Friday, August 15, 2014

IMEC CMOS Imagers with Embedded CCD

Sensors Online published IMEC's Piet De Moor article "CMOS Imagers with Embedded CCD." Few quotes:

"Imec developed a CMOS compatible CCD module and included this into its custom imager 130-nm process... Imec implemented a number of process modifications to realize a CMOS compatible CCD module in its 130-nm custom image sensor technology platform. The embedded CCD module uses a single layer poly-silicon CCD electrode with narrow gaps to allow efficient charge transfer. It is customizable depending on application needs, and is compatible with back-side illumination."

"Embedded CCD, being a CCD compatible with CMOS operating voltages, opens possibilities for new and rich pixel architectures. For example, users could utilize an in-pixel CCD to implement a charge-domain global shutter functionality. Although this concept to image a full frame at the same exact timing is possible using CMOS imagers, it generally comes with a noise penalty.

Other possible uses of embedded CCD pixels include extreme high-frame rate burst imagers, where subsequent frames are stored inside the pixel using small CCD based analog memories. Certain time-of-flight implementations could also benefit from this technology. In addition to monolithic TDI applications for industrial inspection, TDI functionality is also used in hybrid infrared and x-ray imagers.

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