Thursday, June 24, 2021

Axcelis Ships 8MeV Ion Implanter to "Leading CIS Manufacturer in China"

PRNewswire:  Axcelis has shipped an 8MeV Purion VXE high energy ion implantation system to a "leading CMOS image sensor manufacturer located in China." This is the first Purion VXE shipped to this chipmaker.

EVP of Product Development, Bill Bintz, commented, "The Purion VXE was designed to address the specific needs of customers developing and manufacturing the most advanced CMOS image sensors. To optimize both performance and yield, these emerging image sensor devices require ultra-high energy implants with extremely precise and deep implant profiles, concurrent with ultra-low metal contamination levels. Building off of Axcelis' market leading LINAC technology, the Purion VXE uniquely addresses these customer needs."

IDTechEx on Emerging Sensor Technologies

IDTechEx CEO Raghu Das and analyst Matthew Dyson present their view on "Emerging Image Sensor Technologies 2021-2031."

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Infineon and PMD Partner with ArcSoft for Under-Display ToF Turnkey Solution

BusinessWire: Infineon, PMD and ArcSoft are developing a turnkey solution that allows a ToF camera to work under the display of commercial smartphones. It will provide reliable IR images and 3D data for security-relevant applications like face authentication and mobile payment. The market for ToF solutions in smartphones is estimated to reach above 600M sensor units in 2025 with a CAGR of around 32% from 2021 onward, according to Strategy Analytics.

Time-of-Flight technology offers tremendous value for smartphones and in our daily lives by making electronic devices aware of the context in which we use them,” says Andreas Urschitz, Division President Power & Sensor Systems at Infineon. “In addition to our continuous technological achievements in terms of smaller size, reduced power consumption, and better 3D performance, our AI-enabled and secure under-display solution will provide a display design beautification for smartphone manufacturers.

To build powerful Time-of-Flight cameras, you need to have a deep understanding of the 3D data and how applications make use of it. That is why we are working closely with middleware partners and OEMs to provide them best in class ToF-algorithms, software, and high-quality 3D data to build their application on. The solution, that we are jointly developing with ArcSoft, allows our ToF cameras to see through displays while still meeting the requirements for secure face authentication in mobile phone unlock and mobile payment,” adds Bernd Buxbaum, CEO at PMD.

"The implementation of 3D ToF in mobile devices promises to spark the next wave of killer consumer applications, which is exactly why ArcSoft is excited to work with Infineon and pmdtechnologies," says Sean Bi, COO of ArcSoft. "By deeply integrating ToF cameras with ArcSoft's computer vision algorithms, under-display ToF can bring reliable facial recognition solutions and a superior full-screen experience to consumers. Relying on under-display ToF, ArcSoft will also enable more applications such as AR related, which mobile manufacturers value when deployed in support of new and exciting mobile apps.

Intevac Night Vision Sensor Development Attracts $23M Funding

BusinessWire: Intevac has received two additional Phase 1 development program awards in addition to the ManTech development award received from the Night Vision and Electronics Sensors Directorate during Q1 of 2021.

The ManTech award continues our work on the current CMOS camera developed in support of IVAS, targeting reduced power and cost, and improved performance. In the new awards announced today, the Enhanced Performance CIS award is aimed at further improving low-light performance for our next-generation CMOS camera, advancing from the current high-starlight operating capability to overcast starlight. The second of the two new awards, the Enhanced Performance EBAPS award, is aimed at significantly improved low-light performance utilizing Intevac’s ISIE19 EBAPS technology. This Enhanced Performance EBAPS award is designed to provide ISIE19 low-light performance down to overcast-starlight capability in a greatly reduced form factor required for this application.

If selected for Phase 2 development work on all three of these IVAS-supporting programs, funded development revenues for Intevac Photonics would total approximately $23M over a 36-month period.

Intevac’s digital night-vision sensors, based on its patented Electron Bombarded Active Pixel Sensor (EBAPS) technology, provide state-of-the-art capability to the most advanced avionic fighting platforms in the U.S. Department of Defense inventory.

Nissan Gives Away Free Licenses for its Thermal Imaging Patents for Use in Anti-COVID Applications

I missed this news first announced in December 2020 and then again in April 2021: Nissan is providing licenses free of charge for thermal imaging sensor technology developed by the company.

Nissan is licensing the low-cost technology under the terms of the IP Open Access Declaration Against COVID-19, which the company joined in May. By signing the declaration, Nissan agreed not to seek compensation nor assert any patent, utility model, design or copyright claim against any activities aimed at combatting the pandemic.

The licenses are for multiple products being developed by Chino Corp. and Seiko NPC Corp. Chino is using Nissan’s technology to develop, manufacture and sell non-contact body surface temperature measuring devices that can quickly detect high body surface temperatures.

Seiko NPC has developed sensors under a sublicense of the technology from IHI Aerospace Co., Ltd. These sensors are being used in non-contact body surface temperature measuring devices for multiple companies.

Nissan’s contactless temperature-measuring sensor detects infrared rays from an object or area. It can display images, such as temperature distributions, with a resolution of about 2000 pixels and can be manufactured at significantly lower cost than sensors made using conventional technologies.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Jabil Develops 360-deg ToF Camera Based on ADI Reference Design

BusinessWire: Jabil announces that its optical design center in Jena, Germany, is currently developing a novel omnidirectional sensor for robotic and industrial platforms. By combining a custom optical assembly with an innovative active illumination approach, a new 3D ToF depth sensor with an industry-leading 360° x 60° FOV is being developed (data sheet states 270deg x 60deg FOV). The ground-breaking, solid-state design is one of several sensing systems Jabil’s optical business unit (Jabil Optics) is designing to support lower-cost autonomous mobile robotics and collaborative robotics platforms.

A mission of Analog Devices is to enable the autonomous mobile robot revolution by providing high performance and highly differentiated signal chains that bridge the gap between the analog and digital worlds,” said Donnacha O’Riordan, director of ADI. “The Jabil omnidirectional sensor is one of the most innovative implementations of the ADI depth-sensing technology we have encountered. Jabil’s wide field-of-view, depth-sensing approach is opening up new possibilities for human interaction with robots.

Monday, June 21, 2021

International Image Sensor Workshop Registration Opens

2021 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW 2021) registration is open now. The Workshop is an on-line virtual event this year, to be held on September 20-23. The details are explained in FAQ part on the bottom of the registration page:

GPixel Expands its Line Scan Sensors Family

Gpixel expands its GL product family with GL3504, a C-mount line scan image sensor targeting industrial inspection, logistics barcode scanning, and printing inspection.

GL3504 has two photosensitive pixel arrays: a 2048 x 4 resolution array with 7 μm x 7 μm square pixel size and a 4096 x 2 resolution array with 3.5 μm x 3.5 μm pixel size. Both monochromatic and color variants are offered. The color filter array on the 3.5 μm pixel line is Bayer type; The 7 μm pixel lines are RGB true color type.

GL3504 engineering samples can be ordered today for delivery in July, 2021.

ESPROS about Human Eye as a LiDAR

Espros publishes its CEO Beat De Coi's presentation at Autosens Detroit 2021 "The Human eye as an example for LiDAR."

"The performance of the human eye is awesome. It has a fantastic resolution, hence small objects can bee seen at long distances. It works very well in a huge brightness dynamic range and it is able to estimate distance. This in a system of two eyes and a dedicated computer system - the human vision system (HVS). There are many aspects of the HVS which outperforms any LiDAR system. However, the perfomance is based on a very clever designed system. Why not to use the human eye and the human vision system as an example for future LiDAR systems?"

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Megapixel ToF Imager with 35um Depth Resolution

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence publishes a paper "Exploiting Wavelength Diversity for High Resolution Time-of-Flight 3D Imaging" by Fengqiang Li, Florian Willomitzer, Muralidhar Madabhushi Balaji, Prasanna Rangarajan, and Oliver Cossairt from Northwestern University at Evanston, IL, and Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX. The paper has also been publishes in and IEEE Computer Society Digital Library.

"The poor lateral and depth resolution of state-of-the-art 3D sensors based on the time-of-flight (ToF) principle has limited widespread adoption to a few niche applications. In this work, we introduce a novel sensor concept that provides ToF-based 3D measurements of real world objects and surfaces with depth precision up to 35 μm and point cloud densities commensurate with the native sensor resolution of standard CMOS/CCD detectors (up to several megapixels). Such capabilities are realized by combining the best attributes of continuous wave ToF sensing, multi-wavelength interferometry, and heterodyne interferometry into a single approach. We describe multiple embodiments of the approach, each featuring a different sensing modality and associated tradeoffs."

3rd International Workshop on Event-Based Vision - Day 1

Day 1 of the Third International Workshop on Event-Based Vision live feed is complete and available on Youtube: