Friday, February 28, 2014

7th Fraunhofer IMS CMOS Imaging Workshop Update

Previously announced 7th Fraunhofer IMS Workshop on CMOS Imaging: From Photon to Camera to be held in Duisburg, Germany om May 20-21, 2014, announces a change in its agenda: the new Aptina CTO Sandor Barna will present "Evolution and Limitations for Mobile Image Sensors."

Omnivision Reports Quarterly Results

PR Newswire: Omnivision's revenues for the recent quarter, ended on Jan 31, 2013 were $352.0M, as compared to $397.2M in the previous quarter, and $423.5M a year ago. GAAP net income in the quarter was $30.6M, as compared to net income of $26.3M in the previous quarter, and $21.3M a year ago. GAAP gross margin for the last quarter was 19.6%, as compared to 18.8% in the previousr quarter or 16.9% a year ago. The sequential increase in gross margin was primarily attributable to continued reduction in the company's overall production costs.

The company ended the period with cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaling $393.0M, an increase of $127.4M from the previous quarter. The increase was primarily attributable to cash provided by operating activities in the last quarter.

Based on current trends, the company expects revenues for the next quarter will be in the range of $275M to $305M. "Our third quarter performance was better than we expected, and we continued to report improvements on multiple financial metrics, including gross margin and cash position," said Shaw Hong, CEO of OmniVision. "Our flagship PureCel sensors are gaining traction in the market. PureCel sensors have significantly better pixel performance, lower power consumption, and an attractive cost structure. We are very excited about our new product lineup."

Update: SeekingAlpha published Omnivision's earning call transcript. Few quotes:

"we shipped 214 million units as compared to the 237 million units in our prior quarter. The average selling price in our third quarter was $1.64 as compared to $1.67 in the prior quarter. The slight decrease in the ASP was driven by quarterly price erosion across product lines in all regional markets."

"Related to licensing of certain CMOS image sensor-related patents from the California Institute of Technology for the [licensing] arrangement that total fee was approximately $25.3 million."- this is a flat fee, not tied to the number of units sold, as later clarified in Q&A session.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Novatek Continues CIS Activity

It looks like Novatek keeps going image sensor design activity, just like Himax, its arch-rival in display drivers. No products have been announced so far, but patents are trickling (US20120268638, US20130206960, US20130016259, US20130327922, and more). The latest one, US20140042300 "Image sensor and column analog-to-digital converter thereof" by Jer-Hao Hsu talks about a ramp ADC with dual latch to store two signals, possibly to combine them for HDR:

Teledyne Dalsa Receives Funding to Expand into IR Imaging

Teledyne DALSA announces that it has received a financial commitment totaling $13M from Investissement Québec to expand the Company’s MEMS and Infrared Imaging capabilities in the Province of Québec. Out of that amount, a $10M is intended to develop advanced IR products at its Bromont and Montreal facilities. Teledyne DALSA is extending its reach beyond its visible and X-ray products into infrared imaging to be "able to see the heat the objects emit", that is MWIR or LWIR.

"MEMS and Infrared Imaging are two strategic areas of focus for Teledyne DALSA with good growth potential," commented Brian Doody, CEO of Teledyne DALSA, Inc. "The development and full production of infrared devices in Québec will further strengthen our position as a leader in digital imaging and semiconductors, at a time when the infrared imaging market is experiencing strong growth."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Samsung Sampling Stacked Image Sensors, Production in Q2 2014

Business Wire, 1st Samsung Tomorrow post, 2nd Samsung Tomorrow post: Samsung’s new 13MP ISOCELL CIS features Smart WDR technology, which allows users to capture images at 30fps. With a mosaic pattern of multiple exposures, images are then processed with an advanced algorithm for wider dynamic range. This Smart WDR feature is based on Samsung’s advanced 65nm stacked process, where the pixel array is attached on top of the logic circuit. Samsung’s 13MP product is sampling now and is scheduled for mass production in Q2 2014.

Another newly announced sensor, a 16MP ISOCELL, has a 16:9 aspect ratio. This high-speed sensor captures full FOV 16:9 full HD (1080p) video at 60fps, and for the first time in the industry, enables continuous shooting of all 16MP at 30fps. Samples of the 16MP ISOCELL CIS are available now and scheduled for mass production in Q1 2014.

