Monday, May 30, 2016

Particle and Photon Detection: Counting and Energy Measurement

The open-access Sensor Journal publishes a review paper "Particle and Photon Detection: Counting and Energy Measurement" by James Janesick and John Tower, SRI-Sarnoff.

"The challenges to extend photon counting into the visible/nIR wavelengths and achieve energy measurement in the UV with specific read noise requirements are discussed. Pixel flicker and random telegraph noise sources are highlighted along with various methods used in reducing their contribution on the sensor’s read noise floor. Practical requirements for quantum efficiency, charge collection efficiency, and charge transfer efficiency that interfere with photon counting performance are discussed. Lastly we will review current efforts in reducing flicker noise head-on, in hopes to drive read noise substantially below 1 carrier rms."

"we are trying a proprietary non-imaging gate oxide process offered by Jazz Semiconductor that claims to lower MOSFET 1/f RTN noise by 4 to 5 times compared to 0.18 um processing that is used now."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Robustness of CMOS Technology and Circuitry Outside the Imaging Core : Integrity, Variability, Reliability

Albert Theuwissen announces the 4th Harvest Imaging Forum "Robustness of CMOS Technology and Circuitry outside the Imaging Core : integrity, variability, reliability" by Harry Veendrick. The forum is to be held in December, 2016 in Voorburg (the Hague), the Netherlands. The 2016 Forum is meant to present an overview on the importance of understanding all aspects that determine the robustness of CMOS integrated circuits present “around” the imaging core of a CMOS image sensor.

CEI-Europe announces few more image sensor courses by Albert Theuwissen.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Omnivision Announces 3rd Generation 13MP Sensor

PRNewswire: OmniVision announces the OV13855, its third-generation 13MP 1.12um pixel sensor with significant improvements in low-light performance, color crosstalk reduction and angular response when compared with previous-generation 13MP sensors. The OV13855 is built on PureCel-Plus pixel technology with PDAF and aimed to mainstream smartphone rear-facing cameras as well as front-facing and dual cameras.

"The 13-megapixel resolution segment is becoming the minimum box specification for rear-facing cameras in mid- to low-end smartphones. Recent market research suggests that the 13-megapixel smartphone camera module market may grow at a CAGR of 16 percent through 2020," said Badri Padmanabhan, product marketing manager at OmniVision. "With its compact form factor and advanced feature set, the OV13855 provides pioneering OEMs with an excellent opportunity to integrate 13-megapixel image sensors into their high-end smartphones for front-facing or dual camera applications."

The OV13855 captures full-resolution 13MP still images at 30fps and records 4K2K video at 45fps, 1080p at 60fps, or 720p HD at 90fps. With its compact design and two-sided bond pad layout, the OV13855 can easily be integrated into 8.5 x 8.5 mm autofocus modules with z-heights of less than 5 mm for main cameras, and 7.5 x 7.5 mm fixed focus modules with z-heights of less than 4.5 mm for high-end front-facing cameras.

The OV13855 is currently available for sampling, and is expected to enter volume production in Q2 2016. The sensor is available in non-PDAF (OV13858) and monochrome (OV13355) versions to support front-facing and dual-camera applications.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Invisage Announces 2K SAM Camera

BusinessWire: InVisage announces its Spark Authentication Module (SAM) NIR camera module. SAM is powered by the previously announced SparkP2 2MP NIR sensor. Sized 8.0 x 8.0 x 3.1 mm, the SAM module is custom built for authentication systems such as Microsoft Windows Hello. In addition to blocking interference from direct sunlight, SAM enables authentication at a greater distance of beyond 100cm from a tablet, laptop or phone so that users are not constrained to a small space in front of their device. Because it operates at the 940nm wavelength, SAM also eliminates an intrusive red glow from LEDs.

SAM is said to be the only system that can deliver 2K resolution in a tiny module while consuming 50 times less system power. Existing NIR cameras operate in conjunction with high wattage LEDs to overcome low CMOS sensitivity and ambient infrared in sunlight. The resulting high power consumption and heat generated by such bright LEDs has made outdoor performance a challenge for mobile face recognition systems that operate with lighter batteries. In contrast, SAM, powered by SparkP2, leverages low-power pulsed LEDs synchronized with an extremely short global shutter exposure, allowing for accurate imaging without battery drain. At 50 times lower power consumption, overall system temperature is also up to 20 degrees cooler.

For authentication, mobile device makers demand compact modules that produce sharp images enabling smooth user verification with minimal false negatives or false positives, regardless of whether the user is indoors or out,” said Jess Lee, InVisage President and CEO. “It also needs to work within a reasonable range so that users can say ‘Hello’ without having to plant their eye or face just a few centimeters from the screen.

With a photosensitive layer 10 times thinner than a typical silicon infrared sensor, the SparkP2 sensor powering SAM provides QE of 35% at 940nm wavelength. This greater sensitivity results in sharper images and an expanded operational radius of beyond 100 centimeters, but it also enables minimal crosstalk in a thinner, 3.1-millimeter module with a 72-deg FOV. IR in particular suffer from blur due to high levels of crosstalk, or misdetection of light in nearby pixels. Crosstalk typically limits camera thinness by requiring a minimum distance between the lens and the photosensitive layer, but the SparkP2 lens in the SAM module can be much closer to the sensor without increasing crosstalk and preserving a higher level of sharpness.

SAM and SparkP2 are optimized for authentication systems that operate at 850nm (with a visible red glow) and 940nm (invisible with a tenfold improvement in sun irradiance rejection).

Taiwan-based DIY publishes a 940nm comparison picture:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Microsoft Hololens Cameras

EETimes quotes Ilan Splillinger, CVP of HoloLens and silicon at Microsoft, revealing the company's AR glasses hardware details:

"The HoloLens sensor bar (above) packs four environmental cameras for tracking head movements and gestures used to control the display. A depth sensor is a Kinect scaled to a fraction of its size and power consumption. It supports a short range mode for tracking gestures within a meter and a long range mode for mapping the room. A 2MPixel high def video camera projects images the user sees."

Rumor: Sony & LG Innotek to Supply Dual Camera Module for iPhone 7

Barron's quotes Nomura Securities and Citi Research saying that all the new 5.5″ iPhones 7 coming this fall will have dual cameras. Nomura’s Chris Chang thinks Sony is now behind schedule, which means that Apple will have to go to LG Innotek for assembly:

"We think Sony may not be able to deliver its full share of dual cameras to Apple due to: (1) lower-than-expected yield, and (2) damage to its production facility from the April earthquake in Kumamoto. As a result, we think LGI will gain majority share of the initial dual camera orders from Apple...

We expect a sharp increase in camera module ASP from 2H16F as we think: 1) dual camera module is likely to command 2.5x ASP premium vs. single-cam, and 2) OIS (optical image stabilisation) will also be equipped in the new 4.7” iPhones – currently only the 5.5” model has OIS.

Imec CMOS TDI and High Speed Imaging Presentation

SPIETV publishes Imec high-speed and TDI CMOS sensor lecture by Jonathan Borremans:

Xilinx Demos its FPGA ISP Solution

Xilinx publishes a Youtube demo of its FPGA-based ISP platform:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Imec Hyperspectral Imaging Lecture

SPIETV publishes Imec video presentation by Jerome Baron, Imaging Business Development Manager:

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

DynaOptics' Free-Form Lens

Singapore-based startup DynaOptics presents Free-Form Lens:

DynaOptics is about to start a Kickstarter campaign for its Free-Form Lens add-on for smartphone: