Friday, April 25, 2014

More on Sony Curved Sensor Paper

VLSI Symposia tipsheet publishes a re-phrased version of Sony curved image sensor paper abstract accompanied by a figure:

"Curved CMOS Image System: When light transmitted by a lens strikes a perpendicular target such as a CMOS image sensor, it forms a circle of light called an image circle. It’s difficult for a flat (planar) CMOS image sensor to deliver high image sensitivity at high resolution (highly scaled pixel pitch) because of the fundamental physical limit known as quantum efficiency. To break through that physical limit and to achieve higher sensitivity anywhere within the image circle at higher resolution, Sony built and will describe an imaging system that comprises a hemispherically curved, back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (BIS) and integrated lens. It doubles the sensitivity at the edge of the image circle while increasing sensitivity at its center by a factor of 1.4, with a 5x reduction of dark current (Jd) compared to a planar BIS. Moreover, a common problem known as lens field curvature aberration (Afc) is mitigated by the curved sensor itself, and so the curved BIS enables higher system sensitivity with a brighter lens with a smaller F number (Fn) than is possible with a planar BIS. In addition, by controlling the tensile stress of the BIS chip to produce a curved shape in the first place, the energy band-gap (Eg) is widened and a lower Jd is achieved. (Paper T2.1, “A Novel Curved CMOS Image Sensor Integrated with Imaging System,” K. Itonaga et al., Sony)"

Concept of an imaging system which integrates
a curved sensor with a brighter (lower F number)
lens for better image sensitivity.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sony Presents 2nd Generation 13MP Stacked Sensor for Smartphones

Sony presents 13MP IMX214 sensor, already featuring in Oppo Find 7 and OnePlus One smartphones. The 1/4-inch 1.12um pixel IMX214 is said to be "the industry's first 13M-Pixel CMOS image sensor enabling HDR output at 30 frame/s." The new sensor utilizes SME-HDR (Spatially Multiplexed Exposure HDR) technology. It sets two different exposures in a single frame and performs image processing to generate HDR images. A reduced backside optical stack helps to improve the color crosstalk and angular sensitivity over the 1st generation stacked sensor IMX135:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Forza Silicon Presents 100+MP 60fps Camera Platform

Forza Silicon introduces the Forza 100+ MP CAM Platform featuring a customizable CMOS image sensor operating at 60fps and supporting multiple camera resolutions­. The dual-mode camera operates in B&W or color and has a proprietary onboard image processor. It can be configured to capture image sequences at resolutions approaching 200MP while maintaining 60fps speed. The modular platform includes a high resolution, visible CMOS image sensor module and camera reference design that can be customized to allow for fast integration into multiple camera hardware designs and applications.

Brandywine Photonics Shows 1st Picture from its Deeply Depleted BSI Sensor

Brandywine Photonics got first images from its FBX-640×512 BSI CMOS sensor with deep depletion, specifically designed for hyperspectral imaging with enhanced NIR sensitivity. The QE, dark noise, and frame rate numbers will be reported later. The sensor was first announced in May 2013 as being in the fab.

Invisage Announces $18M Funding Round, Sensor Sampling

Marketwired: InVisage announces $18M round of funding bringing the total amount that it has raised since its creation to more than $100M. Investors include GGV Capital, Nokia Growth Partners, RockPort Capital, InterWest Partners, Intel Capital and OnPoint Technologies. The additional funding enables InVisage to scale manufacturing capacity from its initial pilot production line to support high volume customers and further its mission to mass produce fast, thin, high performance cameras in ultra-small form-factors.

InVisage also expands its leadership team with two new additions: Ephraim Kwok as CFO and Emanuele Mandelli as VP of Engineering. Mandelli has more than 20 years of image sensor, x-ray detectors and particle physics detectors experience. Most recently, he worked for AltaSens.

Venture Beat quotes Invisage CEO, Jess Lee telling that "the company expects to deliver its final product samples to manufacturing partners within the next few quarters, and it will take another six to nine months before the technology can be implemented in future products".

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lytro Illum Features 40 Megaray Sensor

Lytro announces its second generation lightfield camera having DSLR look and featuring a new, custom-designed 40 Megaray image sensor (vs 11 Megaray in the 1st generation). As with the 1st Lytro generation, the number of pixels in the final image has not been disclosed.

Lytro Illum sensor

Venture Beat publishes a video interview with Lytro Founder Ren Ng explaining the features of the new camera:

DPReview publishes a Q&A session with Lytro CEO Jason Rosenthal and Ren Ng. Few quotes:

Q: "What's new about the sensor? It's listed at 40 megarays, but how would you explain that in terms that are more relatable to stills photographers?"

Rosenthal: "It's basically a 4x step up in terms of both number of pixels and underlying resolution, as well as sensor area size ... The sensor in the previous camera was 1/3", essentially a mobile sensor. This is a 1" sensor with an [underlying] 40-megapixel resolution."

Monday, April 21, 2014

ZTE Flagship Phone Features Aptina Clarity+ Sensor

Aptina reports that ZTE Star 1 smartphone features the company's Clarity+ color filter technology.

Sony Presents Security ISP Roadmap

Sony has updated its pages on Effio and Xarina ISPs for security and surveillance cameras. The high-end Xarina line is going to be split into 2K and 4K ones with added support for RGB-W CFA and few other features:

MTF at Different Wavelengths

Albert Theuwissen continues his "How to Measure MTF" series of articles. The latest part discusses MTF measurements at different wavelengths.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Himax Reveals Cooperation with ST, Array and Lightfield Cameras Plans

Himax investor presentation reveals a cooperation with ST and plans to start a mass production of 2x2 and 4x4 array cameras in Q2 2014: