Saturday, December 07, 2019

More About New Snapdragons Imaging Features

Tech2 publishes photos from Qualcomm Summit held on Dec. 3-5, 2019 in Maui, Hawaii. Few interesting pictures, more are in Judd Heape, Qualcomm camera products manager, presentation:

Snapdragon 865 ISP development takes 3 years:

Not sure what kind of lower than 1mW power image processing it can perform:

Now, Spectra ISP supports quad CFA processing at the hardware level. No need to convert it to the Bayer pattern:

Few other slides:

Qualcomm also announces Snapdragon XR2 AR/VR Platform supporting 7 cameras on a headset:

"With XR, for the first time a user can be virtually teleported to a new environment. To do this accurately and efficiently, the Snapdragon XR2 introduces support for seven (7) concurrent cameras and a custom computer vision processor. Multiple concurrent cameras enable real-time and highly accurate tracking of the head, lips and eyes together with 26-point skeletal hand tracking. Computer vision provides highly efficient scene understanding and 3D reconstruction. Together, these features allow users to be transported to new environments where they can intuitively interact within a digital world."

Even 7c and 8c compute platforms have quite impressive camera specs:

Qualcomm's competitor Mediatek announced its 5G platform Dimensity. The platform utilizes big-little processing approach featuring "the world’s first 5 core ISP in a unique 3 big plus 2 small design. It offers the best performance to power efficiency index by matching the right size sensor to the most appropriate ISP."

Friday, December 06, 2019

Polarization Sensitive Thermal Imager Finds Military Use

US Army Combat Capabilities Development Command's Army Research Laboratory and Polaris Sensor Technologies propose to use polarization sensitive thermal camera to find targets camouflaged in natural clutter.

A camera displays the targets (in green) using conventional LWIR thermal imagery (left), raw polarimetric imagery (center), and the combined thermal and polarimetric imagery (right):

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Brookman Demos its Night Vision Sensor

Brookman publishes a demo video captured by its High Sensitivity BT200C CMOS sensor evaluation board.
  • Sensor : BT200C
  • Optical format : 2/3 Type
  • Pixel size : 5um x 5um
  • Active pixel area : 1920x1080
  • ADC resolution : 19-bit ADC (BT FI-Cyclic type)

Samsung CIS Business Data

Paxnet publishes Samsung business overview with interesting data on the company's image sensor operation (DDI stands for Display Driver IC, AP - Application Processor):

  • Samsung's Non-Memory Division revenue breakdown by product: Foundry 41%, CIS 19%, DDI 15%, AP 23%
  • Cumulative growth since 2010: Foundry + 1,053%, CIS +457%, DDI 60%, AP +229%
  • Samsung's Non-memory Growth Engine: Foundry and CIS.
    Cumulative growth forecast for 2018-2021: Foundry +63%, CIS +87%, DDI -3%, AP +14%
  • CIS Division Sales KRW 453.2 billion in 2010 → KRW 2.5 trillion in 2018 → 4.1 trillion KRW in 2021
  • Samsung CIS Capacity starts to approach Sony
  • Samsung is currently producing low and mid-priced CIS on its 8-inch line
  • In addition to the existing 12-inch plant, the company is expanding its market share by expanding the S4, a CIS-only plant.
  • Manufacturing process technology is similar to DRAM, so CIS expansion will continue using aging DRAM equipment
  • Expected to deploy CIS conversion of Line 11 in 2018 and Line 13 in 2020
  • SK Hynix is too expected to expand 12-inch CIS lines in its domestic plants

Snapdragon 865 & 765 Imaging Capabilities

Qualcomm announces Snapdragon 865 mobile platform with upgraded camera features:

"Gigapixel Speed ISP: The Snapdragon 865’s ISP operates at staggering speeds of up to 2 gigapixels per second and provides brand-new camera features and capabilities. You can capture in 4K HDR with over a billion shades of color, capture 8K video, or snap massive 200-megapixel photos [Old Snapdragon 845 announced in 2017, as well as the newer 855 and 855+ platforms already supported 192MP]. You can also take advantage of the gigapixel speeds to slow things down and capture every millisecond of detail with unlimited high-definition slow-motion video capture at 960 fps. And now, for the first time ever on a mobile platform, Dolby Vision for video capture creates brilliant HDR footage that’s primed and ready for the big screen. In tandem with the 5th generation Qualcomm AI Engine, the gigapixel speed ISP can quickly and intelligently identify different backgrounds, people, and objects, so they can be treated individually for a truly customized photo."

Qualcomm also announces a mid-range Snapdragon 765 platform with somewhat weaker but still impressive camera support:

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

PMD to Present its 5um ToF Pixels

PMD and Infineon are going to unveil their 5um ToF pixel sensor at CES 2020:

"Our new VGA 3D imager IRS2877C is the highest resolution, most flexible and robust depth sensor we have ever developed. With our new 5µm pmd pixel core, we offer VGA resolution to give your applications more detailed 3D data – e.g. for secure FaceID, AR applications, or enhanced photography. We also have incorporated additional on-chip functionalities to enable smaller and cheaper 3D modules."

Thanks to RW for the link!

ON Semi 0.3MP Sensor Wins World Electronics Achievement Award

ON Semi reports that it has won the Innovative Product of the Year award in the sensor category of the World Electronics Achievement Awards (WEAA) 2019 for its recently announced ARX3A0 CMOS sensor.

The 0.3MP sensor features:
  • 1/10th-inch Optical Format
  • Super-Low Power Mode and Motion Detection Function with Smart Wake
  • High Frame Rate of 360fps
  • Ultra-Fast Electronic Rolling Shutter
  • Small Die Size 3.35 mm x 3.40 mm
  • 560 (H) x 560 (V) [1:1] VGA resolution in a square format
  • 2.2 µm BSI non-stacked pixel
  • Monochrome with NIR+ implementation
  • Low Power consumption:
    less than 19 mW at 30fps
    less than 82 mW at 120fps
    less than 140 mW at 360fps
    less than 3.2 mW standby
  • Smart wake motion detection function

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Gpixel Announces Red Fox NIR-Enhancing Technology

Gpixel announces a NIR-enhanced version of its GMAX0505 sensor, a 26MP global shutter CMOS sensor in a square 1.1” optical format. The GMAX0505 and the new NIR-enhanced GMAX0505RF are part of Gpixel’s 2.5 µm pixel family of pin-compatible C-mount sensors for industrial and scientific applications.

Typically, NIR sensitivity is enhanced by increasing the thickness of the sensor’s epitaxial layer. However, this impacts MTF and limits the effective resolution of the sensor. The new Red Fox process modifies the
sensor’s sensitive layer to achieve an optimal balance between NIR sensitivity and MTF.

The GMAX0505RF achieves a QE of almost 34% at 850 nm and 14% at 940 nm. In comparison, based on publicly available EMVA test data some competitive image sensors only offer a QE of 20% at 850 nm. This equates to a 70% improvement in QE performance.

As the Red Fox process can be applied to any GMAX products, Gpixel’s anticipates other GMAX RF products will be released in the near future. Engineering samples of the GMAX0505RF are available now for evaluation.

