Yole on LiDAR Market: Prices Drop but Volume Does Not Grow

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 EETimes publishes Yole Developpement interview on LiDAR Market:

"Historically, LiDAR systems have been too expensive to mass-produce for consumer vehicles. The trend is now reversing: Different LiDAR manufacturers have defined aggressive strategies, and the price drop over the past three years has been massive.

Last year, Luminar announced LiDAR-based solutions for under US$1,000. Velodyne, which came up with the first real-time 3D LiDAR in 2005, unveiled plans to reach an average unit price of US$600 by 2024, down from US$17,900 in 2017. And Chinese LiDAR manufacturers, whose unit prices are usually one-fifth those of other companies, are already fielding units priced below $1,000 and are gaining market share.

But a price drop does not necessarily imply a volume increase. So far, volumes have not grown significantly, and mass adoption has not yet occurred. “LiDAR must answer a need,” said Debray. “In the industrial market, including manufacturing and logistics, there is a clear trend toward automation, and LiDAR is playing a key role. In automotive, US$600 remains expensive for a car sensor in comparison with ADAS cameras, for which the average selling price is US$80. Therefore, we are now hearing about US$100 LiDAR for short-range automotive applications.”

Go to the original article...

Smartsens 2.7um Pixel Combines Global Shutter with 40% QE @ 940nm

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Smartsens unveils a 1.3MP pixel global shutter image sensor SC133GS. The new sensor uses 2.7μm pixels in 1/4" optical format and is aimed to the DMS systems to monitor the driver's driving state and attention to driving safety.

SC133GS is said to have the industry's highest QE for a global shutter sensor @ 940nm light exceeding 40%. The sensor also has a single-shot HDR mode. SC133GS is in mass production now.

Go to the original article...

PCO Explains its Image Intensified Cameras

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 PCO presents "Intensified Imaging Technology: pco.dicam Series."


Go to the original article...

Tip Avalanche Photodiode Claimed to Overcome SPAD Limitations

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Arxiv.org paper "Tip Avalanche Photodiode -- A new generation Silicon Photomultiplier based on non-planar technology" by Eugen Engelmann, Wolfgang Schmailzl, Peter Iskra, Florian Wiest, Elena Popova, and Sergey Vinogradov from KETEK, Germany, and MEPhI, Russia, promises to revolutionize SPAD design:

"The Silicon Photomultiplier (SiPM) is a mature photodetector concept that is applied in a variety of applications ranging from medical imaging to automotive LiDAR systems. Over the last few years, improvements of the sensor performance are gradually approaching to a saturation. In this work we present our new concept to overcome the intrinsic limitations of planar configurations of electrodes. Our non-planar technology is based on focusing and enhancing the electric fields by tip-like electrodes. The shape of the electric field and the lack of typical micro-cell edges, allows us to exclude cell separation boundaries and eliminate dead space around active cell areas. Our design provides a high-density micro-cell layout with a high geometric efficiency. It resolves the well-known trade-off between the detection efficiency and the dynamic range. The first "Tip Avalanche Photodiode" (TAPD) prototypes show a remarkable geometric efficiency above 80% for a micro-cell pitch of 15μm. This directly translates into a photon detection efficiency (PDE) record peak value of 73% at 600nm with respect to the state-of-the-art SiPMs. Moreover, the PDE remains above a value of 45% up to a wavelength of 800nm with another record value of 22% at 905nm. The reduced micro-cell capacity allows for a fast recovery time below 4ns, which improves the operation at high photon rates. Overall, the TAPD is anticipated to be a very promising SiPM generation for various wide-spectral and high-dynamic-range applications in health science, biophysics, particle physics and LiDARs."

Go to the original article...

SystemPlus Reverse Engineers Tesla 3 Tri-Camera

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Yole Developpement publishes a webinar "From Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) to Automated Driving" with a part discussion Tesla 3 Tri-camera:


Go to the original article...

Unispectral Presents its Tunable MEMS Filter for Multispectral Imaging

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 Unispectral CTO Peleg Levin presents his company's approach to multispectral imaging:


Go to the original article...

Canon Announces Several Sensors

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Canon, Canon: Canon announces two 35mm full-frame CMOS sensors based on the NIR sensitivity improved 19um pixel - the LI3030SAM (monochrome) and LI3030SAI (color/near-NIR)—which feature 3x and 2.3x enhanced NIR sensitivity respectively (at 800nm) compared to the predecessor products.

