Monday, March 31, 2014

Ambarella Announces IP Security Camera SoCs

Business Wire: Ambarella introduces S2L, a family of Full HD camera SoCs for consumer, small business and professional IP-camera security applications. The S2L’s Smart-AVCTM H.264 low bitrate streaming technology reduces network bandwidth requirements, lowers cloud storage costs and supports the use of multiple cameras in home environments. Its flexible ARM Cortex-A9 CPU provides the performance required for intelligent video analytics such as intrusion detection, or audio analytics such as breaking glass detection. Additionally, the S2L dewarper can correct images captured from wide angle lenses to enable cameras that cover a wide viewing area.

"The S2L family brings advanced professional features to mainstream and consumer IP cameras, including Full HD video, High Dynamic Range (HDR) image processing, advanced analytics and wide angle viewing," said Chris Day, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Ambarella. "Designed in an advanced 28nm process, S2L enables a new generation of intelligent, ultra-low power and small form factor IP cameras with outstanding video quality."

The S2L family includes a series of software-compatible SoCs that range from 720p30 up to 1080p60 H.264 video and up to 5 MP resolution. The S2L chips feature multi-exposure HDR and Motion Compensated Temporal Filtering (MCTF) noise reduction. Power consumption for 1080p30 encoding is under 500mW including DRAM.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Pixpolar Patent Case Study

Aalto University published a presentation by Artto Aurola, Pixpolar founder, on patent considerations and lessons from his startup company's history:

Regarding the Kodak image sensor-related patents mentioned in the presentation, most part of them was acquired by Omnivision.

Aptina Proposes Backside PD

Aptina's patent application US20140077062 "Back side illuminated image sensors with back side charge storage" by Jaroslav Hynecek describes an unusual pixel idea - move the PD implant to the backside:

The advantages of such an approach are not clear to me, but it's a fresh idea and can work, if pixel is not too small and one can spare 10-20V to control the transfer gate Vtx.

Altasens Announces 4K Products

PR Newswire: AltaSens introduces its first commercially available 4K sensor: the AL41410C. The Super-35 size image sensor delivers 4K cinema frames in either 12-bit or 10-bit resolution at up to 72fps using 1.3W power. A 5.2-μm pixel pitch gives the AL41410C its high sensitivity, as well as low noise and extensive compatibility with the available optics usually reserved for leading DSLR cameras.

"This sensor delivers crisp, high frame rate imaging through 4K and beyond," explained Lester Kozlowski, the company founder and CEO. Darren Paulson, VP of Business Development and Compliance, added, "The sensor's expansive programmability, including extremely fast frame rates at multiple optical formats, enables the next generation of broadcast through scientific, military and consumer digital cameras."

The ability to read a 4096 x 2160 format at up to 72 fps makes AL41410C an extremely attractive sensor for producing 4K cinema in the latest UHD cameras. Operating the sensor at a 3840 x 2160 resolution up to 72 fps is ideal for Ultra HD video. Alternatively, the 1920 x 1080 HD format at 240 fps is best for sports broadcast or special effects support where clear slow motion playback is vital. Its native 4512 x 3008 resolution is available up to 50 fps.

Key features include the following:
  • Programmable low-power 12-bit digitization and ≥18-bit digital signal processing
  • Fast transition between still capture and multiple video modes
  • Still capture (pseudo-global shutter) and sensor reset easily configurable for mechanical shutters
  • Automatic on-chip digital correction, including Black Clamp for real-time maintenance of black level, Column FPN suppression, and line-noise suppression

PR Newswire: AltaSens also introduces 4K camera module for commercial sale: the 4K Pro RGB. The camera module is based on the new sensor and generates 4K through HD video at multiple optical formats and frame rates. The high-end module can be used for broadcast, movie and TV production, scientific instruments, medical imaging, and UAVs to record video and capture stills.

