ESPROS supplies ToF sensing to Starship Technologies

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ESPROS supplies world leader for delivery robots

Sargans, 2022/11/29

Starship Technologies' autonomous delivery robots implement ESPROS’ epc660 Time-of-Flight chip ESPROS' epc660 chip is used by Starship Technologies, a pioneering US robotics technology company, headquartered in San Francisco, with its main engineering office in Estonia, is the world’s leading provider of autonomous last mile delivery services.

What was once considered science fiction is now a fact of modern life: in many countries robots deliver a variety of goods, such as parcels, groceries, medications. Starship’s robots are a common sight on University campuses and also in public areas.

Using a combination of sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning and GPS to accurately
navigate, delivery robots face the need to operate in darkness, but also in bright sunlight. ESPROS sensors excel in both conditions.

The outstanding operation of the ambient light of ESPROS’ epc660 chip, together with its very high quantum efficiency, provided a valuable breakthrough that Starship Technologies needed to further increase autonomy in all ambient light conditions. It wasn’t possible to achieve the same level of performance, implementing other technologies.

ESPROS’ epc660 is able to detect objects over long distances, using very low power. This, together with its small size, results in lower system costs. The success of this chip lies in the years of development by ESPROS and in its strong technological know-how. The combination of its unique Time-Of-Flight technology, with Starship Technologies' position as the leading commercial autonomous delivery service, lies at the heart of over 3.5 million commercial deliveries and over 4 million miles driven around the world.

"The future of delivery, today: this is our bold promise," says Lauri Vain (VP of Engineering at Starship), adding, "With a combination of mobile technology, our global fleet of autonomous robots, and partnerships with stores and restaurants, we are helping to make the local delivery industry faster, cleaner, smarter and more cost-efficient, and we are very excited about our partnership with ESPROS and its unique chip technology."

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IEDM 2022 (International Electron Devices Meeting)

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IEDM conference will be held December 3-7, 2022 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Starting December 12, the full conference will be on-demand. The full technical program is available here:

There are a couple of sessions of potential interest to the image sensors community.

Session 37: ODI - Silicon Image Sensors and Photonics
Wednesday, December 7, 1:30 p.m.

37.1 Coherent Silicon Photonics for Imaging and Ranging (Invited), Ali Hajimiri, Aroutin Khachturian, Parham Khial, Reza Fatemi, California Institute of Technology
Silicon photonics platform and their potential for integration with CMOS electronics present novel opportunities in applications such as imaging, ranging, sensing, and displays. Here, we present ranging and imaging results for a coherent silicon-imaging system that uses a two-path quadrature (IQ) approach to overcome optical path length mismatches.

37.2 Near-Infrared Sensitivity Enhancement of Image Sensor by 2 ND -Order Plasmonic Diffraction and the Concept of Resonant-Chamber-Like Pixel, Nobukazu Teranishi, Takahito Yoshinaga, Kazuma Hashimoto, Atsushi Ono, Shizuoka University
We propose 2 nd -order plasmonic diffraction and the concept of a resonant-chamber-like pixel to enhance the near-infrared (NIR) sensitivity of Si image sensors. Optical requirements for deep trench isolation are explained. In the simulation, Si absorptance as high as 49% at 940 nm wavelength for 3.25-µm-thick Si is obtained.

37.3 A SPAD Depth Sensor Robust Against Ambient Light: The Importance of Pixel Scaling and Demonstration of a 2.5µm Pixel with 21.8% PDE at 940nm, S. Shimada, Y. Otake, S. Yoshida, Y. Jibiki, M. Fujii, S. Endo, R. Nakamura, H. Tsugawa, Y. Fujisaki, K. Yokochi, J. Iwase, K. Takabayashi*, H. Maeda*, K. Sugihara*, K. Yamamoto*, M. Ono*, K. Ishibashi*, S. Matsumoto, H. Hiyama, and T. Wakano, Sony Semiconductor Solutions, *Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing
This paper presents scaled-down SPAD pixels to prevent PDE degradation under high ambient light. This study is carried out on Back-Illuminated structures with 3.3, 3.0, and 2.5µm pixel pitches. Our new SPAD pixels can achieve PDE at ?=940nm of over 20% and a peak of over 75%, even 2.5µm pixel.

37.4 3-Tier BSI CIS with 3D Sequential & Hybrid Bonding Enabling a 1.4um pitch,106dB HDR Flicker Free Pixel, F. Guyader, P. Batude*, P. Malinge, E.Vire, J. Lacord*, J. Jourdon, J. Poulet, L. Gay, F. Ponthenier*, S. Joblot, A. Farcy, L. Brunet*, A. Albouy*, C. Theodorou**, M. Ribotta*, D. Bosch*, E. Ollier*, D.Muller, M.Neyens, D. Jeanjean, T.Ferrotti, E.Mortini, J.G. Mattei, A. Inard, R. Fillon, F. Lalanne, F. Roy, E. Josse, STMicroelectronics, *CEA-Leti, Univ. Grenoble Alpes, **Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, Grenoble INP, IMEP-LAHC
A 3-tier CIS combining 3D Sequential Integration for the 2-tier pixel realization & Hybrid Bonding for the logic circuitry connection is demonstrated. Thin film pixel transistors are built above photo-gate without
congestion. Dual carrier collection 3DSI pixel offers an attractive dynamic range (106dB, Single Exposure) versus pixel pitch (1,4µm) trade-off

37.5 3-Layer Stacked Voltage-Domain Global Shutter CMOS Image Sensor with 1.8µm-Pixel-Pitch, Seung-Sik Kim, Gwi-Deok Ryan Lee, Sang-Su Park, Heesung Shim, Dae-Hoon Kim, Minjun Choi, Sangyoon Kim, Gyunha Park, Seung-Jae Oh, Joosung Moon, Sungbong Park, Sol Yoon, Jihye Jeong, Sejin Park, Sanggwon Lee, HaeJung Lee, Wonoh Ryu, Taehyoung Kim, Doowon Kwon, Hyuk Soon Choi, Hongki Kim, Jonghyun Go, JinGyun Kim, Seunghyun Lim, HoonJoo Na, Jae-kyu Lee, Chang-Rok Moon, Jaihyuk Song, Samsung Electronics
We developed a 1.8µm-pixel GS sensor which is suitable for mobile applications. Pixel shrink was possible by the 3-layer stacking structure with pixel-level Cu-to-Cu bonding and high-capacity DRAM capacitors. As a result, excellent performances were achieved i.e. -130dB, 1.8e-rms and 14ke- of PLS, TN and FWC, respectively.

37.6 Advanced Color Filter Isolation Technolgy for Sub-Micron Pixel of CMOS Image Sensor, Hojin Bak, Horyeong Lee, Won-Jin Kim, Inho Choi, Hanjun Kim, Dongha Kim, Hanseung Lee, Sukman Han, Kyoung-In Lee, Youngwoong Do, Minsu Cho, Moung-Seok Baek, Kyungdo Kim, Wonje Park, Seong-Hun Kang, Sung-Joo Hong, Hoon-Sang Oh, and Changrock Song SK hynix Inc.
The novel color filter isolation technology, which adopts the air, the lowest refractive index material on the earth, as a major component of an optical grid for sub-micron pixels of CMOS image sensors, is presented. The image quality improvement was verified through the enhanced optical performance of the air-grid-assisted pixels.

37.7 A 140 dB Single-Exposure Dynamic-Range CMOS Image Sensor with In-Pixel DRAM Capacitor, Youngsun Oh, Jungwook Lim, Soeun Park, Dongsuk Yoo, Moosup Lim, Joonseok Park, Seojoo Kim, Minwook Jung, Sungkwan Kim, Junetaeg Lee, In-Gyu Baek, Kwangyul Ryu, Kyungmin Kim, Youngtae Jang, Min-SunKeel, Gyujin Bae, Seunghun Yoo, Youngkyun Jeong, Bumsuk Kim, Jungchak Ahn, Haechang Lee, Joonseo Yim, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
A CMOS image sensor with a 2.1 µm pixel for automotive applications was developed. With a sub-pixel structure and a high-capacity DRAM capacitor, a single exposure dynamic range achieves 140 dB at 85, supporting LED flicker mitigation and blooming free. SNR stay above 23 dB at 105

Session 19: ODI - Photonic Technologies and Non-Visible Imaging
Tuesday, December 6, 2:15 p.m.

19.1 Record-low Loss Non-volatile Mid-infrared PCM Optical Phase Shifter based on Ge2Sb2Te 3S2, Y. Miyatake, K. Makino*, J. Tominaga*, N. Miyata*, T. Nakano*, M. Okano*, K. Toprasertpong, S. Takagi, M. Takenaka, The University of Tokyo, *National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)
We propose a low-loss non-volatile PCM phase shifter operating at mid-infrared wavelengths using Ge 2Sb 2Te 3S2 (GSTS), a new selenium-free widegap PCM. The GSTS phase shifter exhibit the record-low optical loss for p phase shift of 0.29 dB/p, more than 20 times better than reported so far in terms of figure-of-merit.

19.2 Monolithic Integration of Top Si3N4-Waveguided Germanium Quantum-Dots Microdisk Light Emitters and PIN Photodetectors for On-chip Ultrafine Sensing, C-H Lin, P-Y Hong, B-J Lee, H. C. Lin, T. George, P-W Li, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University
An ingenious combination of lithography and self-assembled growth has allowed accurate control over the geometric with high-temperature thermal stability. This significant fabrication advantage has opened up the 3D integration feasibility of top-SiN waveguided Ge photonics for on-chip ultrafine sensing and optical interconnect applications.

19.3 Colloidal quantum dot image sensors: a new vision for infrared (Invited), P. Malinowski, V. Pejovic*, E. Georgitzikis, JH Kim, I. Lieberman, N. Papadopoulos, M.J. Lim, L. Moreno Hagelsieb, N. Chandrasekaran, R. Puybaret, Y. Li, T. Verschooten, S. Thijs, D. Cheyns, P. Heremans*, J. Lee, imec,
Short-wave infrared (SWIR) range carries information vital for augmented vision. Colloidal quantum dots (CQD) enable monolithic integration with small pixel pitch, large resolution and tunable cut-off wavelength, accompanied by radical cost reduction. In this paper, we describe the challenges to realize manufacturable CQD image sensors enabling new use cases.

19.4 Grating-resonance InGaAs narrowband photodetector for multispectral detection in NIR-SWIR region, J. Jang, J. Shim, J. Lim, G. C. Park*, J. Kim**, D-M Geum, S. Kim, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), *Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), **Korea Advanced Nano Fab Center (KANC)
We proposed grating-resonance narrowband photodetector for the wavelength selection functionality at the range of 1300~1700 nm. Based on parameters designed from the simulation, we fabricated an array of pixels to selectively detect different wavelengths. Our device showed great wavelength selectivity and tunability depending on grating design with a narrow FWHM.

19.5 Alleviating the Responsivity-Speed Dilemma of Photodetectors via Opposite Photogating Engineering with an Auxiliary Light Source beyond the Chip, Y. Zou, Y. Zeng, P. Tan, X. Zhao, X. Zhou, X. Hou, Z. Zhang, M. Ding, S. Yu, H. Huang, Q. He, X. Ma, G. Xu, Q. Hu, S. Long, University of Science and Technology of China
The dilemma between responsivity and speed limits the performance of photodetectors. Here, opposite photogating engineering was proposed to alleviate this dilemma via an auxiliary light source beyond the chip. Based on a WSe 2/Ga 2O3 JFET, a >103 times faster speed towards deep ultra-violet has been achieved with negligible sacrifice of responsivity.

19.6 Experimental Demonstration of the Small Pixel Effect in an Amorphous Photoconductor using a Monolithic Spectral Single Photon Counting Capable CMOS-Integrated Amorphous-Selenium Sensor, R. Mohammadi, P. M. Levine, K. S. Karim, University of Waterloo
We directly demonstrate, for the first time, the small pixel effect in an amorphous material, a-Se. The results are also the first demonstration of the transient response of a-Se monolithically combined with a CMOS, with and without SPE, and the first aSe/CMOS PHS results, offering a-Se/CMOS for photon counting applications.

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Harvest Imaging Forum April 5 and 6, 2023

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After the Harvest Imaging forums during the last decade, a next and nineth one will be organized on April 5 & 6, 2023 in Delft, the Netherlands. The basic intention of the Harvest Imaging forum is to have a scientific and technical in-depth discussion on one particular topic that is of great importance and value to digital imaging. The forum 2023 will again be organized in a hybrid form:

  • You can attend in-person and can benefit in the optimal way of the live interaction with the speakers and audience,
  • There will be also a live broadcast of the forum, still interactions with the speakers through a chat box will be made possible,
  • Finally the forum also can be watched on-line at a later date.

The 2023 Harvest Imaging forum will deal with a single topic from the field of solid-state imaging and will have only one world-level expert as the speaker.

Register here:


"Imaging Beyond the Visible"
Prof. dr. Pierre MAGNAN (ISAE-SUPAERO, Fr)

Two decades of intensive and tremendous efforts have pushed the imaging capabilities in the visible domain closer to physical limits. But also extended the attention to new areas beyond visible light intensity imaging. Examples can be found either to higher photon energy with appearance of CMOS Ultra-Violet imaging capabilities or even to other light dimensions with Polarization Imaging possibilities, both in monolithic form suitable to common camera architecture.

But one of most active and impressive fields is the extension of interest to the spectral range significantly beyond the visible, in the Infrared domain. Special focus is put on the Short Wave Infrared (SWIR) used in the reflective imaging mode but also the Thermal Infrared spectral range used in self-emissive ‘thermal’ imaging mode in Medium Wave Infrared (MWIR) and Long Wave Infrared (LWIR). Initially mostly motivated for military and scientific applications, the use of these spectral domains have now met new higher volume applications needs.

This has been made possible thanks to new technical approaches enabling cost reduction stimulated by the efficient collective manufacturing process offered by the microelectronics industry. CMOS, even no more sufficient to address alone the non- visible imaging spectral range, is still a key part of the solution.

The goal of this Harvest Imaging forum is to go through the various aspects of imaging concepts, device principles, used materials and imager characteristics to address the beyond-visible imaging and especially focus on the infrared spectral bands imaging.

Emphasis will be put on the material used for both detection :

  • Germanium, Quantum Dots devices and InGaAs for SWIR,
  •  III-V and II-VI semiconductors for MWIR and LWIR
  •  Microbolometers and Thermopiles thermal imagers

Besides the material aspects, also attention will be given to the associated CMOS circuits architectures enabling the imaging arrays implementation, both at the pixel and the imager level.
A status on current and new trends will be provided.

Pierre Magnan graduated in E.E. from University of Paris in 1980. After being a research scientist involved in analog and digital CMOS design up to 1994 at French Research Labs, he moved in 1995 to CMOS image sensors research at SUPAERO (now ISAE-SUPAERO) in Toulouse, France. The latter is an Educational and Research Institute funded by the French Ministry of Defense. Here Pierre was involved in setting up and growing the CMOS active-pixels sensors research and development activities. From 2002 to 2021, as a Full Professor and Head of the Image Sensor Research Group, he has been involved in CMOS Image Sensor research. His team worked in cooperation with European companies (including STMicroelectronics, Airbus Defense& Space, Thales Alenia Space and also European and French Space Agencies) and developed custom image sensors dedicated to space instruments, extending in the last years the scope of the Group to CMOS design for Infrared imagers.
In 2021, Pierre has been nominated Emeritus Professor of ISAE-Supaero Institute where he focuses now on Research within PhD work, mostly with STMicroelectronics.

Pierre has supervised more than 20 PhDs candidates in the field of image sensors and co-authored more than 80 scientific papers. He has been involved in various expertise missions for French Agencies, companies and the European Commission. His research interests include solid-state image sensors design for visible and non-visible imaging, modelling, technologies, hardening techniques and circuit design for imaging applications.

He has served in the IEEE IEDM Display and Sensors subcommittee in 2011-2012 and in the International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW) Technical Program Committee, being the General Technical Chair of 2015 IISW. He is currently a member of the 2022 IEDM ODI sub-committee and the IISW2023 Technical Program Committee.

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Himax Technologies, Inc. Announces Divestiture of Emza Visual Sense Subsidiary

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TAINAN, Taiwan, Oct. 28, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Himax Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: HIMX) (“Himax” or “Company”), a leading supplier and fabless manufacturer of display drivers and other semiconductor products, today announced that it has divested its wholly owned subsidiary Emza Visual Sense Ltd. (“Emza”), a company dedicated to the development of proprietary vision machine-learning algorithms. Following the transaction, Himax will continue to partner with Emza. The divestiture will not affect the existing business with the leading laptop customer where Himax continues to be the supplier for the leading-edge ultralow power AI processor and always-on CMOS image sensor.

WiseEyeTM, Himax’s total solution for ultralow power AI image sensing, includes Himax proprietary AI processors, CMOS image sensors, and CNN-based machine-learning AI algorithms, all featuring unique characteristics of ultralow power consumption. For the AI algorithms, Himax has historically adopted a business model where it not only develops its own solutions through an in-house algorithm team and Emza, a fully owned subsidiary before the divestiture, but also partners with multiple third-party AI algorithm specialists as a way to broaden the scope of application and widen the geographical reach. Moving forward, the AI business model will be unchanged where the Company will continue to develop its own algorithms and work with third-party algorithms partners, including Emza.

The Company continues to collaborate with its ecosystem partners to jointly make the WiseEye AI solution broadly accessible to the market, aiming to scale up adoption in numerous relatively untapped end-point AI markets. Tremendous progress has been made so far in areas such as laptop, desktop PC, automatic meter reading, video conference device, shared bike parking, medical capsule endoscope, automotive, smart office, battery cam and surveillance, among others. Additionally, Himax is committed to strengthening its WiseEye product roadmap while retaining its leadership position in ultralow power AI processor and image sensor. By targeting even lower power consumption and higher AI inference performance that leverage integral optimization from hardware to software, the Company believes it can capture the vast end-point AI opportunities presented ahead.

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SK Hynix developing AI powered image sensor

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SK Hynix was developing a new CMOS image sensor (CIS) that uses neural network technology, TheElec has learned. The South Korean memory giant is planning to embed an AI accelerator into the CIS, sources said. The accelerator itself is based on SRAM combined with a microprocessor --- also called in-memory computing. The AI-powered CIS will be able to recognize information related to the subject of the image, while the image was being saved as data. For example, the CIS will be able to recognize the owner of the smartphone when it is used on a front camera. Most current devices have the CIS and the face-recognizing feature separate. Having the CIS do it on its own can save time and conserve the power of the device. SK Hynix has recently verified the design and field programmable gate array of the CIS. The company is also planning to develop an AI accelerator that uses non-volatile memory instead of the volatile SRAM. SK Hynix is a very small player in the CIS field. According to Strategy Analytics, Sony controlled 44% of the market during the first half of the year followed by Samsung’s 30%. Omivision had a 9% market share. The remaining three companies, which include SK Hynix, controlled 17% together. SK Hynix is currently supplying its high-resolution CIS to Samsung; last year it supplied a 13MP CIS for the Galaxy Z Fold 3. It is supplying 50MP CIS for the Galaxy A series this year. However, CIS companies are focusing on strengthening other features of the CIS besides resolution. They are reaching the limits of making the pixels smaller. Pixels absorb less light and the signals are smaller when they become too small, obscuring the resolution of the images.

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Sony to make self-driving sensors that need 70% less power

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Sony is developing its own electric vehicles. (Asia Nikkei)
July 19, 2022

TOKYO -- Sony Group will develop a new self-driving sensor that uses 70% less electricity, helping to reduce autonomous systems' voracious appetite for power and extend the range of electric vehicles.
The sensor, made by Sony Semiconductor Solutions, will be paired with new software to be developed by Sompo Holdings-backed startup Tier IV with the goal of cutting the amount of power used by EV onboard systems by 70%. The companies hope to achieve Level 4 technology, allowing cars to drive themselves under certain conditions, by 2030.

Electric vehicles will make up 59% of new car sales globally in 2035, the Boston Consulting Group predicts. Over 30% of trips 5 km and longer are expected to be made in self-driving cars, which rely on large numbers of sensors and cameras and transmit massive amounts of data.

Existing autonomous systems are said to use as much power as thousands of microwave ovens, hindering improvements in the driving range of EVs. Combined with the drain from air conditioning and other functions, EVs could end up with a range at least 35% smaller than on paper, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. If successful, Sony's new sensors would limit this impact to around 10%.

Sony plans to lower the amount of electricity needed in self-driving systems through edge computing, processing as much data as possible through AI-equipped sensors and software on the vehicles themselves instead of transmitting it to external networks. This approach is expected to shrink communication lags as well, making the vehicles safer. 

[Thanks to the anonymous blog comment for sharing the article text.]


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InP Market Expanding, Proximity Sensor on iPhone 14, Depth Sensing Issues on iPhone 13

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From Electronics Weekly and Yole: 

The InP device market is expanding from traditional datacom and telecom towards the consumer reaching about $5.6 billion by 2027, says Yole Developpement.


Datacom and telecom applications are the traditional markets for InP.Land will continue to grow, but the biggest growth driver – with a 37% CAGR between 2021 and 2027 – will be consumer.
The InP supply chain is fragmented, though it is dominated by two vertically integrated American players: Coherent (formerly II-VI) and Lumentum.

The InP supply chain will need more investment with the rise of the consumer applications.
The migration to higher data rates, lower power consumption within data centres, and the deployment of 5G base stations will drive the development and growth of optical transceiver technology in the coming years.

As an indispensable building block for high-speed and long-range optical transceivers, InP laser diodes remain the best choice for telecom & datacom photonic applications.
This growth is driven by high volume adoption of high-data-rate modules, above 400G, by big cloud services and national telecom operators requiring increased fiber-optic network capacity.

With that in mind, the InP market, long dominated by datacom and telecom applications, is expected grow from $2.5 billion in 2021 to around $5.6 billion in 2027.

Yole Intelligence has developed a dedicated report to provide a clear understanding of the InP-based photonics and RF industries. In its InP 2022 report, the company, part of Yole Group, provides a comprehensive view of the InP markets, divided into photonics and RF sectors. It includes market forecasts, technology trends, and supply chain analysis. This updated report covers the markets from wafer to bare die for photonics applications and from wafer to epiwafer for RF applications by volume and revenue.

“There has been a lot of speculation on the penetration of InP in consumer applications,” says Yoke’s Ali Jaffal, “the year 2022 marks the beginning of this adoption. For smartphones, OLED displays are transparent at wavelengths ranging from around 13xx to 15xx nm”.

OEMs are interested in removing the camera notch on mobile phone screens and integrating the 3D-sensing modules under OLED displays. In this context, they are considering moving to InP EELs to replace the current GaAs VCSELs . However, such a move is not straightforward from cost and supply perspectives.

Yole Intelligence noted the first penetration of InP into wearable earbuds in 2021. Apple was the first OEM to deploy InP SWIR proximity sensors in its AirPods 3 family to help differentiate between skin and other surfaces.

This has been extended to the iPhone 14 Pro family. The leading smartphone player has changed the aesthetics of its premium range of smartphones, the iPhone 14 Pro family, reducing the size of the notch at the top of the screen to a pill shape.


To achieve this new front camera arrangement, some other sensors, such as the proximity sensor, had to be placed under the display. Will InP penetration continue in other 3D sensing modules, such as dot projectors and flood illuminators? Or could GaAs technology come back again with a different solution for long-wavelength lasers?

The impact of Apple adding such a differentiator to its product significantly affects companies in its supply chain, and vice versa.

Traditional GaAs suppliers for Apple’s proximity sensors could switch from GaAs to InP platforms since both materials could share similar front-end processing tools.

Yole Intelligence certainly expects to see new players entering the InP business as the consumer market represents high volume potential.

In addition, Apple’s move could trigger the penetration of InP into other consumer applications, such as smartwatches and automotive LiDAR with silicon photonics platforms.

In other Apple iPhone related news:

The True Depth camera on the iPhone 13 seems to be oversmoothing at distances over 20cm:


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CellCap3D: Capacitance Calculations for Image Sensor Cells

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Sequoia's CellCap3D is a software tool specifically designed for the capacitance matrix calculation of image sensor cells. It is fast, accurate and easy to use.

Please contact SEQUOIA Design Systems, Inc. for further details at

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Videos du jour for Nov 14, 2022

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Graphene Flagship ( spearhead project AUTOVISION is developing a new high-resolution image sensor for autonomous vehicles, which can detect obstacles and road curvature even in extreme and difficult driving conditions.



SPAD and CIS camera fusion for high resolution high dynamic range passive imaging (IEEE/CVF WACV 2022) Authors: Yuhao Liu (University of Wisconsin-Madison)*; Felipe Gutierrez-Barragan (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Atul N Ingle (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Mohit Gupta ("University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA "); Andreas Velten (University of Wisconsin - Madison) Description: Reconstruction of high-resolution extreme dynamic range images from a small number of low dynamic range (LDR) images is crucial for many computer vision applications. Current high dynamic range (HDR) cameras based on CMOS image sensor technology rely on multiexposure bracketing which suffers from motion artifacts and signal-to-noise (SNR) dip artifacts in extreme dynamic range scenes. Recently, single-photon cameras (SPCs) have been shown to achieve orders of magnitude higher dynamic range for passive imaging than conventional CMOS sensors. SPCs are becoming increasingly available commercially, even in some consumer devices. Unfortunately, current SPCs suffer from low spatial resolution. To overcome the limitations of CMOS and SPC sensors, we propose a learning-based CMOS-SPC fusion method to recover high-resolution extreme dynamic range images. We compare the performance of our method against various traditional and state-of-the-art baselines using both synthetic and experimental data. Our method outperforms these baselines, both in terms of visual quality and quantitative metrics.

System Semiconductor Image Sensor Explained | 'All About Semiconductor' by Samsung Electronics

tinyML neuromorphic engineering discussion forum:

Neuromorphic Event-based Vision
Christoph POSCH

New Architecture for Visual AI, Oculi Technology Enables Edge Solutions At The Speed Of Machines With The Efficiency of Biology
Charbel RIZK,
Founder CEO
Oculi Inc.

Roman Genov, University of Toronto
Fast Field-Programmable Coded Image Sensors for Versatile Low-Cost Computational Imaging Presented through the Chalk Talks series of the Institute for Neural Computation (UC San Diego)

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2023 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW): Final Call for Papers Available

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The final call for papers for 2023 IISW is now available:

To submit
an abstract, please go to:

The deadline for abstract submission is 11:59pm, Friday December 9th, 2022 (GMT).

The 2023 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW) provides a biennial opportunity to present innovative work in the area of solid-state image sensors and share new results with the image sensor community. Now in its 35th year, the workshop will return to an in-person format. The event is intended for image sensor technologists; in order to encourage attendee interaction and a shared experience, attendance is limited, with strong acceptance preference given to workshop presenters. As is the tradition, the 2023 workshop will emphasize an open exchange of information among participants in an informal, secluded setting beside the Scottish town of Crieff.

The scope of the workshop includes all aspects of electronic image sensor design and development. In addition to regular oral and poster papers, the workshop will include invited talks and announcement of International Image Sensors Society award winners.


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Nature paper on an aberration correcting "meta-image" sensor

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A new paper in Nature titled "An integrated imaging sensor for aberration-corrected 3D photography" by Wu et al. from Tsinghua University presents a new meta-optics based aberration correcting image sensor. They also show several applications such as optical flow and depth imaging in addition to atmospheric aberration correction.

The full paper is open access:

Abstract: Planar digital image sensors facilitate broad applications in a wide range of areas and the number of pixels has scaled up rapidly in recent years. However, the practical performance of imaging systems is fundamentally limited by spatially nonuniform optical aberrations originating from imperfect lenses or environmental disturbances. Here we propose an integrated scanning light-field imaging sensor, termed a meta-imaging sensor, to achieve high-speed aberration-corrected three-dimensional photography for universal applications without additional hardware modifications. Instead of directly detecting a two-dimensional intensity projection, the meta-imaging sensor captures extra-fine four-dimensional light-field distributions through a vibrating coded microlens array, enabling flexible and precise synthesis of complex-field-modulated images in post-processing. Using the sensor, we achieve high-performance photography up to a gigapixel with a single spherical lens without a data prior, leading to orders-of-magnitude reductions in system capacity and costs for optical imaging. Even in the presence of dynamic atmosphere turbulence, the meta-imaging sensor enables multisite aberration correction across 1,000 arcseconds on an 80-centimetre ground-based telescope without reducing the acquisition speed, paving the way for high-resolution synoptic sky surveys. Moreover, high-density accurate depth maps can be retrieved simultaneously, facilitating diverse applications from autonomous driving to industrial inspections.




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Yole publishes a market report for X-ray detectors

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Market dynamics in digital X-ray imaging have been impacted by the Covid crisis, the current geopolitical context and new environmental policies. The Covid crisis upset demand in medical systems in 2020 and 2021. Healthcare facilities prioritized their budgets to fight Covid, boosting static radiography and computed tomography (CT). Many surgeries, mammographies or dental diagnoses have been delayed, slowing demand in these segments by about a year. The medical business eventually returned to its pre-Covid dynamic and is expected to grow from $1,780M in 2021 to $2,128M in 2027 at the detector level. The security business suffered in 2020 and 2021, with airport shutdowns and borders closing. But now the recovery of air transportation and the tense geopolitical context with the Ukraine-Russia war is driving demand in this segment. Security is expected to go from $50M in 2021 to $57M in 2027. Industry also suffered from a global economic downturn due to Covid. However, car electrification is now a good driver for X-ray inspection, which is used in electronics and battery production lines and storage to detect defects. As a result, the segment will grow from $210M in 2021 to $263M in 2027.


 Key Features

  •  Market data on key X-ray detector technologies including flat panel aSi, aSe, IGZO or CMOS, CT detectors and linear sensors over medical, industry, security, and veterinary markets. Historical data are displayed from 2018 to 2021 before forecasting the market up to 2027
  •  Comprehensive analysis of the market trends in the different market segments
  •  Understanding of how health and political crises affect the X-ray imaging market
  •  Market share for flat panel detectors, in value
  •  Comprehensive description of the supply chain from system integrators to semiconductor fabs. Highlights of the main changes since the last update of the report
  •  Comprehensive description of technologies including roadmap on photon-counting technology. Analysis of the penetration of IGZO in flat panels

What's new

  •  The covid crisis upset demand in 2020/2021. Combined with conflicts and trade wars, it forced many players to build new supply chains
  •  Commercialization of the first photon-counting CT scanner by Siemens Healthineers
  •  The biggest CT scan system makers made acquisitions to ensure internal capacity of manufacturing photon-counting detectors
  •  Car electrification is pulling demand for X-ray inspection in electronics and battery production lines

Product objectives

  •  Provide an overview of the digital X-ray imaging industry with a focus on detector components including the different types technologies
  •  Provide an understanding of the main trends in the different segments of digital X-ray imaging with forecast on the market value and associated shipment volumes
  •  Give supply chain insights describing the different levels of integration and the players composing the ecosystem. Providing data of market share for the different types of X-ray detectors
  •  Offering technology understanding about the main innovations with associated challenges and roadmaps

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Ouster and Velodyne Merger

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In recent news on consolidation in the LiDAR market, Ouster and Velodyne have announced a merger deal.

