Thursday, May 14, 2015

CISTERN and EXIST Programs Support Image Sensor R&D in Europe

Adimec announces its participation in two European projects for advancing CMOS image sensor technology: CISTERN and EXIST. Both programs begin in April/May 2015 and will be completed in 2018.

The main objective of CISTERN, which is an acronym for CMOS Image Sensor Technologies’ Readiness for Next generation of applications. The other partners in this project are Grass Valley (project leader), Thales Angenieux, SoftKinetic, Delft University of Technology, University of Burgundy. CISTERN is a part of CATRENE Program and is aimed to:
  • To develop CMOS imager sensors with improved performance on spatial resolution, temporal resolution, higher bit depths, lower noise, wider color gamut, higher quantum efficiency (not necessarily all combined for each sensor) and additional, smart functionality in the pixels. The consortium will develop imager sensors in the categories UHDTV, Time-of-Flight and hyper- and multi-spectral, for the application areas broadcast, entertainment, and security.
  • To develop real time image processing techniques needed to improve the quality of the digital output signal of the sensor demonstrators.
  • To develop and demonstrate the capability to produce multispectral imagers by hybridization of multispectral filter arrays on top of CMOS sensor.
  • To demonstrate the improved performance of the CMOS imagers combined with related processing in a number of demonstrators.
  • To develop Ultra High resolution, widely opened, sensor adapted zoom lenses (2/3’’ format, 4K resolution) for broadcast and security applications/markets.
  • To optimize lens design in term of performance/cost/weight/camera integration for integral imaging chains.
  • To develop and demonstrate an integrated Camera Lens Assembly for security applications that offers UHDTV performance with Size and Weight of an HDTV solution.
  • To start in-house CMOS image sensor development in Grass Valley.
The EXIST (EXtended Imaging Sensor Technologies) consortium will investigate and develop innovative new technologies for image sensors. The EXIST team consists of R&D institutes advanced in image sensor technologies, image sensor designs and video processing (IMEC, Fraunhofer IMS, Le2i, TNO, iMinds and TU Delft) and fabless design houses, semiconductor manufacturer (Sofradir) and system integrators (CMOSIS, Grass Valley, Softkinetic, Thales Angenieux, Adimec, Silios, Sofradir, Focal, and Quest). The objectives of this program are investigate and develop innovative new technologies for image sensors needed in the next plus one (N+2) generation of several application domains. The image sensor research will focus on enhancing and extending the capabilities of current CMOS imaging devices:
  • New design (architectures) and process technology (e.g. 3D stacking) for better pixels (lower noise, higher dynamic range, higher quantum efficiency, new functionality in the pixel) and more pixels at higher speed (higher spatial and temporal resolutions, higher bit depth), time-of-flight pixels, local (on-chip) processing
  • Extended sensitivity and functionality of the pixels: extension into infrared, filters for hyperspectral and multispectral imaging, better colour filters for a wider colour gamut, and FabryP√©rot Interference cells
  • Increasing the optical, analog and data imaging pipelines to enable high frame rates, better memory management, etc.
After developing the related technologies, six prototype image sensors will be designed:
  • two high resolution, high frame rate image sensors with 32Mpixels or more;
  • two Time of Flight image sensors;
  • one 3D stacked image sensor.
  • one integrated high performance hyperspectral image sensor
Next to these image sensor designs, the team will make a number of filter designs for integration on top of above mentioned and commercially available image sensors:
  • Multispectral filters for MWIR
  • Hyperspectral filters for NIR-passband and NIR-cutoff filters;
  • HSI filters and BSI imager for VISNIR range;


  1. When they say "To start in-house CMOS image sensor development in Grass Valley" do they mean in Grass Valley, California, or at the former Philips camera operation in the Netherlands, or somewhere else?

  2. Albert TheuwissenMay 15, 2015 at 9:58 AM

    Dave, being part of this consortium I can tell you that it is Grass Valley in the Netherlands.

  3. It's surprising to note the absence of ST.


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