PR Newswire: There is also a monochrome night vision 4K low-light camera module: the 4K Pro Night-Vision. The intensified unit is the first commercially available low-light, ultra-high-resolution camera module. Its video engine generates multiple formats at high frame rates for resolute security, surveillance, life sciences, robotics, and astronomy applications.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Applied Materials Helps to Improve Yield at LFoundry Avezzano Fab

Applied Materials publishes a case study on how its team helps to improve image sensor process at LFoundry Avezano, Italy fab. One of the stories talks about excessive leakage current due to improper oxide spacer etch step.

"The FabVantage team determined the root cause of the problem to be a recipe with low oxide-to-polysilicon sensitivity, which sometimes led to over-etching into the silicon substrate. Further complicating the matter, this overetching was not uniform across the tool’s chambers. Applied and the customer identified an optimized recipe as the best solution (see figure 1). It was also determined that the chamber lid temperature set point varied from chamber to chamber, which caused nonuniform etching across chambers. In addition, sensor trace analysis and Applied’s best known methods (BKMs) were used to optimize the etch process to eliminate voltage spikes that are known to lead to yield loss."

A recipe with low oxide-to-polysilicon sensitivity sometimes led to over-etching into the silicon substrate (figure 1a left). A new recipe eliminated the problem (figure 1a right). The graph compares the oxide-to-polysilicon sensitivity of several of Applied’s proposed recipe changes with the customer’s original recipe (figure 1b).

Toshiba Starts Mass Production of HDR VGA Sensor

Business Wire: Toshiba announces that it will start mass production of TCM3211PB (formerly announced as TCM5114PB), a 1/4 inch VGA/60fps image sensor for surveillance cameras and drive recorders, at the end of April. The new sensor uses 5.6µm pixels for improved low light sensitivity. The sensor incorporates a single frame HDR function based on interleaved rows with different exposure:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tessera to License MEMS AF Patents to O-Film

Business Wire: Tessera signes a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) with Shenzhen, China O-Film Tech Co. for the sale of certain patents and equipment assets related to Tessera’s wholly-owned subsidiary DigitalOptics Corporation (“DOC”). In addition, the LOI contemplates a patent license agreement related to MEMS and camera module technology, as well as a license agreement related to certain software features of Tessera’s FotoNation business. The LOI also contemplates that O-Film will assume or sublease DigitalOptics’ facility lease in Arcadia, California. Additionally, both Tessera and O-Film are working towards establishing a long-term collaborative relationship between the two companies.

"This transaction with O-Film will enable us to continue to focus on our core competencies in IP licensing and imaging and we are pleased to have identified such a high-quality partner as O-Film for these valuable imaging assets," said Thomas Lacey, Tessera CEO. "O-Film is a leading developer of optical components and digital cameras in China. We are hopeful that a final agreement can be reached, and look forward to working with O-Film in the future."

The total consideration for this transaction is $50M. O-Film made an initial deposit of $5M in connection with the signing of the LOI, which will be credited towards the total consideration. The balance of $45M is to be paid upon closing of the transaction. O-Film will pay the purchase price with its cash at hand.

Thanks to SF for forwarding me the news!

HTC One (M8) Duo Camera Review and Explanations was able to get a hold on the new HTC One (M8) smartphone and posted its depth-enabled camera reviews. First, how its bokeh effect works, from First Impressions review:

"to really understand what it is capable of, we need to know how the camera works. One basic point is that HTC One M8 camera is not like a Lytro camera, which simultaneously captures multiple points of focus. Instead, the actual photo taken in imaging terms is pretty conventional. The phone just knows where in the scene objects are so that it can manually blur everything but select items. It’s not really a case of re-focusing, but de-focusing."

"Unlike ‘real’ shallow depth of field effects, the transition between ‘in focus’ and ‘blurred’ is not very smooth, and we noticed some issues with the edges of in-focus objects. Even in high-contrast borders between background and foreground, there was some muddling of the focus. We also saw some areas of images belligerently staying in focus when they were meant to be blurred out. This may have been down to reflections confusing the HTC One M8 camera."

Then, TrustedReviews publishes a more detailed review of the camera blurring capabilities and artifacts:

"With the uFocus mode engaged, we see a distinct defocussing of the background. However, there are several weird inconsistencies. There's a flower to the left of the monster's head that has been judged by the camera's algorithm as being in the foreground (it wasn't), and there's a halo of 'crispiness' around the subject. This is where the M8 hasn't been able to judge the edges of the monster accurately" - see the picture below:

Dual Aperture Announces its DSP SoC Partner

PR Newswire: Half a year ago, Dual Aperture has announced its partnership with Siliconfile (SK Hynix) to make a customized image sensor. Now the company announces its DSP partner - eWBM Co., to be designing a processing SoC to run Dual Aperture's image capture, refocusing, 3D image generation, depth estimation and gesture tracking algorithms.

Dual Aperture's image sensor technology is based on 4-color sensor design. The 4-color sensor is comprised of RGB and IR pixels. The sensor also uses separate apertures for RGB and IR pixels, thereby capturing data for two distinct images - one each in the RGB and the IR spectrums with varying sharpness, as shown in its patent application here.

The company's Vimeo video demos Dual Aperture's gesture control:

From the company's FAQ:

Q8. What are the advantages of DA approach vs. other gesture tracking devices like Kinect or Leap Motion?

Kinect and Leap Motion systems require multiple sensors with elaborate LED lighting sources. The Dual Aperture system requires only a single sensor using ambient light sources, which make it possible to implement gesture tracking in small form factor cameras, e.g. mobile device cameras. The DA system also works under direct, bright sunlight (unlike Kinect) and captures high quality color images (like conventional cameras).

Q12. Are there any cost advantages or disadvantages compared to other similar multi-utility cameras?

The Dual Aperture camera has lower manufacturing costs when compared to other similar depth measurement technologies that require additional sensors, special infrared light sources, and complex computing for image alignment.

Q16. Is the DA sensor available?

Yes. A 3.2M pixel mobile sensor sample is currently available. Other resolution sensors are currently under development and will be made available in 2014.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How to Measure MTF, Part 2

Albert Theuwissen continues his MTF measurement series. The second part talks about the lens F-number affecting the sensor's MTF.

HTC One (M8) Duo Camera Features Depth Mapping

HTC has announced a Duo Camera in its new One (M8) smartphone. The camera is said to be able to capture a depth information, as stated in the company's official video:

The main 4MP, 2um "Ultrapixel" sensor appears to be identical to the previous generation One smartphone (Youtube link):

Reuters on Sony Image Sensor Business

Reuters publishes an article talking on Sony image sensor business excessive dependence on smartphone market. So far, everything looks perfect:
  • Sony expects its sales of imaging sensor chips to jump 16 percent to 360 billion yen ($3.52 billion) in the year ending this month.
  • "Some smartphone makers are upgrading their front-facing cameras for users who want sharper self-portraits, and that has opened up a whole new market for Sony," said Yutaka Okamoto, president of the company's device division. "Several fast-growing Chinese smartphone makers, keen to move upmarket, are also beginning to put in orders for Sony's high-spec chips. Sony has calculated that capacity at its existing factories would be unable to keep up with demand by mid-2015, even with a drop in demand for compact camera sensors."
  • Macquarie Capital Securities director of research Damian Thong estimates the sensor business earns an operating margin of 10% to 15%. Sony says its global market share for smartphone image sensors is at 44 percent, mainly in the back-facing cameras used to snap photos.
  • Chinese smartphones from fast-growing manufacturers such as Xiaomi tout high-end, made-in-Japan parts as a selling point
But there are some signs for the changes in future:
  • Sony's device business is increasingly tied to the smartphone market.
  • Okamoto plays down worries that smartphone growth might peak out within the next few years, citing a number of other promising markets for image sensors. "Our hope is that wearables are next. We also expect to see increasing demand for sensors used in medical devices, autos, and in agriculture," he said.
  • Sony faces a rising threat from Samsung Electronics. Samsung's newest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, is due to be fitted with a Samsung's own image sensor, with Sony no longer the main supplier. "The fact that Samsung makes their own products on their own line with their own technology, that's a threat," Okamoto said.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ex-Omnivision Engineers Found Image Sensor Startup

A group of engineers from Omnivision has founded Cista System Corp., based in San Jose, CA. The founding group is Zheng (Wilson) Du (former Module Development Manager at Omnivision), Jiangtao Pang (former director of Product Design at Omnivision), Guangbin Zhang (former Analog Design Manager at Omnivision). The new company has raised $5M in round A at the end of 2013 and joined MIPI Alliance with the adopter status.

It's not clear what the new company is working on, but Guangbin Zhang's LinkedIn page says that he has "invented new sensor readout structure with 5 pending patents. More fundamental innovations are on the way."

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Hamamatsu Proposes ToF Sensor with Potential Adjusting Nodes

Hamamatsu patent application US20140071429 "Range sensor and range image sensor" by Mitsuhito Mase and Takashi Suzuki proposes to use circular transfer gates 5 and potential adjusting gates 6 to maximize a fill factor of ToF sensor. Basically, the whole area outside of transfer gate 5 generates photoelectrons:

More Info on Pentax Anti-Aliasing Filter Simulator

Imaging Resource has measured the K-3 DSLR body vibrations made by recently announced Pentax AA filter simulator:

The measured AA simulator frequency is about 500Hz, meaning it's somewhat less effective for exposures shorter than 1/500s.

Sharp Imaging Solution Presentations

Sharp has published videos on its imaging solutions and proximity sensors businesses, and also a datasheet and application note on triangulation-based distance measuring module.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Amazon's Smartphone Rumored to Have 6 Camera Modules

Tech-On quotes KGI Securities Investment Advisory (Taiwan) analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicting that the long rumored Amazon's "smartphone will come with six camera modules, four of which will be used for gesture-based control and other user interfaces (UIs) that detect the user's motions. Kuo considers that the cost for procuring the camera modules is US$40-50 per phone."

Amazon's smartphone cameras, as predicted by
KGI Securities Investment Advisory

BGR partially confirms the story through its own sources. The phone is expected to be available in Q2 2014.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sony Announces 20MP/25fps CMOS Sensor

Sony announces 1/2.3-inch IMX147LQT CMOS sensor featuring 1.2um BSI pixels. The sensor is aimed to consumer DSCs and camcorders and supports a wide choice of 4K and 2K video modes in 1/3.2-inch crop mode, including 4K/60fps/10b one, and also a 240fps high speed video:

The new 1.2um pixel has approx. 14% higher saturation signals compared with the previous generation pixels, enabling low ISO setting equivalent to ISO 80. Sony also says that it introduces a new technology for color crosstalk reduction, so that the new pixel has "about half of the color mixture in the neighboring pixel compared to the existing product IMX118CQT (1.26 µm unit pixel, Type 1/2.3, 18.47M effective pixels":

In full pixel scan mode at 22fps with 12b A/D conversion, the sensor consumes 416mW, while in 1080p60 mode the power is 311mW.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oppo Smartphone Snaps 50MP Pictures

Engadget has had a chance to test Oppo Find 7 smartphone camera - a high end smartphone long rumored to feature 50MP sensor. In fact, it is built around 13MP Sony IMX214 sensor, but has an interesting feature: "50-megapixel "Super Zoom" creation: the camera takes 10 consecutive shots extremely quickly, and then it automatically picks four best shots to combine them into a 50-megapixel still. Our 8,160 x 6,120 sample shots ended up being around 10MB large each, and as you can see [below], there's a lot of detail preserved even up close, which puts the Xperia Z1's 20-megapixel camera to shame." Engadget's test pictures seem to support the claim:

Although it's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like Oppo has licensed Almalence Super Zoom technology. There is a comparison of Almalence Superresolution Zoom with Sony Clear Image Zoom and an article on its implementation in Huawei phones.

