Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rumors Galore

There are few rumors brought to my attention recently. Normally, I publish rumors only if an independent confirmation is received from at least one more source. Still, there is a chance of mistake here, so take all the rumors below with a grain of salt:
  1. Sony is working on high full well capacity pixel design. The new solution is supposed to improve full well for very small pixels. Diminishing full well is one of the main limitations of the pixel downscaling.

  2. Kodak p-type pixel is not meeting the company's QE targets, in spite of many process iterations. Also, W-RGB processing still leaves some artifacts. To make the sensor more competitive, Kodak recently taped out the improved version of its sensor.

  3. SuperPix abandons consumer image sensor market. It looks like the company was unable to capture any meaningful share on the market, so after few years trying it ceased its efforts. It's not clear whether the company continues its operations to find other markets.

  4. Galaxycore plans to move its production to Hua Hong NEC foundry. It's not clear if Galaxycore completely abandons its former foundry SMIC or just plans to use HH NEC as a second source. HH NEC does not have CIS experience so far and develops it with Galaxycore now. By the way, HH NEC is in merger talks with Grace, another China-based foundry. Grace had some image sensor experience in the past, cooperating with Cypress and Japanese companies. Later it has discontinued CIS process development.

  5. ST did a superb job on 1.4um FSI pixel QE enhancement. The company uses 65nm process with metal stack of only 1.5um to achieve industry leading QE performance. Actually, ST FSI results make Omnivision's early switch to BSI look premature.

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