The LI3030SAM is said to be capable of monochrome video capture in low-light environments with as little as 0.0005 lux of illumination.

Apparently, the same sensors have been presented as in-development projects a couple of months ago.

Canon: Another announcement is 250MP 5fps APS-H sensors with 1.5um pixel, the LI8020SAC (color) and LI8020SAM (monochrome). They look fairly similar to a sensor first unveiled 5 years ago and re-announced several times since then.


Canon: Another sensor is 2.12MP LI7050SAC for security cameras "featuring a pixel pitch of 4.1 μm and a resolution of approximately 2.12 million pixels, the sensor provides a High Dynamic Range (HDR) of equivalent to up to 20 stops with frame rates of 30fps and 60fps. What’s more, the sensor features a 54,000 green sensitivity level and can read 1936 × 1096 pixels, which is slightly higher than HD resolution." That one appears to be announced for the fist time.

Go to the original article...

Atomic Layer Deposition for Image Sensors

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 Mikko Söderlund of Beneq presents Atomic Layer Deposition for image sensors to achieve:

  • barrier coating 
  • surface passivation
  • anti-reflection coating


Go to the original article...

ON Semi Expands 3.2um Global Shutter Sensor Family

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

BusinessWire: ON Semiconductor expands its XGS family of image sensors with low noise products that combine 12-bit image at a high frame rate. The new offerings include the XGS 45000, the XGS 30000, and the XGS 20000 with up to 45 MP resolution and up to 60 fps in 8K video mode. Also available is the new XGS 5000 with low power performance for compact 29 x 29 mm2 camera designs. Alongside the XGS 5000, 3 MP and 2 MP variants have been released for production.

All XGS devices feature a 3.2 μm pixel and aim to IoT applications such as machine vision and Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

Go to the original article...

Light Field Camera for Smartphone

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

MDPI paper "Miniaturized 3D Depth Sensing-Based Smartphone Light Field Camera" by Hyun Myung Kim, Min Seok Kim, Gil Ju Lee, Hyuk Jae Jang, and Young Min Song from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, proposes a simplified approach for lightfield imaging:

"The miniaturization of 3D depth camera systems to reduce cost and power consumption is essential for their application in electrical devices that are trending toward smaller sizes (such as smartphones and unmanned aerial systems) and in other applications that cannot be realized via conventional approaches. Currently, equipment exists for a wide range of depth-sensing devices, including stereo vision, structured light, and time-of-flight. This paper reports on a miniaturized 3D depth camera based on a light field camera (LFC) configured with a single aperture and a micro-lens array (MLA). The single aperture and each micro-lens of the MLA serve as multi-camera systems for 3D surface imaging. To overcome the optical alignment challenge in the miniaturized LFC system, the MLA was designed to focus by attaching it to an image sensor. Theoretical analysis of the optical parameters was performed using optical simulation based on Monte Carlo ray tracing to find the valid optical parameters for miniaturized 3D camera systems. Moreover, we demonstrated multi-viewpoint image acquisition via a miniaturized 3D camera module integrated into a smartphone."

Go to the original article...

Yole Forum on Machine Vision and Thermal Cameras 2020: Prices Go Down, Resolutions Go Up

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Yole Developpement kindly allowed me to publish few slides from its "Machine Vision & IR for Industry Forum 2020" held in Shenzhen, China, on Sept. 11:

Go to the original article...

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Uses ST AF Sensor instead of Sony iToF

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

TechInsights teardown reveals that Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra uses ST AF sensor instead of Sony Sony IMX516 iToF in the previous generation:

"Samsung introduced us to the Sony IMX516 i-ToF in Q4 2019 when it featured the new sensor alongside Galaxy Note10+ 5Gs rear-facing cameras. At the time we were impressed Sony had scaled its back-illuminated 10 µm ToF pixels, in use in the IMX316, down to 5 µm for the new IMX516. The IMX516, with its 640 x 480 resolution and 4.85 mm x 5.11 mm (24.8 mm2) die size, was predicted to have a strong showing in future products. It did indeed land in Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro (2019) and Samsung’s Galaxy S20+ (2020) and we expected it would be reused in Note20."

TheElec reports that "indirect ToF falls behind iPhone 12 Pro’s direct ToF in range. Apple has an exclusive contract with Sony for the direct ToF, forcing Samsung to buy indirect ToF from the Japanese tech giant.

