HDR Pixel with Charge Splitting

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MDPI publishes a paper "A Wide Dynamic Range CMOS Image Sensor with a Charge Splitting Gate and Two Storage Diodes" by Minho Lee, Min-Woong Seo, Juyeong Kim, Keita Yasutomi, Keiichiro Kagawa, Jang-kyoo Shin, and Shoji Kawahito from Shizuoka University, Japan, and Kyungpook National University, Korea.

"In this paper, a wide dynamic range (WDR) CMOS image sensor (CIS) with a charge splitting gate (SG) and two storage diodes (SDs) is presented. By using single-gate on/off control with the SG, photocurrent path to the first (SD1) or second storage diodes (SD2) is switched alternatively and periodically during exposure and signal electrons generated in a photodiode (PD) are transferred to and accumulated in the SD1 or SD2. By setting a large ratio of the off-time to on-time of the SG, two different sensitivity signals, which are originated by the same photodiode, are generated and a WDR image signal is obtained. This technique has a distinct advantage on mitigating the problem of motion artifact in WDR imaging with high and low sensitivity signals and flexible dynamic control of the dynamic range. An experimental WDR CMOS image sensor with 280 (H) × 406 (V)-pixel array consisting of 14 sub-arrays, each of which have 20 (H) × 406 (V) pixels, was implemented and tested. For the SG on/off-time ratio of 30 and 279, the DR of 93 dB and 104 dB, respectively, was demonstrated. The effect of the proposed WDR imaging operation on the reduced motion artifact was experimentally confirmed."

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