Monday, December 02, 2019

Image Sensors at ISSCC 2020

ISSCC 2020 to be held in San Francisco on Feb. 16-20 publishes its agenda with heavy emphasis on ToF imaging. The biggest surprise is a joint Prophesee and Sony paper on event-based sensor:
  • A 240×192Pixel 10fps 70klux 225m-Range Automotive LiDAR SoC Using a 40ch 0.0036mm2 Voltage/Time Dual-Data-Converter-Based AFE
    S. Kondo, H. Kubota, H. Katagiri, Y. Ota, M. Hirono, T. T. Ta, H. Okuni, S. Ohtsuka, Y. Ojima, T. Sugimoto, H. Ishii, K. Yoshioka, K. Kimura, A. Sai, N. Matsumoto,
    Toshiba, Japan
  • A 1200×900 6μm 450fps Geiger-Mode Vertical Avalanche Photodiodes CMOS Image Sensor for a 250m Time-of-Flight Ranging System Using Direct-Indirect-Mixed Frame Synthesis with Configurable-Depth-Resolution Down to 10cm
    T. Okino, S. Yamada, Y. Sakata, S. Kasuga, M. Takemoto, Y. Nose, H. Koshida, M. Tamaru, Y. Sugiura, S. Saito, S. Koyama, M. Mori, Y. Hirose, M. Sawada, A. Odagawa, T. Tanaka,
    Panasonic, Nagaokakyo, Japan
  • An Up-to-1400nm 500MHz Demodulated Time-of-Flight Image Sensor on a Ge-on-Si Platform
    C-L. Chen, S-W. Chu, B-J. Chen, Y-F. Lyu, K-C. Hsu, C-F. Liang, S-S. Su, M-J. Yang, C-Y. Chen, S-L. Cheng, H-D. Liu, C-T. Lin, K. P. Petrov, H-W. Chen, K-C. Chu, P-C. Wu, P-T. Huang, N. Na, S-L. Chen,
    Artilux, Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • A Dynamic Pseudo 4-Tap CMOS Time-of-Flight Image Sensor with Motion Artifact Suppression and Background Light Cancelling Over 120klux
    D. Kim, S. Lee, D. Park, C. Piao, J. Park, Y. Ahn, K. Cho, J. Shin, S. M. Song, S-J. Kim, J-H. Chun, J. Choi,
    Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon,
    Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, Korea
    Zeeann, Hanam, Korea
  • A 2.1e-Temporal Noise and -105dB Parasitic Light Sensitivity Backside-Illuminated 2.3μm-Pixel Voltage-Domain Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor Using High-Capacity DRAM Capacitor Technology
    J-K. Lee, S. S. Kim, I-G. Baek, H. Shim, T. Kim, T. Kim, J. Kyoung, D. Im, J. Choi, K. Cho, D. Kim, H. Lim, M-W. Seo, J. Kim, D. Kwon, J. Song, J. Kim, M. Jang, J. Moon, H. Kim, C. K. Chang, J. Kim, K. Koh, H. Lim, J. Ahn, H. Hong, K. Lee, H-K. Kang,
    Samsung Electronics, Hwaseong, Korea
  • A 1/2.65in 44Mpixel CMOS Image Sensor with 0.7µm Pixels Fabricated in Advanced Full-Depth Deep-Trench Isolation Technology
    H. Kim, J. Park, I. Joe, D. Kwon, J. H. Kim, D. Cho, T. Lee, C. Lee, H. Park, S. Hong, C. Chang, J. Kim, H. Lim, Y. Oh, Y. Kim, S. Nah, S. Jung, J. Lee, J. Ahn, H. Hong, K. Lee, H-K. Kang,
    Samsung Electronics, Hwaseong, Korea
  • A 132dB Single-Exposure-Dynamic-Range CMOS Image Sensor with High Temperature Tolerance
    Y. Sakano, T. Toyoshima, R. Nakamura, T. Asatsuma, Y. Hattori, T. Yamanaka, R. Yoshikawa, N. Kawazu, T. Matsuura, T. Iinuma, T. Toya, T. Watanabe, A. Suzuki, Y. Motohashi, J. Azami, Y. Tateshita, T. Haruta,
    Sony Semiconductor, Japan
  • A 0.50erms Noise 1.45μm-Pitch CMOS Image Sensor with Reference-Shared In-Pixel Differential Amplifier at 8.3Mpixel 35fps
    M. Sato, Y. Yorikado, Y. Matsumura, H. Naganuma, E. Kato, T. Toyofuku, A. Kato, Y. Oike,
    Sony Semiconductor Solutions, Atsugi, Japan
  • A 0.8V Multimode Vision Sensor for Motion and Saliency Detection with Ping-Pong PWM Pixel
    T-H. Hsu, Y-K. Chen, J-S. Wu, W-C. Ting, C-T. Wang, C-F. Yeh, S-H. Sie, Y-R. Chen, R-S. Liu, C-C. Lo, K-T. Tang, M-F. Chang, C-C. Hsieh,
    National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan
  • A 1280×720 Back-Illuminated Stacked Temporal Contrast Event-Based Vision Sensors with 4.86μm Pixels, 1.066GEPS Readout, Programmable Event-Rate Controller and Compressive Data-Formatting Pipeline
    T. Finateu, A. Niwa, D. Matolin, K. Tsuchimoto, A. Mascheroni, E. Reynaud, P. Mostafalu, F. Brady, L. Chotard, F. LeGoff, H. Takahashi, H. Wakabayashi, Y. Oike, C. Posch,
    PROPHESEE, Paris, France,
    Sony Semiconductor Solutions, Atsugi, Japan,
    Sony Electronics, Rochester, NY

Samsung 2017-19 Achievements

Samsung publishes a half-year report listing its recent achievements:

LiDAR News: Quanergy, Innoviz

MarketWatch: Quanergy CEO says that Elon Musk's criticism of Lidar 'makes no sense':

Innoviz decided to put its non-automotive qualified InnovizPro LiDAR into production. The automotive qualified version named InnovizOne is expected to start sampling next year.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Smartsens Presents its Future Directions

PRNewswire: Smartsens presentation at China Public Security Expo (CPSE 2019) held in Shenzhen, China at the end of October has a part about its future products:

  • CMOS Sensors with LED Flicker Suppression (LFS) enabled by SmartSens QCell technology for ADAS and Autonomous Vehicles (AV) applications
  • Automotive HDR sensors with SmartSens PixGain HDR technology – are capable of capturing fast moving objects in low and high lighted environment without motion blur
  • A large optical format 1080P super-starlight sensor, low light night vision video capture is effortless in security surveillance applications, and industrial cameras
  • SmartClarity H-series BSI products have improved IQ performance even under extreme hot temperatures.

Smartsens also releases 4 new image sensors featuring "First-in-Industry DSI Imaging Technology known as SmartPixel-2:" SC2320, SC4335, SC5335, and SC8220 with resolutions in range of 2MP to 8MP.

"When compared to other BSI technology, SC4335 performed with 42% higher sensitivity and 16% better dynamic range. Additionally, with an improved signal-to-noise ratio that makes them ideal for Artificial Intelligence applications, DSI sensors have the potential to dominate in the mid-market sector."