If Apple introduces sufficient contents with its ToF, Samsung will likely reapply the modules for its smartphones as well."

Go to the original article...

Camera Array for Multi-Spectral Imaging

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

IEEE Transactions on Image Processing publishes a paper "Camera Array for Multi-Spectral Imaging" by Nils Genser, Jürgen Seiler, and André Kaup from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU), Germany, that might justify even more cameras in smartphones than it's used now.

"Recently, many new applications arose for multi-spectral and hyper-spectral imaging. Besides modern biometric systems for identity verification, also agricultural and medical applications came up, which measure the health condition of plants and humans. Despite the growing demand, the acquisition of multi-spectral data is up to the present complicated. Often, expensive, inflexible, or low resolution acquisition setups are only obtainable for specific professional applications. To overcome these limitations, a novel camera array for multi-spectral imaging is presented in this article for generating consistent multi-spectral videos. As differing spectral images are acquired at various viewpoints, a geometrically constrained multi-camera sensor layout is introduced, which enables the formulation of novel registration and reconstruction algorithms to globally set up robust models. On average, the novel acquisition approach achieves a gain of 2.5 dB PSNR compared to recently published multi-spectral filter array imaging systems. At the same time, the proposed acquisition system ensures not only a superior spatial, but also a high spectral, and temporal resolution, while filters are flexibly exchangeable by the user depending on the application. Moreover, depth information is generated, so that 3D imaging applications, e.g., for augmented or virtual reality, become possible. The proposed camera array for multi-spectral imaging can be set up using off-the-shelf hardware, which allows for a compact design and employment in, e.g., mobile devices or drones, while being cost-effective."

Go to the original article...

Forza Webinar on Image Sensor Interfaces

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 Forza publishes its webinar "CMOS Image Sensor Signal Interface & Lessons Learned From System Prototyping" by Nguyen Tran:


Go to the original article...

Sony Talks about Intelligent Sensors and their Use Cases

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Sony publishes a video promoting its sensors with integrated AI processor:

Go to the original article...

GPixel APS-C Global Shutter Sensor Combines 21MP Resolution with 1,000 fps Speed

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Gpixel announces a high-speed global shutter image sensor, GSPRINT4521, the first in a new family of products targeting high speed applications.

GSPRINT4521 is a 21MP (5120 x 4096) APS-C sized (29.5mm) sensor with 4.5μm charge domain global shutter pixel. It achieves more than 35ke– FWC and less than 3e– rms read noise, resulting in an intra-scene DR of up to 69 dB in single gain operation and up to 81 dB in dual gain HDR mode.

GSPRINT4521 will be offered in different speed variants. The full speed version of the sensor consists of 160 pairs of sub-LVDS channels running at 1.2Gbps each, which delivers a 1000 fps at full resolution in 8-bit mode, 500 fps in 10-bit mode, and 250 fps in 12-bit mode in single gain operation. ROI and on-chip binning modes can be used to further increase the frame rates. Lower frame rates are enabled by multiplexing to a reduced number of output channels (down to 4 channels). A reduced speed version of the sensor, optimized for 50 Gbps camera interfaces, will also be available. GSPRINT4521 is packaged in a 454-pin uPGA ceramic package and will be available in both monochrome and color.

With the launch of the first sensor in the GSPRINT family, Gpixel is able to address a new segment of applications requiring higher frame rates and/or high dynamic range, low noise global shutter operation. We are excited to offer our technology to support these demanding applications and are very much looking forward to the further expansion of this new series,” says Wim Wuyts, CCO of Gpixel.

High frame rate, generous pixel size and low read noise make GSPRINT4521 an ideal solution for applications such as high-speed 4K video, industrial inspection, motion analysis and life science imaging.

GSPRINT4521 monochrome engineering samples can be ordered today for delivery in November 2020.

Go to the original article...

Apple Unveils 2 iPhones with LiDAR

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 Apple new iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max feature LiDARs integrated in the rear camera cluster. Among other things, the LiDAR is promised to improve AF speed by 6x in low light:

Go to the original article...

Red Komodo Features S35 Global Shutter Sensor

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 Red unveils a new 6K Komodo camera featuring super-35 global shutter sensor:


Go to the original article...

Omnivision CTO Presents Automotive-Grade Wafer Stacking Technology & Sensors

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Omnivision publishes an Autosens 2020 presentation "High Performance Automotive Image Sensors using CMOS Wafer Stacking Technology" by Boyd Fowler, the company's CTO:

Go to the original article...