Ouster makes "digital" LiDAR sensors based on single photon avalanche diode technology whereas Velodyne is known for their more "traditional" avalanche photodiode based spinning LiDARs.

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Ouster (NYSE: OUST), a leading provider of high-resolution digital lidar, and Velodyne (NASDAQ: VLDR, VLDRW), a leading global player in lidar sensors and solutions, announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction. The proposed merger is expected to drive significant value creation and result in a strong financial position through robust product offerings, increased operational efficiencies, ​​and a complementary customer base in fast-growing end-markets. Ouster and Velodyne will host a joint webcast on November 7, 2022 at 8:30 AM ET to discuss the planned merger.

Key Strengths of the Combined Company:

  • Operational synergies across engineering, manufacturing, and general administration support an optimized cost-structure
  • Robust product offerings, including verticalized software, to serve a broad set of customers
  • Complementary customer base, partners, and distribution channels, coupled with reduced product costs and an innovative roadmap, to accelerate lidar adoption across fast-growing end markets
  • Extensive intellectual property portfolio with 173 granted and 504 pending patents, backed by over 20 years of combined experience in lidar technology innovation
  • World-class leadership team to be led by Dr. Ted Tewksbury as Executive Chairman of the Board and Angus Pacala as Chief Executive Officer
  • Strong financial position with combined cash balance1 of approximately $355 million as of September 30, 2022
  • Compared to stand-alone cost structures as of September 30, 2022, annualized operating expenditure synergies of at least $75 million expected to be realized within 9 months after transaction-close

 “Ouster’s cutting-edge digital lidar technology, evidenced by strong unit economics and the performance gains of our new products, complemented by Velodyne’s decades of innovation, high-performance hardware and software solutions, and established global customer footprint, positions the combined company to accelerate the adoption of lidar technology across fast-growing markets with a diverse set of customer needs,” said Ouster CEO Angus Pacala. “Together, we will aim to deliver the performance customers demand while achieving price points low enough to promote mass adoption.”

“Lidar is a valuable enabling technology for autonomy, with the ability to dramatically improve the efficiency, productivity, safety, and sustainability of a world in motion. We aim to create a vibrant and healthy lidar industry by offering both affordable, high-performance sensors to drive mass adoption across a wide variety of customer applications, and by creating scale to drive profitable and sustainable revenue growth,” said Velodyne CEO Dr. Ted Tewksbury. “The combination of Ouster and Velodyne is expected to unlock enormous synergies, creating a company with the scale and resources to deliver stronger solutions for customers and society, while accelerating time to profitability and enhancing value for shareholders.”

The combined company will offer a robust suite of products to continue to serve a diverse set of end-markets and customers while executing on an innovative product roadmap to meet the future needs of the market. A unified engineering team, compelling product roadmap, and focused customer success team will aim to provide best-in-class support to customers to deliver affordable and more performant sensors. Further, management plans to streamline operating expenditures to build an overall cost structure that is in line with the projected revenue growth of the combined company. ​​Ouster and Velodyne had a combined cash balance of approximately $355 million as of September 30, 2022, and aim to realize annualized cost savings of at least $75 million within 9 months after closing the proposed merger. With an expanded global commercial footprint and distribution network, the combined company expects to deliver increased volumes, reduce product costs, and drive sustainable growth.

Leadership and Governance
The combined company will be led by Angus Pacala, who will serve as Chief Executive Officer, and Dr. Ted Tewksbury, who will serve as Executive Chairman of the Board. The Board will be comprised of eight members, with each company appointing an equal number of members. The full Board and executive team will be announced at a later date.

Transaction Details
The merger agreement was signed on November 4, 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, each Velodyne share will be exchanged for 0.8204 shares of Ouster at closing. The transaction will result in existing Velodyne and Ouster shareholders each owning approximately 50% of the combined company, based on current shares outstanding.

The merger transactions are subject to customary closing conditions including shareholder approval by both companies. Both companies will continue to operate their businesses independently until the close of the merger transactions. The merger transactions are expected to be completed in the first half of 2023.

Barclays is serving as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP is serving as legal advisor to Ouster. BofA Securities, Inc. is serving as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is serving as legal advisor to Velodyne.

Ouster and Velodyne will each file the full text of the merger agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission with a Form 8-K within four business days of the date of this release. Investors and security holders of each company are advised to review these filings for the full terms of the proposed combination, as well as any future filings made by the companies, including the Form S-4 Registration Statement to be filed by Ouster and related Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus included therein. See below under “Additional Information and Where to Find It”.

Joint Webcast Information
Ouster and Velodyne will host a joint webcast on November 7, 2022 at 8:30 AM ET to discuss the proposed merger.
Investors and analysts can register for the webcast by visiting the following website: The webcast will be available as a replay for one year on Ouster’s investor website at and on Velodyne’s investor website at

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Edge Impulse and ConservationX Labs Camera for Ecology and Conservation

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Edge Impulse and Conservation X Labs are teaming up to bring an AI-enabled camera for ecology and wildlife monitoring applications.

Conservation X Labs currently offers a solution called "Sentinel" for AI-on-the-edge using field-deployed cameras and microphones. 

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Pixelplus automotive CMOS image sensor

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From THEELEC news:

South Korean fabless chip firm Pixelplus will show of engineering samples of its automotive CMOS image sensor to customers during the first quarter.

The new product, called PK5130KA, will begin mass production during the second half of 2023 and contribute to the company’s revenue in 2024, Pixelplus said.

It will the company’s first chip that will be supplied directly to tier-1 suppliers of automobile firms.

Pixelplus had previously supplied such chips through automotive solution firms at a lower price.

Supplying directly to tier-1 suppliers __ called before-market in the industry __ is more difficult due to the harder requirements that they must meet.

Tier-1 suppliers require such chips to meet AEC-Q100 and ISO26262 standards, the global reliability and safety standards.

ISO has ratings from A to D with D being the highest standard. Image sensors require the B grade.

PK5120KA meets these standards, according to Pixelplus. The company is planning to receive the ISO26262 certificate next year.

Pixelplus believes it has a market share of around 5% as of last year in the automotive CMOS image sensor sector.

ONSemiconductor, Sony and Omnivision are the leaders in the market. 

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Ge-on-Si Image Sensor with NIR Sensitivity

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In a recent preprint ( Ponizovskaya-Devine et al. describe a new Ge-on-Si image sensor with enhanced sensitivity up to 1.7um for NIR applications.


We present a Germanium “Ge-on-Si” CMOS image sensor with backside illumination for the near-infrared (NIR) electromagnetic waves (wavelength range 300–1700 nm) detection essential for optical sensor technology. The micro-holes help to enhance the optical efficiency and extend the range to the 1.7 µm wavelength. We demonstrate an optimization for the width and depth of the nano-holes for maximal absorption in the near infrared. We show a reduction in the cross-talk by employing thin SiO2 deep trench isolation in between the pixels. Finally, we show a 26–50% reduction in the device capacitance with the introduction of a hole. Such CMOS-compatible Ge-onSi sensors will enable high-density, ultra-fast and efficient NIR imaging.

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Ge-on-Si Image Sensor with NIR Sensitivity

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In a recent preprint ( Ponizovskaya-Devine et al. describe a new Ge-on-Si image sensor with enhanced sensitivity up to 1.7um for NIR applications.


We present a Germanium “Ge-on-Si” CMOS image sensor with backside illumination for the near-infrared (NIR) electromagnetic waves (wavelength range 300–1700 nm) detection essential for optical sensor technology. The micro-holes help to enhance the optical efficiency and extend the range to the 1.7 µm wavelength. We demonstrate an optimization for the width and depth of the nano-holes for maximal absorption in the near infrared. We show a reduction in the cross-talk by employing thin SiO2 deep trench isolation in between the pixels. Finally, we show a 26–50% reduction in the device capacitance with the introduction of a hole. Such CMOS-compatible Ge-onSi sensors will enable high-density, ultra-fast and efficient NIR imaging.

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dToF Sensor with In-pixel Processing

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In a recent preprint ( Gyongy et al. describe a new 64x32 SPAD-based direct time-of-flight sensor with in-pixel histogramming and processing capability.

3D flash LIDAR is an alternative to the traditional scanning LIDAR systems, promising precise depth imaging in a compact form factor, and free of moving parts, for applications such as self-driving cars, robotics and augmented reality (AR). Typically implemented using single-photon, direct time-of-flight (dToF) receivers in image sensor format, the operation of the devices can be hindered by the large number of photon events needing to be processed and compressed in outdoor scenarios, limiting frame rates and scalability to larger arrays. We here present a 64 × 32 pixel (256 × 128 SPAD) dToF imager that overcomes these limitations by using pixels with embedded histogramming, which lock onto and track the return signal. This reduces the size of output data frames considerably, enabling maximum frame rates in the 10 kFPS range or 100 kFPS for direct depth readings. The sensor offers selective readout of pixels detecting surfaces, or those sensing motion, leading to reduced power consumption and off-chip processing requirements. We demonstrate the application of the sensor in mid-range LIDAR.

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TechInsights Webinar on Hybrid Bonding Technologies Nov 15-16

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Hybrid bonding technology is rapidly becoming a standard approach in chipmaking due to its ability to increase connection densities.
This webinar will:
  • Examine different hybrid bonding approaches implemented in recent devices
  • Discuss key players currently using this technology
  • Look to the future of hybrid bonding, discussing potential wins – and pitfalls – to come.
This presentation compiles content from TechInsights’ subject matter experts in Memory, Image Sensor, and Logic, and from Engineers specializing in a variety of reverse engineering techniques. Many of these experts will be on hand for the live Q&A session following the presentation.

A preview of the topics that will be discussed:

Advanced Logic

First saw Chip on Wafer (CoW) hybrid bonding technology in the AMD Ryzen 7.
Stacking memory directly with the processor greatly increases available cache memory.
Milestone for system-technology-co-optimization (heterogeneous 3D scaling) described in the International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) More Moore roadmap.
Image Sensors

We have seen Wafer-to-Wafer (W2W) stacking since 2016 from Sony.
Bond pitches as small as 2.2 µm are common, and the trend points to pitches as small as 1.4 μm.
Direct bond interconnect will ultimately enable digital pixel with in-pixel ADC and stacking of three or more wafers.

Hybrid bonding often used in High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) and 3D Xtacking applications.
Hybrid bonding will be one of most important high density memory enablers.
Further scaling, greater cost effectiveness, fewer defects, and solutions to thermal issues are still required.


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Samsung announces 200MP ISOCELL HPX

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Samsung has announced the ISCOCELL HPX, a new 200MP sensor in China. This follows the June announcement of the ISOCELL HP3 200MP sensor. The ISOCELL HPX has 0.56-micron pixel size, which can reduce the camera module area by 20%, making the smartphone body thinner and smaller.

Furthermore, Samsung employed Advanced DTI (Deep Trench Isolation) technology, which not only separates each pixel individually, but also increases sensitivity to capture crisp and vivid images. Furthermore, the Super QPD autofocus solution enables ISOCELL HPX to have ultra-fast and ultra-precise autofocus.

Tetra-Pixel technology in ISOCELL HPX sensor

Additionally, the Tetra pixel (16 pixels in one) technology is used in this new sensor that will give positive shooting experience in low light. With the help of this technology, the ISOCELL HPX is able to automatically switch between three different lighting modes depending on the available light: in a well-lit environment, the pixel size is maintained at 0.56 microns (μm), rendering 200 million pixels; in a low-light environment, the pixel is converted to 1.12 microns (μm), rendering 50 million pixels; and in a low-light environment, 16 pixels are combined to create a 2.24 micron (μm) 12.5 million pixel sensor.

According to Samsung, this technology enables ISOCELL HPX to deliver a positive shooting experience in low light and to reproduce sharp, sharp images as much as possible, even when the light source is constrained.

The ISOCELL HPX supports seamless dual HDR shooting in 4K and FHD modes and can capture 8K video at 30 fps. Depending on the shooting environment, Staggered HDR, according to Samsung, captures shadows and bright lights in a scene at three different exposures: low, medium, and high. Then it’ll combine all three exposure photos to produce HDR images and videos of the highest quality.

Additionally, it enables the sensor to render the image at over 4 trillion colours (14-bit colour depth), which is 64 times more than Samsung’s forerunner’s 68 billion colours (12-bit colour depth).

There’s no official wording from the firm regarding the availability. We should know in the coming weeks.

Another source covering this news:

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VISION Stuttgart Videos

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Videos from the recent machine vision trade fair VISION Stuttgart are now available online.

Opening, Camera Technology, Robot Vision, Software & Deep Learning, Optics and Ilumination

3D, Hyperspectral imaging, Vision Processing, Camera Technology, Software & Deep Learning, Standards

Hyperspectral imaging, Camera Technology, Software and Deep Learning, Vision Processing, Optics and Illumination

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Atomos announces 8K video sensor

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Atomos completes development of world class 8K video sensor and is exploring commercialisation
[Oct 5, 2022]

Atomos announces that it has completed development of a world class 8K video sensor to allow video cameras to record in 8K ultra high resolution

8K Ultra HD televisions are already in the market from Samsung, Sony and LG but 8K content has been lagging 

The Company is exploring opportunities to commercialise its unique IP and is in discussion with several camera makers

Atomos Limited (‘ASX:AMS’, ‘Atomos’ or the ‘Company’) is pleased to announce that it has completed development of  a  world  class  8K  video  sensor    which  allows  cameras  to  record  in  8K  ultra  high  definition. 

Atomos acquired the intellectual property rights   and technical team from broadcast equipment firm, Grass Valley five years ago to develop a leading-edge 8K video sensor.

8K video has four times the resolution of 4K video and allows video creators much greater flexibility when  zooming in  or  cropping their  shots  during  editing,  as  the  resulting  shot  maintains  sharp resolution. 

There  are  several  8K  televisions  already  in  the  market  from  Samsung,  Sony  and  LG  and  8K  gaming  consoles are expected soon.  8K content however has  been  lagging  because,  outside  of  big  camera  makers such as Sony, owning 8K sensor technology is extremely rare.

Development of Atomos’ 8K sensor is now complete. The Company is actively exploring opportunities for commercialisation and is in discussion with several camera makers who are showing great interest.

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IC Insights article on CMOS Image Sensors Market

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CMOS Image Sensors Stall in ‘Perfect Storm’ of 2022

For most of the last two decades strong growth in CMOS image sensors pushed this product category to the top of the optoelectronics market, in terms of sales volume, generating over 40% of total opto-semiconductor annual revenues. In 2022, however, the CMOS image sensor market category is on track to suffer its first decline in 13 years with sales expected to fall 7% to $18.6 billion and unit shipments projected to drop 11% to 6.1 billion worldwide, according to IC Insights’ August 3Q Update of The McClean Report service (Figure 1).

The projected 2022 decline in CMOS image sensors comes after two years of meager sales growth in 2020 (+4%) and 2021 (+5%).  This year’s sales drop reflects overall weakness in consumer smartphones and portable computers with digital cameras for video conferencing following an upsurge in demand for Internet connections and online conferencing capabilities during the Covid-19 virus pandemic.  The 3Q Update forecast shows a modest recovery in CMOS image sensors next year with market revenues growing 4% to $19.3 billion and then rising 13% in 2024 to reach a new record high of $21.7 billion.