ISOCELL Explanation

PointGrab Wins “2014 Most Innovative Mobile App” Award

Business Wire: A gesture recognition company PointGrab won the prize for the “2014 Most Innovative Mobile App” at MWC Global Mobile Awards, in recognition of their popular mobile hand gesture camera app, CamMe.

"We are happy to have our efforts recognized, confirming CamMe as a ground-breaking example of top tier technology translated seamlessly into an enjoyable and valuable consumer experience," said Assaf Gad, CMO of PointGrab. "CamMe has been so well received and the app just goes to prove that consumers want hand gesture control in their everyday lives when it is done in a practical and useful way."

CamMe allows users to take a picture even when their phone is not in hand (from up to 16 feet away) simply requiring the user to raise a hand and make a fist to begin a countdown before the photo is taken. With over 1 million downloads to date, CamMe provides an example of a very practical integration of hand gesture technology for mobile platforms.

Omnivision Supplies 3D Sensors for Google Project Tango

PR Newswire: OmniVision announces that it is working with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team to develop tracking, mapping and motion in 3D. OmniVision’s new OV4682 and OV7251 image sensors provide imaging functionality to the project’s Android-based smartphone and development kit.

As the main camera, the OV4682 is the eye of Project Tango’s mobile device. The OV4682 is a 4MP RGB IR image sensor that captures high-resolution images and video as well as IR information, enabling depth analysis. The sensor features a 2um OmniBSI-2 pixel and records 4MP images and video in a 16:9 format at 90fps, with a quarter of the pixels dedicated to capturing IR. From the product page: "The sensor's 2-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel delivers excellent signal-to-noise ratio and IR sensitivity, and offers best-in-class low-light sensitivity with a 40 percent increase in sensitivity compared to the 1.75-micron OmniBSI-2 pixel. The OV4682's unique architecture and pixel optimization bring not only the best IR performance but also best-in-class image quality. Additionally, the sensor reduces system-level power consumption by optimizing RGB and IR timing."

The OV7251 CameraChip sensor is capable of capturing VGA resolution video at 100fps using a global shutter. The low-power VGA sensor provides excellent low-light sensitivity and motion tracking information for device orientation data.

OV4682 Spec

Rambus Presents its Imaging Projects at MWC

Tech Radar, Toms Guide met with Rambus at MWC to see its imaging offerings. Rambus says that its Binary Pixel is closer to market now, and provides a DSLR-like HDR in mobile form factor. The lensless imager prototype is as small as 200um and can reproduce Mona Lisa picture by post-processing light pased through a spiral-shaped grating:

Lensless camera prototype

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MIPI Enhances Interface Speed

Business Wire: MIPI Alliance is to release new, higher speed grades of its spec, driven by 2K and 4K video adoption in mobile devices. The new versions of MIPI specifications include:
  • D-PHY with expanded lanes and higher bandwidths which can provide over 20Gbps of performance, while still keeping costs low.
  • M-PHY will continue to push performance with gear 3 (5.8Mbps/lane) which is available today and gear 4 (11.6Gbps/lane) which will be available later this year.
  • MIPI PHYs, in conjunction with the latest versions of Camera Serial Interface (CSI) and Display Serial Interface (DSI) specifications, and aided by VESA compression technology, are able to support the industry’s newest technologies with higher speeds, better performance and more features.

CSEM Develops Microlens for Large Pixels

Most foundries do not offer microlens for pixels larger than 8um. It appears that CSEM Muttenz (Switzerland) has a microlens process for pixels as large as 25um, possibly more. The microlens described in OSA paper "Measurement and modeling of microlenses fabricated on single-photon avalanche diode arrays for fill factor recovery" by Juan Mata Pavia, Martin Wolf, and Edoardo Charbon.

"A quartz mold was utilized to imprint the microlenses in a sol-gel polymer on top of the SPAD array. The polymer used for the fabrication of the microlenses was ORMOCER. In the manufacturing process the polymer is deposited on top of the imager, the mold is then brought into contact with the polymer and pressure is applied. The polymer is then UV cured and thermally stabilized in an oven."

LG Flagship Smartphone Features Qualcomm "Magic Focus"

Qualcomm announces that LG G Pro 2 smartphone features Qualcomm "Magic Focus" running on its Snapdragon 800 processor and allowing a Lytro or Pelican-style re-focus after the picture is taken. Qualcomm video explanation of its Magic Focus is in this post.

KYEC Reportedly Receives Large Orders

Digitimes: Taiwan-based testing house King Yuan Electronics (KYEC) received large orders for CMOS sensors, according to a Chinese-language Commercial Times. KYEC utilization rate is expected to remain at 100% through Q3 2014. OmniVision and Aptina reportedly are among KYEC's image sensor customers.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5 Camera

Business Wire: Newly announced Samsung Galaxy S5 has 16MP camera with two interesting features:
  • Phase Detection Auto Focus - first smartphone with phase detection auto focus
  • Real-Time HDR enables users to capture HDR photos or videos with no shutter lag or post-processing.

Imagination Releases PowerVR Raptor Imaging Processor IP Core

Imagination announces its first IP core based on PowerVR Raptor imaging processor architecture. The high-performance, low-power, low-area PowerVR Series2 V2500 core targeting a broad range of devices from cost-sensitive, mass-market feature phones to automotive to connected home security to premium smartphones and tablets. The V2500 core joins PowerVR Series5 video and still image encoders and decoders to form a complete, integrated vision platform.

The V2500 core supports of 4K video and high pixel count photography in mobile devices and tablets. The processing pipelines of the V2500 from CMOS sensor to RGB and YUV offer 1D and 2D image processing and image enhancement with a full local tonemapper for enhanced DR. The pixel depth of the pipeline can be configured to match the sensor, conserving power compared to ISPs with fixed datapath widths.

Aptina Unveils 1/2-inch 25MP Sensor for Smartphones

Business Wire: Aptina will demonstrate the industry’s first 25MP mobile image sensor at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week. The new AR2520HS can capture full 25MP resolution and 4K video at 30fps, as well as delivers slow motion capture of 120fps for 1080p HD video all at full FOV. The sensor also supports Aptina MobileHDR technology.

The AR2520HS’s BSI 1/2-inch optical format increases the light capture area by 88% over traditional 1/3-inch mobile image sensors. To ensure high-speed processing of full resolution video and still images, the AR2520HS uniquely outputs multi-gigabit data streams via both 8 lane MIPI and 12 lane HiSPi (High-Speed Pixel Interface). Compatability with existing Aptina 18 megapixel (AR1820HS) lens designs ensures that mobile OEMs and camera module makers can more rapidly design the AR2520HS into new devices.

"The AR2520HS offers an astounding full field-of-view 120 frames-per-second slow motion capture. To further enhance the experience, this is coupled with our MobileHDR technology to ensure amazing mixed-light performance," said Sandor Barna, CTO at Aptina. "Aptina, with this ultra-high-performance sensor, is delivering the full camera experience into mobile phones and tablets."

The AR2520HS will be available for sampling in Q2 2014.

"The momentum in the camera market has shifted emphatically from digital still cameras to mobile devices. The market for image sensors in the mobile device segment was $4.9 billion in 2012, and is forecast to grow to $8.7 billion in 2017, and Aptina’s AR2520HS sensor is designed for this segment," said Brian O'Rourke, senior principal analyst of consumer electronics at IHS.

DxO Licenses its EIS to TCL

DxO announces that it has licensed its Electronic Image Stabilization (DxO EIS) technology to ALCATEL ONETOUCH, a division of TCL Communication (Shenzhen, China), the world’s fifth-largest handset manufacturer. "The embedded imaging technology DxO will now deliver into our handsets sets a new benchmark in putting high image quality and professional-looking video results into the hands of our consumers, delivering an incredible camera experience. This is integral to our vision of creating smartphones that combine simplicity of use with best in class functionality,” says Dan Dery, CMO ALCATEL ONETOUCH.
"We are very keen on partnering with ALCATEL ONETOUCH to bring our leading video stabilization solution to new markets," says Jerome Meniere, CEO of DxO. "Consumers are increasingly turning to their mobile phones as their primary video camera. While the visual quality of a video is driven by a number of factors, image stability adds significantly to the overall user experience. DxO EIS offers full steadicam-like image stabilization, comparable to professional camcorder devices, without the use of mechanical parts."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

NHK Imaging Projects

NHK Broadcast Technology Magazine No.55, Winter 2014 presents a CIGS-based "photoconductive film capable of multiplying the original charges generated by the incident light by many times simply with a low applied voltage" which can be deposited on top of image (charge) sensor to improve its low-light sensitivity:

The feature article talks about the progress in 8K UHDTV image sensors:

Another feature article talks about NHK R&D on high speed image sensors. "It is currently possible to purchase a monochrome camera with a resolution of 100,000 pixels that can capture video at up to ten million frames per second."

