Thursday, May 24, 2018

SystemPlus on iPhone X Color Sensor

SystemPlus reverse engineering shows a difference between iPhone X color sensors and other AMS spectral sensors:

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Nice Animations

Lucid Vision Labs publishes nice animations explaining how Sony readout pipeline with double analog/digital CDS works:

Sony Exmor rolling shutter sensor
Same pipeline but with global shutter (Pregius)
1st stage - analog domain CDS
2nd stage - digital domain CDS

There are few more animations on the company's site and also a pictorial image sensor tutorial.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

NHK Presents 8K Selenium Sensor

NHK Open House to be held on May 24-27 exhibits an 8K avalanche-multiplying crystalline selenium image sensor:

"Electric charge generated by incident light are increased by avalanche multiplication phenomenon inside the photoelectric conversion film. The film can be overlaid on a CMOS circuit with a low breakdown voltage because avalanche multiplication occurs at low voltage in crystalline selenium, which can absorb a sufficient amount of light even when thin."

The paper on crystalline selenium-based image sensor has been published in 2015.

Pixelligent Raises $7.6M for Nanoparticle Microlens

BusinessWire: Baltimore, MD-based Pixelligent's Zirconium oxide capped nanoparticles (ZrO2), a high refractive index inorganic material, with a sub-10 nm diameter with functionalized surface, is said to have a potential to contribute to sensitivity of CMOS image sensors. The company announces $7.6M in new funding to help further drive product commercialization and accelerate global customer adoption.

Although Pixelligent lenses for image sensor applications have been announced a couple of years ago, there is no such product on the market yet, to the best of my knowledge. In 2013, the company President & CEO Craig Bandes said: "During the past 12 months we have seen a tremendous increase in demand for our nanocrystal dispersions spanning the CMOS Image Sensor, ITO, LED, OLED and Flat Panel Display markets. This demand is coming from customers around the globe with the fastest growth being realized in Asia. In the first quarter of 2013, we began shipping our first commercial orders and currently have more than 30 customers at various stages of product qualification."

Sony Image Sensor Business Strategy

Sony IR Day 2018 held on May 22 (today) has quite a detailed presentation on its semiconductor business targets and strategy. From the Sony official PR:

"In the area of CMOS image sensors that capture the real world in which we all live, and are vital to KANDO content creation, aim to maintain Sony’s global number one position in imaging applications, and become the global leader in sensing.

Through the key themes of KANDO - to move people emotionally - and "getting closer to people," Sony will aim to sustainably generate societal value and high profitability across its three primary business areas of electronics, entertainment, and financial services. It will pursue this strategy based on the following basic principles.

CMOS image sensors are key component devices in growth industries such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and more. Sony's competitive strength in this area is based on its wealth of technological expertise in analog semiconductors, cultivated over many years from the charge-coupled device (CCD) era. Sony aims to maintain its global number one position in imaging and in the longer term become the number one in sensing applications. To this end, Sony will extend its development of sensing applications beyond the area of smartphones, into new domains such as automotive use.

...based on its desire to contribute to safety in the self-driving car era, Sony will work to further develop its imaging and sensing technologies.
"

Monday, May 21, 2018

Hamamatsu Sensors in Automotive Applications

Hamamatsu publishes a nice article "Photonics for advanced car technologies" showing many applications for its light sensors:

Samsung Presentation

Samsung System LSI Investor Presentation dated by April 30, 2018 shows the company success in image sensor business:

  • 1/3 Global Smartphones use ISOCELL image sensors
  • 4.6 out of 10 Chinese smartphones use ISOCELL sensors
  • 28nm image sensor process

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Anafocus Keynote at EI 2018

Electronic Imaging Symposium publishes a keynote "Sub-Electron Low-Noise CMOS Image Sensors: Large Format, Fast, 0.5e-rms CIS with Oversampled 2‐Stage ADCs" by J. A. Segovia, F. Medeiro, A. Gonzales, A. Vellegas, and A. Rodriguez-Vazquez, Teledyne-Anafocus and Universidad de Sevilla.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Omnivision Keynote at EI 2018

Electronic Imaging publishes Omnivision keynote presentation "Automotive Image Sensors" by Boyd Fowler and Johannes Solhusvik. The presentation covers many areas from HDR to LiDARs:

Friday, May 18, 2018

Imec and Holst Centre Unveil Organic Fingerprint Sensor

Imec: Holst Centre, a joint initiative of imec and TNO, have demonstrated a new class of flexible, large-area sensor technology for detecting finger- and palmprints. At less than 0.2 mm thick, the new sensors can be embedded into objects such as mobile phones and door handles to create “invisible” yet secure access control systems that can tell if the print is from a living person rather than a phantom or counterfeit.

Two demonstrators are shown: Measuring 6 x 8 cm, a 200-ppi demonstrator is large enough for 4-finger scanners that are currently used by border control authorities and delivers sufficient image quality for basic identification applications. Meanwhile, a slightly smaller 500-ppi demonstrator offer even higher image quality, compatible with FBI standards and enough for law enforcement agencies to visualize minutia and pores for more robust identification.

As with Holst Centre’s earlier flexible X-ray detectors, the fingerprint sensors combine an organic PD frontplane, an oxide TFT backplane, and a thin-film barrier for protection against the environment. All three technological elements have been or are being transferred to industry for scale-up and commercialization. The sensors read the finger- or palm print by detecting visible light (400 to 700 nm) reflected from the surface of the skin. However, they can also detect light that penetrates someway into the skin before being reflected. This allows them to sense a heartbeat from changes in the capillaries within the hand, and thus verify that the print comes from a live person.

By using different PD materials, the sensors’ band can be extended to other wavelengths such as NIR. This could enable new identification verification modes based on, for example, the pattern of veins in a hand, which is believed to be even more specific to an individual than a fingerprint.

The flexible fingerprint sensor demonstrator shows the versatility and maturity of the flexible electronics technologies that Holst Centre is developing. With the underlying technology already in use in the flat-panel industry, there is a fast route to manufacturing and we are looking for industrial partners to take that step,” says Hylke Akkerman, Program Manager at Holst Centre.