Semiconductor Packaging News publishes a message from Forza Silicon's President and Co-Founder Barmak Mansoorian. Few quotes:
"In 2015, Forza Silicon will be celebrating its 14th year in the business of delivering innovative custom CMOS image sensor (CIS) and IC design solutions. ...Primarily through long-standing customer relationships and partner referrals, Forza has grown to where today the company employs one of the industry's largest and most experienced independent CMOS imaging engineering teams."
"We expect strong and steady growth in the CMOS image sensor market, particularly for consumer applications (wearable, mobile), automotive imaging, machine vision, security & surveillance and medical imaging."
"The recently introduced Forza Reconfigurable Image Sensor Technology Platform, utilizing advancements in stacked chip technology, is an example of how advanced imaging technology can be leveraged into real value for our customers. The image sensor has numerous reconfigurable capabilities and can be programmed to perform multiple monitoring and decision-making tasks at the sensor "edge... Furthermore, we believe 3D wafer stacking is the next step for image sensors. Forza is already on the leading edge of 3D integration imaging techniques to drastically improve system performance to levels once thought impossible. We’ve applied this technology in our projects with the DARPA SCENICC Program: Soldier Centric Via Computational Cameras and other DoD initiatives."
Once we are at Forza, its recent patent application US20150008308 "Analog-to-digital converter with redundancy for image sensor readout" by Steven Huang, Ali Mesgarni, and Daniel Van Blerkom proposes to add few redundant steps in SAR ADC flow, so that the MSB conversion steps can start earlier, without waiting for the complete settling of the column voltage: