Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aptina Applies for Selective Column Power Down Patent

Aptina's patent application US20130134295 "Imaging systems with selectable column power control" by Hai Yan and Ashirwad Bahukhandi proposes a circuit to independently power down each column readout circuit, in case the column is not used in one of the partial-scan modes:

"In some situations, however, only a portion of the image pixels a pixel array may used to capture image data at any given time. For example, in some situations a sub-array of image pixels may be used to capture image data when it is desired to capture image frames having a reduced size at an increased frame rate. In a conventional image sensor, power that could otherwise be used to operate other portions of the imaging system or that could otherwise be stored and used for later imaging operations can therefore be used to unnecessarily power column readout circuits that are coupled to unused image pixels. It can be particularly useful to conserve this type of power in portable imaging systems that use batteries to provide power to the device or in power-saving modes in larger electronic devices with imaging systems."

One of the possible implementations of the power down latch circuit is below:


  1. Quite amazing that such a thing can still be patented. Maybe a good occasion to have a small poll: what was the first time/how many years ago you saw this kind of circuit?

  2. it's june 27th, not april 1st. this must be a joke

  3. Hi, my latest patent idea(2013): a device that uses Einstein's photo-electric effect to produce a measurable signal in voltage and a circuit for readout in the binary domain. This also includes an opitcal setup to concentrate incoming light waves, a liquid-crystal polarizing sandwitch to display the signal thus obtained, and mechanical fixtures to control the device.
    The name of the device is: Photon mediated, phonon differentiated, exciton detector in discrete discontinuous domain (PMPED).
    Now, why am I writing it in this page? I wonder....

  4. Filing patent applications is like a sport in some companies. Engineers are encouraged to do so. Sometimes company offers monetary reward for each of the application filed, granted, and takes that into account for engineers’ performance evaluation. It all becomes a game. The IP department brags about the number of patents filed and granted on regular basis. Whether they are truly useful or not is another story. The numbers end up in a bar chart in quarterly communication meeting or investor conference. Sad but true.

  5. Hmmm. I seem to remember this idea from the past...something like this: US 6897429 B1


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