Samsung Launches a Series of LED Flashes

Samsung Tomorrow blog introduces new flashes for smartphones and tablets. The new reflector-integrated flash LED ─ the 3432 1.8t (FH341A) delivers over 165 lux at 1A and a minimum CRI (Color Rendering Index) of 80. Another reflector integrated LED 3432 1.4t (FH341B) is specifically designed for extra-slim LED mobile solutions. The 3432 1.4t package includes a reflector and is only 1.4mm thick, fitting to smartphones and tablets thinner than 7mm. In addition, it provides a minimum illuminance level of 165 lux.

Panasonic Introduces 1/3-inch 1.33MP Sensors for Security Applications

Panasonic publishes a flyer presenting MN34210PL and MN34219PL sensors for security and surveillance applications. The sensors feature:
  • Able to capture sharp and vivid color images at 0.05 lux
  • High speed, up to 120fps
  • New Wide Dynamic Range function supports high speed and high sensitivity movie
  • Industry’s leading low noise sensor (no numbers)
  • Industry’s leading low power consumption sensor (no numbers)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

ST on Image Sensor Market, More

ST presented its view on image sensor market at Leti Imaging workshop on June 28, 2013: "CMOS image sensors fish market : Catch of the day" by Marc Vasseur. Few interesting slides from the presentation:

Friday, February 21, 2014

Maru LSI Demos Background Elimination

Maru LSI posted another video showing how its VIPS IR/RGB sensor can eliminate the background with a pulsed IR source:

Google Project Tango

IEEE Spectrum, Mashable, Wall Street Journal write about Google project Tango allowing 3D mapping with a compact IR 3D sensor based on unknown technology. The 3D computer vision processing uses Movidius chip. Google Youtube video shows Project Tango in action:

The 3D IR sensor is on the bottom of the phone

Update: Cnet publishes an interview with Remi El-Ouazzane, Movidius CEO. Few quotes:

"Over multiple iterations, we developed an architecture optimized for computer vision. The architecture favors parallelism, and not frequency. We're running [the Project Tango phone] on hundreds of megahertz, using a mix of hardware and programmable resources. On today's battery, running our processor will divide your battery power by a factor of 10."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Measure MTF

Albert Theuwissen continues his "How to Measure..." series of tutorials. The latest one describes the detailed procedure for measuring a Modulation Transfer Function (MTF). This is the first post in MTF series, to be continued.

Toshiba Announces 13MP, 1080i240 Sensor for Smartphones

Business Wire: Toshiba announces T4K82, a 13MP, 1.12um BSI pixel CMOS sensor that allows smartphones and tablets to record 1080i video at 240fps, said to be the industry’s highest frame rate.

High speed video recording requires a high frame rate with short exposure time, resulting in underexposed images. T4K82 incorporates "Bright Mode" technology that boosts imaged brightness up to four times. The sensor also adopts a newly developed low power circuit design that reduces power consumption to 82% that of T4K37, a 13MP/1.12um sensor in mass production. Although the full resolution mode speed is the same 30fps as its predecessor, the new sensor's video modes are much faster:

Other than interlaced to progressive conversion, the sensor features HDR and Color Noise Reduction (CNR) modes, lens shading correction, and many other functions:

Sample shipments are scheduled to start in March, with mass production to start in Sept 2014 with projected volume 2 million per month.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sony Announces 4K/60fps Sensor for Security and Industrial

Sony 1/2-inch 12.40MP BSI CMOS sensor, IMX226CQJ, features a new 1.85um pixel with very wide optical acceptance angle, in comparison with the older 2.8um pixel IMX136:

"These characteristics are extremely important for security camera which often opens lens diaphragm during night-time shooting" (see Axis Communications' paper at IISW'2013).