In addition to weak demand in mainstream consumer camera cellphones and portable computers, CMOS image sensors have been negatively impacted by deteriorating global economic conditions resulting from high inflation and spiking energy costs caused by the Russian war in Ukraine as well as U.S. trade bans on China, recent Covid-19 virus lockdowns in Chinese manufacturing centers, and slowing growth in the number of cameras being packed inside of new smartphones.  Some high-end smartphone models contain five or more cameras, but the average in most handsets has stayed at three (one on the front, facing the user for “selfie” photos and two main cameras on the backside of phones).  IC Insights’ 3Q Update Report says some managers in China have described the image sensor market conditions as a “perfect storm,” combining a slowdown in mainstream mid-range smartphone shipments and an unanticipated pause in the increase of embedded cameras being designed in new handsets.

CMOS image sensor market leader Sony—which accounted for about 43% of CMOS image sensor sales worldwide in 2021—reported a 12.4% sequential decline in image sensor dollar-volume revenues (-2% in Japanese yen) during the company’s fiscal 1Q23 quarter, ended in June 2022.  In the first half of calendar 2022, Sony struggled to match image-resolution requirements for camera phones and its CMOS image sensor sales to leading Chinese system manufacturers were lowered by U.S. trade bans.  Sony still believes excess inventories of phones and image sensors will be reduced by early 2023 and market conditions will “normalize” in the second half of its current fiscal year (ending next March).

Nearly two-thirds of CMOS image sensors are used in cellphones, and that share is expected to fall to about 45% by 2026, according to The McClean Report’s 3Q Update.  A slow–but-steady recovery in CMOS image sensors is forecast to be driven by a new upgrade buying cycle of smartphones and more embedded cameras being added in other systems, especially for automotive automation capabilities, medical applications, and intelligent security networks.  The 3Q Update shows CMOS image sensor sales rising by a CAGR of 6.0% between 2021 and 2026 to reach $26.9 billion in the final year of the forecast.  CMOS image sensor shipments are forecast to grow by a CAGR of 6.9% between 2021 and 2026, reaching 9.6 million units.

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Videos du jour 2022-09-28: Teledyne, amsOSRAM, IEEE Sensors

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Teledyne e2v's Topaz series of industrial CMOS sensors include 2MP (1920 x 1080) and 1.5MP (1920 x 800) resolution devices. The sensors use state-of-the-art low noise, global-shutter pixel technology to offer powerful solutions and enable compact designs for many applications.

Optimom™ 2M is the first in a range of MIPI CSI-2 optical modules. Powered by Teledyne e2v’s proprietary image sensor technology, Optimom has been thoughtfully designed to ensure there is minimum development effort required for vision-based embedded systems for robotics, logistics, drones, or laboratory equipment. Find out more

Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors from ams enable highly accurate distance measurement and 3D mapping and imaging. Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensors from ams OSRAM are based on proprietary SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Photodiode) pixel design and time-to-digital converters (TDCs) which have an extremely narrow pulse width. They measure in real time the direct time-of-flight (dToF) of a 940nm VCSEL (laser) emitter’s infrared ray reflected from an object. Accurate distance measurements are used in many applications e.g. presence detection, obstacle avoidance & ranging.

Title: Processing and Chracterisation of an Ultra-Thin Image Sensor Chip in Flexible Foil System
Author: Shuo Wang, Jan Dirk Schulze Spüntrup, Björn Albrecht, Christine Harendt, Joachim Burghartz
Affiliation: Institut für Mikroelektronik Stuttgart IMS CHIPS, Germany

Abstract: Unlike most image sensors, which are planar and inflexible, in this work, an ultra-thin image sensor is performed as a Hybrid System in Foil (HySiF) by using Chip-Film Patch technology, which is a concept for high-performance and ultra-thin flexible electronics. In order to characterize this image sensor embedded in foil, an adapter board for the Andvantest 93000SOIC test system was developed. This paper demonstrates production process of the HySiF and its´ behavior and performance. In addition, the applications and future work of this bendable image sensor in foil system is discussed.

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ESA-ESTEC Space & Scientific CMOS Image Sensors Workshop 2022

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Registration and other information:

CNES, ESA, AIRBUS DEFENCE & SPACE, THALES ALENIA SPACE, SODERN are pleased to invite you to submit an abstract to the 7th “Space & Scientific CMOS Image Sensors” workshop to be held in ESA-ESTEC on November 22 nd and 23rd 2022 within the framework of the Optics and Optoelectronics COMET (Communities of Experts).

The aim of this workshop is to focus on CMOS image sensors for scientific and space applications.

Although this workshop is organized by actors of the Space Community, it is widely open to other professional imaging applications such as Machine vision, Medical, Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), and Broadcast (UHDTV) that boost the development of new pixel and sensor architectures for high end applications.

Furthermore, we would like to invite Laboratories and Research Centres which develop Custom CMOS image sensors with advanced smart design on-chip to join this workshop.


Abstracts shall preferably address one or more of the following topics:

  • Pixel design (low lag, linearity, FWC, MTF optimization, high quantum efficiency, large pitch pixels)
  • Electrical design (low noise amplifiers, shutter, CDS, high speed architectures, TDI, HDR)
  • On-chip ADC or TDC (in pixel, column, …)
  • On-chip processing (smart sensors, multiple gains, summation, corrections)
  • Electron multiplication, avalanche photodiodes
  • Photon-counting, quanta image sensors
  • Time resolving detectors (gated, time-correlated single-photon counting)
  • Hyperspectral architectures
  • Materials (thin film, optical layers, dopant, high-resistivity, amorphous Si)
  • Processes (backside thinning, hybridization, 3D stacking, anti-reflection coating)
  • Optical design (micro-lenses, trench isolation, filters)
  • Large size devices (stitching, butting)
  • CMOS image sensors with recent space heritage (in-flight performance)
  • High speed interfaces
  • Focal plane architectures

Tutorial Topics

Event-based sensors, SPADs

Industry exhibition

There are a limited number of small stands available for industry exhibitors. If you are interested in exhibiting at the Workshop, please contact the organisers.

Abstract submission

Please send a short abstract on one A4 page maximum in word or pdf format giving the title, the authors name and affiliation, and presenting the subject of your talk, to the organising committee (e-mail addresses are given hereafter).

Workshop format & official language

Oral presentation shall be requested for the workshop. The official language for the workshop is English.

Slide submission

After abstract acceptance notification, the author(s) will be requested to prepare their presentation in pdf or Powerpoint file format, to be presented at the workshop and to provide a copy to the organising committee with an authorization to make it available for all attendees, and on-line for the CCT members.


13th September 2022 - Deadline for abstract submission

4th October 2022 - Author notification & preliminary programme

8th November 2022 - Final programme

22nd-23rd November 2022 - Workshop

Organising committee

 Nick NELMS ESA  +31 71 565 8110
 Kyriaki MINOGLOU ESA  +31 71 565 3797
 Serena RIZZOLO Airbus Defence & Space  +33
 Stéphane DEMIGUEL Thalès Alenia Space  +33
 Aurelien VRIET SODERN  +33

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Calumino raises $10.3m for AI-based thermal sensing

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From Geospatial World:

Calumino, the developer and manufacturer of a proprietary next-generation thermal sensor technology and AI, today announced its $10.3M USD Series A funding. The funding round is led by Celesta Capital and Taronga Ventures, with additional participation from Egis Technology and others. Calumino’s innovation offers the first-ever intelligent sensing platform, which is an aggregator of new and valuable data points on human presence, activity, hazards, and the environment.

As the world’s first thermal sensor to combine A.I. with high performance image sensing, privacy protection, and affordability, Calumino’s platform enables new benefits for a broad range of applications. This includes smart building management, pest control, safety and security, healthcare, and more. The Calumino thermal sensor has been natively designed with a sufficiently low resolution to protect an individual’s privacy, which in turn fills the current market gap between intrusive IP cameras and low performance motion sensors.

Sensing temperatures rather than light, the Calumino thermal sensor maps environments, assets, and individuals and has the ability to detect human presence, activity, and posture. It can also differentiate humans from animals and detect hazardous hotspots, fires, water leaks, and other anomalies. This unique data is essential for saving energy, increasing business operation efficiencies, increasing security and safety, improving life quality, and saving lives.

The Series A funding follows the successful commercialization of Calumino’s technology in the areas of commercial building management and pest control. Most recently, the company has entered the Japanese market with a Mitsubishi Electric subsidiary as a strategic partner, launching its innovative pest control product “Pescle” based upon the Calumino thermal sensor + AI.

“We are incredibly excited about this partnership and plan to roll this product out globally with our partners,” said Marek Steffanson, Founder and CEO of Calumino. “No other technology can differentiate between humans and rodents reliably, in darkness, affordably, intelligently, and with very low data bandwidth – but this application is just the beginning. Our technology is creating an entirely new space in the market and we are incredibly grateful to our investors for their support as we continue to scale production and enable the next generation of intelligent sensing to solve important problems.”

With its Series A proceeds, Calumino plans to expand existing applications and create new use cases. The team also plans to further invest in research and development, as well as expand its global team including new offices in Europe, Taiwan, Japan, and the United States.

“Calumino’s unique technology is helping to drive the proliferation of IoT – the intelligence of things – and enabling for the first time intelligent thermal imaging that is cost-effective, privacy-protecting, and scalable to mass markets,” said Nicholas Brathwaite, Founding Managing Partner of Celesta Capital. “Celesta is excited to offer our financial and intellectual capital support to help Calumino pursue their bold ambitions in becoming the ultimate IoT technology.”

“Calumino’s affordable and intelligent technology is changing the standard of how we live, work and play in real assets. The unique data and insights that Calumino is able to provide will enable asset owners to create safe, secure, and healthy environments using market-leading technology”, said Sven Sylvester, Investment Director at Taronga Ventures.

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Prophesee closes EUR 50 million Series C

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Prophesee closes €50M C Series round with new investment from Prosperity7 to drive commercialization of revolutionary neuromorphic vision technology;

Becomes EU’s most well-funded fabless semiconductor startup


PARIS, September 22, 2022 – Prophesee, the inventor of the world’s most advanced neuromorphic vision systems, today announced the completion of its Series C round of funding with the addition of a new investment from Prosperity7 ventures. The round now totals €50m, including backing from initial Series C investors Sinovation Ventures and Xiaomi. They join an already strong group of international investors from North America, Europe and Japan that includes Intel Capital, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, 360 Capital, iBionext, and the European Investment Bank.

With the investment round, Prophesee becomes EU’s most well-funded fabless semiconductor startup, having raised a total of €127M since its founding in 2014.

Prosperity7 Ventures, the diversified growth global fund of Aramco Ventures – a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, is on constant search for transformative technologies and innovative business models. Its mission is to invest in the disruptive technologies with the potential to create next-generation technology leaders and bring prosperity on a vast scale. It currently has $1B under management and holds diversified investments across various sectors, including in deep tech and bio-science companies.

 “Gaining the support of such a substantial investor as Prosperity7 adds another globally-focused backer that has a long-term vision and understanding of the requirements to achieve success with a deep tech semiconductor investment. Their support is a testament to the progress achieved and the potential that lies ahead for Prophesee. We appreciate the rigor which they, and all our investors, have used in evaluating our technology and business model and are confident their commitment to a long-term relationship will be mutually beneficial,” said Luca Verre, co-founder and CEO of Prophesee.

The round builds further momentum for Prophesee in accelerating the development and commercialization of its next generation hardware and software products, as well as position it to address new and emerging market opportunities and further scale the company. The support from its investors strengthens its ability to develop business opportunities across key ecosystems in semiconductors, industrial, robotics, IoT and mobile devices.

Event cameras address the challenges of applying computer vision in innovative ways

 “Prophesee is leading the development of a very unique solution that has the potential to revolutionize and transform the way motion is captured and processed.” noted Aysar Tayeb, the Executive Managing Director at Prosperity7. “The company has established itself as a clear leader in applying neuromorphic methods to computer vision with its revolutionary event-based Metavision® sensing and processing approach. With its fundamentally differentiated AI-driven sensor solution, its demonstrated track record with global leaders such as Sony, and its fast-growing ecosystem of more than 5,000 developers using its technology, we believe Prophesee is well-positioned to enable paradigm-shift innovation that brings new levels of safety, efficiency and sustainability to various market segments, including smartphones, automotive, AR/VR and industrial automation.” Aysar further emphasized “Prophesee and its unique team hit the criteria we are constantly searching for in startup companies with truly disruptive, life-changing technologies.”

Prophesee’s approach to enabling machines to see is a fundamental shift from traditional camera methods and aligns directly with the increasing need for more efficient ways to capture and process the dramatic increase in the volume of video input. By utilizing neuromorphic techniques to mimic the way that human brain and eye work, Prophesee’s event-based Metavision technology significantly reduces the amount of data needed to capture information. Among the benefits of the sensor and AI technology are ultra-low latency, robustness to challenging lighting conditions, energy efficiency, and low data rate. This makes it well-suited for a broad range of applications in industrial automation, IoT, consumer electronics that require real-time video data analysis while operating under demanding power consumption, size and lighting requirements.

Prophesee has gained market traction with key partners around the world who are incorporating its technology into sophisticated vision systems for uses cases in smartphones, AR/VR headsets, factory automation and maintenance, science and health research. Its partnership with Sony has resulted in a next generation HD vision sensor that combines Sony’s CMOS image sensor technology with Prophesee’s unique event-based Metavision® sensing technology. It has established commercial partnership with leading machine vision suppliers such as Lucid, Framos, Imago and Century Arks, and its open-source model for accessing its software and development tools has enabled a fast-growing community of 5,000+ developers using the technology in new and innovative ways. 

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TechInsights on new iPhone 14 camera module

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Arducam’s New ToF Camera Module for Embedded Applications

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- Real-time point cloud and depth map.
- Resolution: 240x180@30fps on RPI4/CM4
- Up to 4M measuring distance
- Onboard 940nm laser for both indoor & outdoor uses, no external light source needed.
- V4L2-based video kernel device
- C/C++/Python SDK for userland depth map output and example source code
- ROS ready
- 38 x 38mm board size

Kickstarter link:

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Alpsentek "hybrid" vision sensor for HDR imaging

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From the VISION 2022 exhibition in Stuttgart:

AlpsenTek® launches the ALPIX-Eiger™, a fusion vision sensor for high-end imaging 

AlpsenTek®, a leading developer of fusion vision sensors, announced the launch of the ALPIX-Eiger™ fusion vision sensor chip, specifically designed for high-end imaging applications. Using the original patented Hybrid Vision™ fusion vision technology, ALPIX-Eiger™ enables the fusion of image sensing and event sensing at the pixel level, making the simultaneous output of both image and event streams possible.

ALPIX-Eiger ™ is a patented chip architecture and pixel design with advanced 3D stacking and BSI back-illuminated/backlight technology. With a pixel size of just 1.89µm×1.89µm and a resolution of 8.0 megapixels, it is the smallest pixel size and highest resolution image sensor with event-aware capabilities in the industry. It offers broad application capabilities to small-sized smart devices, such as mobile phones and motion cameras.

High performance

The ALPIX-Eiger™ not only maintains the advantages of image sensors, ensuring full image quality and rich image details but also facilitates event sensing through the patented design of digital-analog mixed signal processing in pixels. This technology allows single pixel to work independently to detect light changes. Having a response speed of microseconds, high frame rate (equivalent to 5000fps), high dynamic range (110dB), low data redundancy and other characteristics helps the image sensor obtain more information and enhances image quality.  Compared with previous event camera solutions, the event stream output by ALPIX-Eiger™ carries color information, which aids color reconstruction of the image and achieves better quality photo and video capabilities.

Wide Applications

In practical applications, intelligent imaging devices equipped with ALPIX-Eiger™ chips can achieve high-end functions such as de-blurring, high frame rate, and super-resolution to facilitate the development of more visual applications. The HDR performance and instantaneous response of the ALPIX-Eiger™ also allow the device to obtain better imaging results at night in scenarios with extreme light and dark contrasts.

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