Research In China Updates its Camera Module Market Report

Research in China has updated its "Global and China CMOS Camera Module Industry Report, 2013". Few quotes:

"Without taking DSC into account, CMOS camera modules generate the output value of about USD13 billion in 2013, up 28.7% from 2012. The output value is expected to hit USD15.9 billion in 2014, representing a year-on-year increase of 22.3%, mainly because of the adding of higher pixels and more complex features such as OIS."

"Mid-size and luxury cars are sold well in China, which makes the automotive CCM market become the most potential market. For example, KIA's K9 uses five sets of CCM. The automotive CCM shipment totaled 24,946,000 sets in 2012 and will grow by 56.4% year on year to 39,008,000 sets in 2013. The shipment is expected to maintain rapid growth, reaching 59,632,000 sets with the increase of 52.9% in 2014. The automotive CCM market is dominated by Panasonic, Sony, Magna, Valeo, MCNEX, Gentex, Fujitsu, Continetal and Autoliv."

"As for the lens field, Largan ranks first, far ahead of the second follower. Largan almost monopolizes the beyond-8-megapixel lens market. Its gross margin and operating margin jump from 2012 and the revenue is approaching USD1 billion. The revenue of the second-ranked GSEO falls to less than USD350 million in 2013."

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Gpixel and TowerJazz Announce 150MP/10fps Sensor

Business Wire: TowerJazzand and Gpixel, a custom IC design house in China, announce the release of Gpixel’s world’s highest resolution CMOS image sensor using TowerJazz’s TS18IS technology. Gpixel’s 150MP GMAX3005 sensor targets medical, industrial and scientific markets. The new sensor from Gpixel and additional products expected to be released this year will answer the growing demand in China for high end image sensors.

"We believe that an intelligent imaging system is essential for all future smart ICs. The core of such an imaging system is a high performance, robust, reliable and integrated image sensor. We chose TowerJazz’s CMOS image sensor manufacturing process due to its excellent pixel performance, stitching technology for wafer scale die size, and its outstanding pixel and process customization capabilities," said Dr. Xinyang Wang, Founder & CEO, Gpixel, "We believe China is on its way to become the biggest market in the world for high-end image sensor products and TowerJazz, as our strategic partner, is critical to our success."

"We are pleased Gpixel is starting the production ramp of their high resolution image sensor and we are confident they will grow rapidly to address China’s rising demand in the high end CMOS image sensor market," said Dr. Avi Strum, VP and GM of TowerJazz CMOS Image Sensor Business Unit. "Gpixel’s GMAX3005 was a first time success due to Gpixel’s design engineers’ very high skills and knowledge of CIS design. We believe Gpixel is the most interesting and promising CIS company in China today."

Gpixel’s GMAX3005 is a monochrome image sensor with 150MP 5.5um-sized active pixels, and is capable of running at 10fps at full resolution with higher frame rates achieved in row-windowing mode. This “wafer-scale” sensor has an 167.6mm x 30.1mm chip size including 165mm x 27.5mm photon-sensitive area having 30,000×5,000 pixel array. GMAX3005 has 16-bit on-chip ADC with 12-bit ENOB, and 120 LVDS output pairs running at 200Mbps. The sensor consumes less than 2.5W at full frame rate in full resolution. GMAX3005 reaches a noise level of less than 4e-, a dynamic range of 75.4dB, and over 70% quantum efficiency at 550nm wavelength. GMAX3005 has a dark current as low as 10e-/s/pixel at 32ºC, which makes long exposure possible even without active cooling.

Click to get 1:1 scale

About Gpixel, Inc.
Gpixel Inc. is a Chinese company specialized in providing high-end customized and off-the-shelf CMOS image sensor solutions for industrial, medical, and scientific applications. The company was founded in 2013 by experienced CMOS image sensor designers and semiconductor physicists. In less than two years, Gpixel has filed more than 10 patent applications, covering from global shutter pixel, HDR pixel, low power and high speed ADCs. Gpixel products focus on extremely high resolution (over 100MP), very low noise (<2e-), high DR (>100dB) and ultra-high speed (>2Gpix/s) image sensor applications.