The new sensor is quite fast at 40fps at full resolution or 60fps in 4K mode:

and sensitive (again, compared with 2.8um pixel):

Pelican Imaging CEO Promotes Array Camera

Pelican Imaging CEO Chris Pickett explains array camera advantages in this Youtube video:

Microsoft ToF Kinect Presentation at ISSCC

EETimes-Asia & EETimes-Europe give few numbers from Microsoft ToF sensor presentation at ISSCC 2014: "The image sensor is a 512x424 CMOS 3D time-of-flight with multi-frequency demodulation up to 130MHz at 2GSPS ADC. The device is reported to have a depth accuracy of 0.5 per cent at a range of between 0.8m and 4.2m." Microsoft announced that an enhanced sensor for Kinect for Windows will be available in summer 2014.

Grand View on Image Sensor Market

Grand View Research publishes "Image Sensors Market Analysis And Segment Forecasts To 2020."

Key findings from the report:
  • The global market for image sensors is expected to reach USD 12,028.2 million by 2020
  • Global image sensor shipments were estimated to be 1,797.9 million units in 2012; they are expected to reach 3,009.2 million units by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 6.7% from 2014 to 2020.
  • CMOS image sensors dominated the market in 2012, accounting for 83.2% of total shipments.
  • Contact image sensors (CIS) segment is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 4.4% from 2014 to 2020.
  • Digital camera segment, including DSLR, was valued at USD 4,479.3 million in 2012.
  • Medical applications are expected to be the fastest growing segment, with an estimated CAGR of 9.2% in terms of shipments from 2014 to 2020.
  • Asia Pacific is expected to be the largest and fastest growing regional market during the forecast period. It accounted for 35.9% of the global shipments in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.4% from 2014 to 2020.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Low Cost IR Imagers Coming

Lapis Semiconductor (Oki Semi spin-off) comes with a low-cost and low resolution thermopile-based image sensor, the ML8540WD:

Meanwhile, for quite a some time Melexis has been selling its own low-cost IR sensor, the 16 x 4 pixel MLX90620. The sensor features in Youtube video:

MicroMountains Applications AG, Germany publishes a popular review of low-cost 3D and IR sensor technologies. Here is the comparison of thermal IR approaches:

Update: Another view on IR imaging market from Schneider Electric presentation in Leti, June 2013:

Aptina to Present MobileHDR

Business Wire: At Mobile World Congress at Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 24─27, 2014, Aptina is to showcase advancements in its mobile imaging solutions including clear pixel Clarity+ technology and video quality MobileHDR. Additionally, Aptina will demonstrate its 8MP, 13MP, 18MP image sensors as well as its next-generation high-performance image sensor along with 4K video for mobile devices. No further details on MobileHDR is reported.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Renato Turchetta Interview

Image Sensor Conference to be held in London, UK on March 18-20 publishes Renato Turchetta, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, answers on high speed imaging questions. Renato is going to lead a pre-conference workshop on "A Million Images per Second and Beyond." A quote: "It looks like this field has suddenly started to move rapidly, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect more developments in the near future. By the way, one of the new approaches uses CCD in CMOS and other applications are emerging for this 'new' technology. So are CMOS image sensors dinosaurs? And CCD as well?"

Another publication of the conference is sort of a review of automotive ADAS market: "The market for ADAS systems is growing; analysis of the market has revealed possible growth at a rate of over 50% CAGR until 2018. Market value may also rise from the current value of around $18.5bn, to $165bn in the next five years."

Saturday, February 15, 2014

ISSCC 2014 Review

Albert Theuwissen reviews ISSCC 2014 imaging session. The review goes into detail on Samsung ISOCELL presentation, covering DTI and vertical TG. Also, the new Microsoft Kinect ToF sensor presentation is discussed.

Recent Patent Applications

Altasens patent application "Optical black pixel readout for image sensor data correction" by Gaurang Patel proposes average black pixel outputs in analog domain before the ADC:

The intention of the proposal is to save the digital image processing resources. However, the necessity to deal with hot and bad pixels in dark rows makes the invention so complex that its analog implementation advantages are in doubt:

Rambus application "Image sensor with a split-counter architecture" by Jie Shen proposes a way to reduce the data throughput problem in photon-counting pixel array. The idea is to locate only a small counter in each pixel and count an overflow signal outside of the array:

TSMC keeps working on various stacked sensor ideas. Two of the stacked sensor applications were published this week. One of them, the US20140035083, talks about raised photodiode with Tx gate structure, while ther rest of pixel transistors are located on the logic chip: "Elevated Photodiode with a Stacked Scheme" by Meng-Hsun Wan, Yi-Shin Chu, Szu-Ying Chen, Pao-Tung Chen, Jen-Cheng Liu, Dun-Nian Yaung.

Another TSMP application, US20140035013 "Novel CMOS Image Sensor Structure" by Min-Feng Kao, Dun-Nian Yaung, Jen-Cheng Liu, Chun-Chieh Chuang, Wen-De Wang, talks about a bonding of a regular and SOI wafer with hydrogen implant:

Forza patent application US20140027609 "Implement Multiple Pixel Output for Photodiode Size Pixels" by Guang Yang, Loc Truong proposes to add more transfer gates on different sides of a large pixels to speed up its charge transfer:

Another Forza application US20140027615 "Driving Global Digital Signals Across Large Arrays" by Barmak Mansoorian, Daniel vanBlerkom proposes to improve the speed of signal propagation along the long metal lines in stitched sensors:

Maru LSI VIPS Demo

Korean image sensor company Maru LSI publishes a Youtube demo of its VIPS (Vertically Integrated Photodiode Structure) sensor. The sensor was presented in IISW 2007 paper and has deep PD underneath RGB PDs:

In the video, the left picture shows the image from Color CCD camera and the right one shows the results from VIPS image sensor. VIPS image shows the shrunk RGB image and IR image at the bottom and composed image in VGA size. The composition rule is simple addition of two images when the RGB level is lower than the preset threshold:

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pixart Announces Smartphone Design Win for Its Gesture Sensor

PR Newswire: PixArt announces a design engagement with Pantech to offer a gesture motion capability for their IM-A880S (VEGA LTE-A) smart phone. The phone will feature PixArt Gesture Sensor PAC7620. The IR image-based PAC7620 Gesture Sensor creates a three-dimensional gesture space extending 6 inches above the phone to allow the user to interact with their phone by the nine user gestures (up, down, left, right, wave, forward, backward, clockwise, and counterclockwise).

"Our company vision is to develop innovative human/machine interface solutions with our advanced imaging technologies. Providing the capability for users to easily operate their phones with simple hand movements creates a smooth, intuitive interaction for users to heighten their enjoyment of advanced technologies," said Dennis Lo, President, PixArt Imaging USA. "We believe this gesture sensor will help to spur new innovative trends in user gestures for application not only in smart phones but also in other devices as well."

Currently, the Pantech IM-A880S (VEGA LTE-A) user gestures include:
  • Basic navigation (Up, Down, Left, Right) for browsing or scrolling Web pages
  • Zoom In/Out function for pictures or 3-D space movement
  • Scroll gestures for forward and reverse movement and volume control through video or music
  • Motion detection for phone wake-up or silence applications
The PixArt Gesture Engine integrates into existing smart phones designs with its small form factor and standard I2C interface. The PAC7620 is said to provide a better gestures recognition in comparison to simple photodiode approaches. The PAC7620 also has lower power consumption and latency when compared to conventional cameras solutions paired with software gesture recognition.

A Youtube video shows Pixart prototype in action (has already been shown in the Nov. 2013 post):

Himax Reports Q4 2013 Results

Himax publishes its Q4 2013 results. The company’s President and CEO, Jordan Wu, says on the CIS business progress:

Our CMOS image sensors delivered a phenomenal growth in 2013 and will continue to be a fast growing area for us in 2014. 2013 was the year when we positioned ourselves as one of the high-end image sensor providers by launching our first 8 mega-pixel sensor product in Q4. Currently, our sensor products range from entry level QVGA and VGA to higher-end 8 mega pixel sensor products, targeting smartphone, tablet, laptop, IP Cam, surveillance and automotive markets. The first quarter revenue prospect for CMOS image sensor looks positive, but gross margin of this product line will be dampened by inventory correction of some mid to low-end products. We are confident that gross margin will improve overtime once we resolve the inventory issue and certain new products with higher margin start to account for a larger proportion of sales for this product line.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Samsung ISOCELL Details Presented

Android Authority publishes Samsung slides. The web site says that "ISOCELL is actually the commercial name of what Samsung calls 3D-Backside Illuminated Pixel with Front-Side Deep-Trench Isolation (F-DTI) and Vertical Transfer Gate (VTG)." The slides below refer to a pixel size of 1.12um. More slides are at Android Authority site.