Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Peter Noble, Marvin White, and Northrop Grumman Win 2021 Emmy Awards

Peter Noble and Marvin White win 2021 Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards:
  • Correlated Double Sampling for Image Sensors
    • Marvin H. White
    • Northrop Grumman Mission Systems Group
  • Pioneering Development of an Image-Sensor Array with Buried-Photodiode Structure
    • Peter J. W. Noble


  1. Great achievement Peter! Congrats! You invented the digital imager with MOS & CMOS in 1960s where most of us weren't even born or were little kids. We should call you the father of digital imaging and CIS. Your invention formed the imaging community (except CCD) that we know now, working on improving CIS every day. Adding Teranishi's PPD and mixing it with Omnivision's BSI technology and now stacked process.

  2. Many congratulations to Peter and Marvin. I am happy that the International Image Sensor Society already honoured both award winners (with the IISS Pioneering Achievement Award) in 2015 (Peter during the IISW in Vaals) and in 2017 (Marvin during the IISW in Snow Bird).

  3. Congrats Peter and Marvin! I didn't know Peter is the inventor of MOS-IS and CIS (active pixel) in 1967. I always thought CIS was invented at JPL in 1995. One of the benefits of these awards: make you aware of the great inventors.

    1. The CMOS active pixel sensor with intra-pixel charge transfer was invented at JPL around 1992 or 1993. This idea combined the 3T APS pioneered by Noble in the 60's (but almost fully abandoned after the CCD invention in 1969,) with CCD charge transfer so that correlated double sampling (CDS) could be used in the pixel to suppress noise. The CCD FD with a source-follower was invented by Kosonocky and also remains in wide use in CIS. With Kodak, we also created a low voltage, CMOS-compatible PPD (compared to the high voltage CCD PPD) to implement intra-pixel charge transfer while improving QE and dark current, as reported in 1995. Almost all CIS devices use intra-pixel charge transfer these days and the technology is just referred to as CIS. It was a long uphill battle to get this JPL version of CIS accepted, with debates at the 1993 IEEE workshop on CCDs in Waterloo and in industry rags. Even the idea of putting an ADC on the chip was very controversial at first.
      I agree that it is a shame that the current generation of CIS engineers really doesn't know about the history of solid-state image sensors and how we all stand on the shoulders of giants like Weckler, Noble, White, Kosonocky, Tompsett, and others, which is why I and a few others have worked behind the scenes with IISS and with NATAS (among other orgs) to get recognition for these pioneers. I am very glad that we have achieved some success in this area in past years.
      In any case, strong congratulations to Marvin and Peter for their recognition. It is too bad that Gene Weckler passed away recently, but at least we had a chance to recognize Gene at IISW in 2013.

    2. Congrats Peter and Marvin! Yes, Peter is the inventor of active pixel CIS in 1960s. There have been good improvements added to it during time. PPD, CDS, BSI, etc. All these improvements were important, but let us not call them all inventor of APS CIS. For example, Teranishi invented PPD, Marvin invented CDS, OVT invented BSI, JPL improved the in-pixel charge transfer and included PPD and CDS (already invented) in the CIS. It is important to use the words accurately for the sake of having the right history.

    3. I agree, not that it is so important, but when you do a Google search, there are many articles and links want to force you to believe CIS was invented by JPL. It's weird. With some deeper research it becomes obvious that CIS was invented by Peter back in 1967 (wow such a great vision). Other improvements during time have been important as well, but the credit should go to the right person/entity.

    4. Of all great giants mentioned by Eric Fossum, Walter Kosonocky passed away in 1996 at the age of 65. Walter was a great person, very gentle and very humble. Because of his fundamental invention of the floating diffusion amplifier and contribution to the solid-state imaging field, we named the Award for the best publication in our field after him : the Walter Kosonocky Award (WKA).


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