Update: According to LinkedIn records, Gpixel Founder and CEO Xinyang Wang is also a professor at Chinese Academy of Science. He used to work on image sensor design for On Semi and CMOSIS in Belgium from 2008 to 2012.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

CFA Architectures Review

Vision Systems Design published a brief review of the recent attempts to improve on Bayer CFA:

(a) Bayer CFA classic,
(b) Truesense's RGB+White pattern (wrongly shown above as RB-W),
(c) Aptina uses Clear pixels instead of Green,
(d) Fujifilm's X-Trans CFA increases the randomness of the pixel arrangement to 6 x 6 sets,
(e) Panasonic proposes a method that replaces these color filters with inorganic color splitters.

Google Project Tango Spec Revealed

DPReview, noticed the Tango cameras spec shown on one of Google Chromium pages:

"Project Tango "is a 5” phone containing customized hardware and software designed to track the full 3D motion of the device, while simultaneously creating a map of the environment."

It contains several special cameras/ranging sensors:
- a standard 4MP colour backside camera.
- a Fish eye (180 degrees Field of View FOV) camera.
- a depth camera 320x180@5Hz.
- a front camera with a 120 degree FOV (similar to the human eye FOV).

Friday, March 14, 2014

Altera Shows Stereo Camera-Based Depth Measurements

Altera demos its IP for depth measurements based on a stereo camera and its Cyclone IV series FPGA. The WVGA camera has 60deg FOV, 10cm stereo base and provides depth measurement with 10% accuracy at 5m, at 60fps speed, using just 11K gates:

Nokia Refocus App Available to All Win8 Lumias

Nokia Conversations blog reports that Nokia Lytro and Pelican-like Refocus application, initially available only for Lumia PureView smartphone, now can be installed on any of Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones.

ISORG Shows User Interface Panel

ISORG shows a user interface panel based on its organic image sensor technology:

Apple Strengthens its Camera Group

DPReview, AppleInsider noticed that "the number of open positions in Apple's camera engineering group has risen dramatically in recent weeks. Apple advertised 9 openings in February and has added at least 15 more just 12 days into March, with a majority located at the company's Cupertino, Calif. corporate headquarters."

Omnivision Proposes RTS Noise Reduction Techique

Omnivision's patent application US20140063301 "Method and apparatus for reducing noise in analog image data of a CMOS image sensor" by Johannes Solhusvik proposes multiple sampling and thresholding to reduce RTS noise from the pixel:

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Aptina Proposes HDR RGBW Sensor

Aptina patent application US20140063300 "High dynamic range imaging systems having clear filter pixel arrays" by Peng Lin and Marko Mlinar proposes grouping of pixels with different exposure times in combination with RGB+clear pixels array to extend DR:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

HTC New Ultrapixel Camera

HTC published a new generation Ultrapixel camera teaser in this Youtube video:


GSM Arena: Meanwhile the leaked ad from Australian carrier Telstra says that the all-new HTC One will have Duo camera allowing 3D effects, background softening and selecting a focus point:

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

SETi Business

Information about SETi (Seoul Electronics and Telecom - imaging) is quite scarse in English-speaking Internet. The company is publicly traded at KOSDAQ and regularly files quarterly reports. The Nov, 2013 report is the latest published and has a plenty of information about the company's business (automatic translation):

"Our competitive advantage is in process technology and design company specializing in Fabless despite mass production to the highest quality and support. Commercialization of the technology we hold Shared Pixel technology is designed as a manufacturer of domestic design development completed in 2006 and was the first mass-produced in 2007, succeeded. Shared Pixel Pixel in units of some of the elements that are common to multiple Pixel to the common use of the remaining area and optical efficiency can increase as the technology used to place the device, this structure enables Pixel unit between the physical / electrical symmetry Pixel differences between the characteristics of the two broken occur Sensor Chip, which results in a performance drop to their unique company specializing in the design process that does not use technology that is difficult to introduce.

(C) the ability to respond to market quality products
Our flagship product is a 300,000 up to 2 million pixels CMOS products (VGA level) and the Taiwan handset market direction of mainly low-cost laptops to be targeting a Web Cam. The increase in demand for high-resolution product compared megapixel technology to ensure the design of the product and the roadmap to gradually expand the high-resolution product available. In addition to excellent image quality in order to meet customer demands for HD (High Definition) video HD Pixel structure which can cope with the successful development of the mass production, and applied to smart phones as a camera sensor for a non-conventional manner parallel Interface , Serial (MIPI) Interface type of product development. further, the image sensor is not normal for taking additional special features, such as image sensors and special purpose planning to develop high value-added products.

The presentation is supported by many market size data from June 2011 TSR report:

Samsung ISOCELL Promo

Samsung publishes another Youtube video on its ISOCELL technology:


Sunday, March 09, 2014

Hamamatsu Publishes ToF Sensor Datasheets

Hamamatsu publishes datasheets of ToF image sensors that it announced a year ago. A linear sensor S11963-01CR has 256 pixels of 20um x 50um size. The area sensor S11962-01CR features a 64 x 64 array of 40um pixels. The area sensor S11963-01CR has a 160 x 120 array of 30um pixels. The sensors share the same spectral response:

S11963 Block Diagram

Friday, March 07, 2014

Photon Counting Imaging for CT

American Association of Physicists in Medicine published a video lecture on photon-counting detectors in dual energy CT imaging and image quality on clinical CT applications. No embedding is allowed, one can watch it only on Vimeo site.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Microsoft Hosts ToF Imaging Workshop

The International Time-of-Flight Workshop will be held on March 9-12, 2014 in Ein-Gedi, Israel. The invitation-only event was initiated and is hosted by Dr. Giora Yahav from Microsoft Israel R&D center. The organizing committee includes:

Erhardt Barth (University of Lübeck / Gestigon, DE)
Shahram Izadi (Microsoft Research, UK)
Nobukazu Teranishi (University of Hyogo / Shizuoka University, JP)
Christian Theobalt (MPI für Informatik – Saarbrücken, DE)
Giora Yahav (Chairman, Microsoft R&D, IL)
Erez Tadmor (Organizer, Microsoft R&D, IL)

