Organic Sensor

NHK exhibited an interesting stacked organic sensor at its 2013 Open House event on May 30-June 2:

There are more photos at Japanese-language web site Imager Mania (nice site, BTW, I've added it to the Imaging Links in the left column), and apparently, a talk with NHK representative.


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  2. I don't understand what advantage this 3D-stacked imager with organic layers has over "simpler" BSI sensors? If the answer is accurate color reproduction, how does this compare to as a trade-off with the inherent issues with respect to organic materials (bleaching effects), yield (of 3D stacking + organic layers), foundry compatibility, etc? Will not a 3-sensor imager (RGB) with splitter prisms in the optical path, be a better solution for accurate color reproduction (at least for medium/high-end cameras)?

    1. The intention of this work is to get a performance of color splitter prism system in a compact single chip form factor. It's a research in progress, we need to wait and see how it goes.

    2. Thanks. I agree that it is a work in progress, and maybe some useful results may ensue. I am still not certain what would be the target application. I hesistate to think this could be a part of mass-production for say mobile-phone/pda type of devices(stacking surely involves some post-processing "hanky-panky", and reduced yield meaning expensive solution). For medium to high-end commercial solutions, form factor is not that important, and unless there is a highly improved performance parameter over current (or modified) BSI...
      For most scientific or high-end applications, harsh environments are an issue; photobleaching would be inevitable, and to meet the robustness of silicon based approach seems to be very far away.
      Perhaps, an exotic subset of applications...

  3. "Will not a 3-sensor imager (RGB) with splitter prisms in the optical path, be a better solution for accurate color reproduction (at least for medium/high-end cameras)?"

    But they're not just targetting high end cameras (though being NHK they'll be building 2K and 4K cameras first).

    TFT on glass with organics dyes (that you can tune) is an interesting route to go down and better than the "replying of scattering in silicon route".

    The biggest issue for any stacked sensors is the head start CIS Bayer systems have. To sell 3 layer sensors they have to be at least as good in other performance parameters to persuade people to switch (at least in say the still camera market).

    I could see other specialist sensors users being interested in this expanding this work to 2D hyperspectral imaging too (military/intellgence/science). Perhaps not as quite as well defined as grating based systems but a sensitive 2D hyperspctral sensor with fast readout would have a lot of uses.

  4. Plenty of photographers are keen for this technology. resulting images are far more detailed than other image types (CMOS bayer), resulting in significant IQ gains. Glad to see some interest in this.

  5. For consumers one major advantage of this kind of sensor is that it is significantly less sensitive to the angle of incidence than silicon based detector allowing for more compact lens designs for cameras with short flange focal distance.


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