RTN and Photon Shot Noise Reduction in Multi-Aperture Cameras

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MDPI Sensors journal publishes a paper "Multi-Aperture-Based Probabilistic Noise Reduction of Random Telegraph Signal Noise and Photon Shot Noise in Semi-Photon-Counting Complementary-Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Image Sensor" by Haruki Ishida, Keiichiro Kagawa, Takashi Komuro, Bo Zhang, Min-Woong Seo, Taishi Takasawa, Keita Yasutomi, and Shoji Kawahito from Shizuoka and Saitama Universities

"A probabilistic method to remove the random telegraph signal (RTS) noise and to increase the signal level is proposed, and was verified by simulation based on measured real sensor noise. Although semi-photon-counting-level (SPCL) ultra-low noise complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors (CISs) with high conversion gain pixels have emerged, they still suffer from huge RTS noise, which is inherent to the CISs. The proposed method utilizes a multi-aperture (MA) camera that is composed of multiple sets of an SPCL CIS and a moderately fast and compact imaging lens to emulate a very fast single lens. Due to the redundancy of the MA camera, the RTS noise is removed by the maximum likelihood estimation where noise characteristics are modeled by the probability density distribution. In the proposed method, the photon shot noise is also relatively reduced because of the averaging effect, where the pixel values of all the multiple apertures are considered. An extremely low-light condition that the maximum number of electrons per aperture was the only 2 e− was simulated. PSNRs of a test image for simple averaging, selective averaging (our previous method), and the proposed method were 11.92 dB, 11.61 dB, and 13.14 dB, respectively. The selective averaging, which can remove RTS noise, was worse than the simple averaging because it ignores the pixels with RTS noise and photon shot noise was less improved. The simulation results showed that the proposed method provided the best noise reduction performance."

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