The workshop agenda:
  • Edoardo Charbon, University of Delft
    “Time-of-Flight Approaches to SPAD and SiPM Imaging”
  • Christoph Garbe, University of Heidelberg,
    “Algorithmic Enhancement and Validation for Time-of-Flight Imaging”
  • Christian Theobalt, MPI Informatik
    “Sensor Fusion in Time-of-Flight Imaging and Depth-Based Performance Capture”
  • Zeev Zalevsky, Bar-Ilan University
    “Novel Concepts for Photonic Ranging”
  • Johannes Steurer, ARRI
    “Exploring New Avenues in Motion Picture Production: A Groundbreaking RGB+Z Camera Demands Cutting-Edge Time-of-Flight Technology”
  • Nobukazu Teranishi, University of Hyogo / Shizuoka University
    “A Review for Global Shutter Image Sensors” - keynote
  • Erez Tadmor, Microsoft
    “Time-of-Flight Image Sensor Characterization”
  • Tohru Yamada, AIS Panasonic
    “Pixel Design and Technologies for Time-of-Flight Sensor”
  • Reinhard Koch, University of Kiel,
    “Model-based Analysis of Dynamic Scenes from Range-Color Video”
  • Amos Feningstein, TowerJazz
    “IR SPAD Development in TowerJazz”
  • Ruigang Yang, University of Kentucky
    “High-Accuracy Gait Analysis using A Single Depth Camera for Medical Applications”
  • Erhardt Barth, University of Luebeck / Gestigon
    “Gesture Interfaces with Depth Sensors” - keynote
  • Keita Yasutomi, Shizuoka University
    “High-Resolution Time-of-Flight Range Imagers with Lateral Electric Field Modulators”
  • Matthias Hullin, MPI Informatik / University of Bonn
    “Transient Imaging with Photonic Mixer Devices”
  • Daniel Freedman, Microsoft
    “Sparse Reflections Analysis: Fast Removal of General Multipath for Time-of-Flight Sensors”
  • Assaf Lahav, TowerJazz
    “Ultra High Speed Imaging - Highlights from Kirania”
  • Ayush Bhandari, MIT media lab
    “Multi-frequency Methods for Solving Inverse Problems in TOF Imaging”
  • Andreas Kolb, University of Siegen
    “Time-of-Flight Data Processing, Challenges and Solutions” - keynote
  • Daniel Van Nieuwenhove, Softkinetic
    “Time-of-Flight: How to Make Lower Power, Lower Noise and Higher Accuracy Work Together”
  • Juergen Gall, University of Bonn
    “From Pose to Affordance”
  • Shahram Izadi, Microsoft Research
    ”Designing Interactive User Experiences Using Advanced 3D Computer Vision Techniques”
  • Bernhard Buttgen, MESA Imaging
    “Power Considerations for Time-of-Flight Imaging in Mobile Devices”
  • Seiichiro Mizuno, Solid State Division - Hamamatsu Photonics
    “Industrial Time-of-Flight Sensor Development at Hamamatsu Photonics”
  • Micha Feigin-Almon, MIT media lab
    “Time Resolved Imaging and Applications”
  • Yebin Liu, Tsinghua University
    “Fourier Analysis on Transient Imaging by Time-of-Flight Camera”
  • Refael Whyte, Waikato University
    “Novel Methods for Resolving Multipath in Time-of-Flight Cameras”

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Frost & Sullivan on Image Sensor Market

PR Newswire: Frost & Sullivan Strategic Analysis of the World Optical and Image Sensors Market, finds that the market earned revenues of $9.07 billion in 2013 and estimates this to reach $15.12 billion in 2019. "Maintaining a balance between high image quality, technology and price is the biggest challenge for optical and image sensor suppliers. This is compounded by the large number of established and emerging participants, especially in the consumer electronics segment that have intensified competition and pricing pressures. Since smaller manufacturers find it difficult to differentiate products by any factor other than price, their entry into high-volume application markets will be tough.

Another barrier for entrants is the strong brand image and customer loyalty that established competitors have built in the image sensors market. Smaller manufacturers need to enhance their product development and target niche areas (low volume but high margin) to contend with large companies.

Dongbu Keeps Making Foveon Sensors

Business Wire: Dongbu HiTek confirmes that it is volume manufacturing "X3 Quattro" direct image sensors for Foveon for its parent company Sigma. "Foveon’s newly developed X3 Quattro sensors can deliver 39 megapixel-equivalent ultrahigh resolution to enable stunning image quality" said Jae Song, Dongbu HiTek EVP of marketing. "Compared to prior sensor designs, this represents a 30% increase in pixel detail without the need to increase chip size. We take great pride in being the only foundry capable of processing and manufacturing Foveon’s specialized sensors using a pixel-stacking architecture.” He noted that Dongbu HiTek has been processing and manufacturing innovative CIS devices for Foveon for over a decade, and that the latest 39 megapixel-equivalent sensor has been in production for more than nine months."

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

CMOSIS Announces 8MP/105fps GS Sensor

CMOSIS announces the CMV8000, a 4/3-inch 8MP sensor based on 5.5µm 8T glogal shutter pixel architecture. From an electro-optical point-of-view the CMV8000 offers the same performance as the older CMV2000 and CMV4000 sensors. "With the introduction of the CMV8000 we respond to the requests of many of our customer for a sensor with CMV performance closing the resolution gap that existed between our CMV4000 and CMV12000 image sensors", said Lou Hermans, COO, CMOSIS. "The full frame rate of 104 frames per second is achieved by using the proven data interfacing of the recently launched CMV12000."