Friday, September 22, 2017

Cameras with Black Silicon Sensors Reach the Market

It came to my attention that a number of Japanese camera companies started selling cameras with SiOnyx Black Silicon sensors. One of these companies is Bitran with CS-64NIR cooled camera based on XQE-0920 sensor. The company publishes a presentation with the application examples for the new camera sensitive up to 1200nm.


Another company is ACH2 Technologies selling ACH100-NIR camera, saying it's sensitive up to 1400nm:


Yet another company is Artray with two cameras: 1.3MP ARTCAM-130XQE-WOM and 0.92MP ARTCAM-092XQE-WOM.



It's very nice to see a new, radically different technology finally reaching the market.

11 comments:

  1. Congratulations to SiOnyx on getting traction in Japan. On the other hand, I wouldn't call it a "radically" different technology. It does improve red/NIR absorption in silicon without creating an optical cavity (a tuned increase) or add significantly to dark current. I can't say much more except to give it thumbs up for certain applications.

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    1. Albert Theuwissen - Harvest ImagingSeptember 22, 2017 at 9:44 PM

      Eric, I partly agree. It is good to see some new kids on the block. But I do not agree whether the nearIR is better than what we have already. It is not mentioned which CMOS sensor they use for comparison AND both graphs are normalized. Basically it doesn't say anything about the comparison between the two technologies. Only the shape of the curves can be compared.
      Also your statement about the dark current I do not subscribe. The text in the blog says : a COOLED camera. So comparison of the dark current without numbers and temperatures indicated is very dangerous.

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    2. As hinted, I know more than I can say, although my info is getting a few years old now. The more I learned, the more positive I was about this technology. Often it is the other way around!

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    3. Albert Theuwissen - Harvest ImagingSeptember 24, 2017 at 9:07 AM

      This week at AutoSens, ESPROS reported a QE = 70 % at 905 nm wavelength. Can black silicon get to this QE value as well ? Very curious to get some data.

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    4. I don't think there is any magic in ESPROS using thick BSI to achieve high QE in the NIR, and it is (also) a very good result.
      I think about ESPROS baking wafers in the hollow of a mountain and it does make me chuckle however. There is a cookie brand in the US that advertises that their cookies are baked by little elves in a hollow tree. (OK, I know ESPROS has now moved on to TSMC for some devices, perhaps all.) Anyway, all of these folks pushing the limits of silicon image sensors deserve a lot of credit.

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  2. 1400nm? I see only 1200nm. Am I missing something?

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    1. You are probably right. ACH2 camera link in the post states the band up to 1400nm, but it's probably a mistake:

      https://www.ach2-tech.com/blank-8

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  3. How does it compare to Invisage in terms of NIR/IR sensitivity? InVisage also claims their technology has a higher QE at NIR thanks to Quantum film

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    1. Invisage has 40-45% QE at 940nm, but its spectral response is different having a peak in IR:

      http://www.imagesensors.org/Past%20Workshops/2017%20Workshop/2017%20Papers/R53.pdf

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  4. Though I'm happy to see this progress, I have problem to take a company seriously that claims "extremely low read noise", "extremely high sensitivity", "sensitivity enhancements as high as 10x today’s sensor solutions", without specifying any numbers or graphs to support that claim.
    Also, the night vision field test video looks nice but it is unclear which cameras are used for the comparisons.

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  5. I had in 2013 a few hours with Martin Pralle from SiOnxy in our lab. The images, the noise and the sensitivity of a camera with the 1310 sensor were impressive. At that time.
    Today since the IMX174 there are new rules. I can say, the big advantage is the sensivity in the high NIR. 1064 or 1100nm and above.

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