Tuesday, September 23, 2014

poLight Gets New CEO

Optics.org reports that tunable lens maker poLight has appointed Øyvind Isaksen as its new CEO. The former CEO Christian Dupont will become CMO in charge of Sales & Marketing. poLight is working with several potential customers and is in the process of establishing manufacturing capacity in a cooperation with a manufacturing partner. Mainstream production is planned to start in 2015 - in time to address a fast growing market estimated to grow from $1.2B in 2013 to $2B in 2017.

"Having Øyvind Isaksen on board, we have in place a CEO with significant background from technology companies as well as extensive experience in leading a publicly listed company," says Chairman of the Board Keith Cornell.

Apple Applies for Charge Transfer Patent

Apple keeps applying patents on global shutter pixel and its components. The US20140252201 application "Charge transfer in image sensors" by Xiangli Li, Xiaofeng Fan, and Chung Chun Wan proposes a doping structure for storage node SN, where the part near the transfer gate is lightly doped to create a potential barrier, said to be useful for multiple storage node pixels like this one:

Monday, September 22, 2014

Rumor: Avago Acquires Tessera Micro-Optics Facility

Reportedly, Tessera micro-optics group has changed hands again. Just over a year ago Tessera sold the Charlotte, NC-based group to FLIR. Now, FLIR has sold the ex-Tessera micro-optics division and business to Avago, including the fab. FLIR optical components group is staying in the same building and is retained by FLIR, continuing with development and production support for FLIR ONE thermal camera.

It appears that Avago decided not to make any public announcements on the acquisition.

Camera Takes Smaller Fraction of iPhone 6 Cost

EETimes publishes Teradown.com report on iPhone6 and 6Plus reverse engineering. The camera component seems to take a smaller proportion of the new phones BOM:

iPhone 6 Plus Camera Dissected

Samsung Image Sensor Forum In China

Samsung presented its CIS news at Image Sensor Forum in Shenzhen, China on Sept. 22, 2014. About the only thing available in open access is an impressive alphabetical list of phones with Samsung sensors inside:

· Gionee ELife E3
· Gionee Elife E5
· HTC Desire 816
· HTC One M8
· Huaqin
· Huawei Ascend G6
· Huawei Honor 3C
· Huawei Honor 6
· KONKA I158
· KONKA W450
· KONKA W550
· Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
· Loncheer
· Nokia X
· Oppo R601
· Samsung Galaxy S5
· Sony Experia E3
· TCL Soul 4
· TCL Alto 4.5
· Vivo X3
· Vivo Xplay 3S
· Wintech
· Xiaomi Mi 2S
· Xiaomi Redmi LTE
· Xiaomi Redmi Note
· Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G LTE
· ZTE Grand 2

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2013 Leti Annual Report

2013 Leti annual report has a collection of the last year's papers. The "New 3D-integrated burst image sensor architectures with in-situ A/D conversion" by R. Bonnard, F. Guellec, J. Segura, A. Dupret, and W. Uhring, presented at 2013 Conference on Design and Architectures for Signal and Image Processing (DASIP) shows the 3D imager with clusters of pixels sharing a readout and an ADC:

Keysight Explains MIPI C-PHY Signalling

Keysight (formerly known as Agilent) presents a short explanation of how the new MIPI C-PHY scheme works. The webinar with the explanations can be accessed here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

CIS Stacking at Image Sensors Americas Conference

3DInCites publishes a review of Image Sensor Americas presentations on stacked image sensors. "Stacked chip image sensors require high volume manufacturing (HVM) to be cost-effective, explained [Piet] De Moor [IMEC], because of the cost of the manufacturing equipment lines. Because of this, to date stacked BSI CIS are only manufactured by Sony and TSMC (for OmniVision) targeting consumer products, where the volume requirements are higher."

Two pictures form the article:

From Sony ISSCC 2013 paper
Ziptronix Cost Comparison

NHK Demos 8K System

There is an interesting Youtube video by ARMdevices based on an interview with NHK representative:

Friday, September 19, 2014

Chipworks iPhone 6 Plus Teardown Finds Sony Sensors in Front and Rear Cameras

Chipworks is quick to publish reverse engineering pictures of iPhone 6 and 6 plus: "The iPhone 6 Plus iSight camera chip is housed in a camera module measuring 10.6 mm x 9.3 mm x 5.6 mm thick. Fabricated by Sony, the iSight camera chip is a stacked (Exmor RS), back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (CIS) featuring 1.5 µm generation pixels (introduced for the iPhone 5s). The die size is 4.8 mm x 6.1 mm (29.3 mm2). The phase pixel pairs have all been implemented in the green channel and cover the majority of the active pixel array."

"Our speculation of Sony winning the FaceTime sockets, though, turned out to be correct. We’ve just confirmed the iPhone 6 Plus FaceTime camera is a stacked Sony CIS and will provide more details in a future update."

Chipworks publishes few pictures of iPhone 6 Plus rear camera: