Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grass Valley on ToF Challenges

Thomson Grass Valley Chief Scientist of Imaging Peter Centen talked about the ToF cameras research research funded by European 2020 3D Media project. The presentation appears to be a joint work of Grass Valley, Viimagic and TowerJazz:

Time of flight, the 4th dimension in imaging
Juul v.d Heijkant(1), Jeroen Rotte(1), Klaas Jan Damstra(1), Assaf Lahav(2), Adi Birman(2), Steffen Lehr(3), Sabine Roth(3), Ruud van Ree(1)
1) R&D Cameras Grass Valley, Breda, the Netherlands
2) TowerJazz, Haifa, Israel
3) Viimagic, Villingen, Germany

The presented ToF camera is more a work in progress, showing what can be achieved with a simple 5T-like structure based on pinned PD.


  1. I think this is the same presentation as the one Peter gave at the IISW 2011 in Japan. Nevertheless it remains interesting.

  2. Peter probably should have mentioned this earlier literature in his talk:

    S.J. Kim, S.W. Han, B. Kang, K. Lee, J. Kim, C-Y Kim, “A Three-Dimensional Time-of-Flight CMOS
    Image Sensor With Pinned-Photodiode Pixel Structure”, IEEE Electron Device Lett., vol. 31(11) pp. 1272-
    1274 (2010).

    which used a similar 12x12 um structure. Prof. Theuwissen was an acknowledged adviser to this work.

  3. It will be interesting to see where TOF and optical stereo matching evolve from here. TOF seems best in indoor situations where there are often textureless and specular surfaces, whereas stereo is likely better outdoors and with more distant objects, assuming you are power constrained to LED illumination. Fusion approaches may be the way to go.

  4. I guess that this ToF should be designed for studio use, for example creating virtual stage. And you can remove the bleu curtain for weather forecast, etc. NHK has experimented such device by using a gated image intensifier tube coupled to a CCD sensor many years ago. For such niche application, a fast gated image intensifier tube remains an excellent solution.

    -yang ni

  5. Small detail, Grass Valley is not a part of Thomson anymore.


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