Tomasz Hemeprek from Physics Institute of the University of Bonn, Germany posted a long and interesting interview with Bart Dierickx taken at Workshop on CMOS Active Pixel Sensors for Particle Tracking held in Sept. 2014 in Bonn. Bart tells about how he founded Fillfactory and then Caeleste, different projects, few bits of image sensor history and also his views on image sensor future, and more.
Q: How many different pixel design have you done in life?
A: I have designed myself at least 100 different imagers and as a team leader or CTO certainly more than 100. Many of those chips contained multiple variants of a baseline pixel. A large part must have been classic 3T and 4T pixel and an even larger amount of pixels which are “special”, with logic inside, or analog processing, or hybrid, or having some special feature like time gating or having certain functionality or redundancy. Every project is different. So if you ask, it will be around 1000.
Q: How the image sensors will look like in 10 years. Do you look at the mobile market what they are doing?
A: The pixel size race will stop, but what is not yet really there is a global shutter in a small pixel. That race is now going on. Today a 1µm pixel is a rolling shutter pixel: if you move your camera you get the jello effect. Global shutter pixels are the next big thing. They are racing again, maybe down to 1.5 µm? But also that race might stop or reverse, as happened with telephones: about 5 years ago mobile phones became smaller and smaller and everybody said that they would become so small that you would lose them. Suddenly they became bigger again due to the smartphones. All those smartphones have the size to fit in your hand and the hand does not scale.