Friday, August 21, 2020

SeeDevice Announces Licensing Agreement With MegaChips

PRNewswire: SeeDevice announces a licensing agreement with MegaChips Corporation, a fabless LSI Company. The agreement allows MegaChips to integrate SeeDevice's Photon Assisted Tunneling - Photo Detector (PAT-PD) smart vision sensor into their products. So far, Megachips does not have image sensor products in its portfolio.

"This licensing agreement is a validation of our technology maturity and ability to serve a major partner and supplier like MegaChips. Our PAT-PD sensor not only outperforms existing image sensors, it helps create an entirely new category of photon sensing capability," said Hooman Dastghaib, CEO of SeeDevice. "For example, sensitivity for photo-diodes is measured in uV per electron generated, or amps/watt (A/W), and generates a relatively low responsiveness of less than 1 A/W. Our PAT-PD sensor, using quantum tunneling, can produce a variable output between 102 and 108 A/W, far surpassing the ability of today's leading CMOS image sensors, producing higher-quality images in a wider variety of lighting conditions."

PAT-PD also expands the photosensitive light range of CMOS sensors beyond visible light into NIR spectrum (between 300nm-1,600nm) with plans to increase this to 2,000nm with the next-generation of sensors, pushing into SWIR band.

Additionally, the PAT-PD sensor boosts photoelectric conversion efficiency to 1e7, while maintaining a SNR over 60dB at room temperature. Reaction time is also reduced from microseconds to sub-nanoseconds while dynamic range is boosted to 100dB linear and 150dB non-linear.

SeeDevice claims to achieve all of these results using standard CMOS fabrication process, meaning easier integration in mixed-signal process, and avoiding the use of expensive exotic materials and manufacturing processes to achieve similar results.

Quantum tunneling effect allows a photon-activated current flow to trigger using a fraction of the photons normally required in a photo-diode based design. This allows a PAT-PD sensor to trigger with just a single photon, generating a current with unprecedented efficiency and creating a signal with significantly less input over a much wider range of wavelengths. Using a PAT-PD silicon-based CMOS image sensor, devices can capture granular-level sharp details even in extremely low light conditions by utilizing infrared, near infrared, and short-wave infrared frequencies.

There are a number of additional benefits PAT-PD provides to device makers:
  • Global Shutter for CMOS Sensors
  • Higher QE
  • Higher Quality Low-Light Images
  • Higher DR


  1. Let us see an actual device :-)

  2. it seems that their device is working with floating Nwell PMOS. Absorbed photons change the potential of the floating Nwell and this modulates the equivalent threshold voltage. Due to Nwell capacitance, the modulated will persist a while. If you measure the equivalent QE, then you will find a tremendous gain !!!


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