Omnivision Announces 1/1.34"-large 64MP Smartphone Sensor with 1um Pixels and 3-Exposure 4-Cell HDR

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

BusinessWire: OmniVision announces the 1/1.34-inch OV64A sensor with 64MP resolution with the largest pixel size in its class, at 1.008 micron. It is aimed to the wide and ultrawide main cameras in high end smartphones. Additionally, the OV64A features 3-exposure, 4-cell HDR with on-chip combination and tone mapping, as well as a fast frame rate, which work in tandem to eliminate motion artifacts and produce the best 64MP SNR. This sensor also offers a 2- and 3-exposure staggered HDR timing option.

TSR estimates there will be 322 million image sensors with 50MP or higher resolution shipped to smartphone manufacturers in 2021, which presents a huge opportunity for OmniVision’s growing 64MP portfolio,” said Arun Jayaseelan, staff marketing manager at OmniVision. “Compared with our 0.8 micron 64MP image sensor, the OV64A’s 1.0 micron pixel size provides a more than 60% sensitivity increase, allowing for the greatest possible performance in low light conditions.

Built on OmniVision’s PureCel Plus-S stacked die technology, the OV64A integrates an on-chip, 4-cell (4C) color filter array and hardware remosaic, which provides high quality, 64MP Bayer output, or 8K video, in real time. In low light conditions, this sensor can use near-pixel binning to output a 16MP image for 4K2K video with four times the sensitivity, yielding 2.0um-equivalent low-light performance for preview and video.

Output formats include 64MP at 15 fps, 16MP with 4C binning at 60 fps, and 4K2K video at 120 fps with the extra pixels needed for EIS. This sensor also offers 8K video at 30 fps, 1080p at 240 fps and 720p at 480 fps. Other features include CPHY and DPHY interfaces, and 4C half-shield phase detection for fast autofocus support.

OV64A samples are available now, and mass production is expected in Q4.


So, by now, Omnivision has 3 64MP sensors in its lineup - OV64B with 0.7um pixels, OV64C with 0.8um pixels, and the new OV64A with 1um pixels.

Go to the original article...

TI Low Noise Supply for Image Sensors

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 TI presentation "Solving the Key Design Challenges of Automotive Cameras" explains the importance of clean analog supplies for low row noise:

Go to the original article...

Assorted News: Omnivision, Samsung, Robosense, Opsys, ON Semi, Trieye

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Digitimes reports that "Demand for high-end CIS components has weakened in the wake of the US trade sanctions against Huawei. But suppliers are ramping up CIS shipments to the midrange segment to meet growing demand from other Chinese handset vendors, such as Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi who are keen on cannibalizing Huawei in their domestic market.

Major CMOS image sensor (CIS) suppliers including Samsung Electronics and OmniVision reportedly have been pushing sales of midrange CIS components to Chinese handset brands due to increasing market demand, according to industry sources."

IFNews quotes Credite Suisse that optical fingreprint sensor companies focus their development efforts in 3 key areas:

  • integration optical fingeprint sensors into LCD displays
  • large area sensing for OLED displays
  • In-cell TFT sensors


Credit Suisse believes that Novatek and Egis/FocalTech are ahead of others (Synaptics and Goodix) on in-cell TFT sensor integration.

M14 Intelligence publishes an interview with Robosense VP LeiLei Shinohara talking about the price pressure on LiDAR market:

"Regarding the pricing part, at least in the near future like 2022 or 2023, the acceptable pricing for the OEM customers could be much less than 1000 USD. However, we have also received requests from most of our customers for LiDARs in the price range of 500 USD or even lower. We have also seen that the customer losses interest if the price of LiDARs is more than 1000 USD. Hence, we expect that for bigger volume deals, the price could reach somewhere below 500 USD."

Autosens publishes an interview with Rafi Harel, Co-Founder of Opsys, a stealth LiDAR startup founded by a group of ex-Finisar employees:


Junko Yoshida interviews ON Semi's VP and GM of Automotive Sensing Ross Jatou:

 

BusinessWire: Cadence announces that TriEye used the Spectre X Simulator to accelerate the design of a next-generation CMOS-based SWIR image sensor by several months. Using the Spectre X Simulator, TriEye observed at least a 2X performance gain over previous simulators while achieving the required accuracy to meet ISO requirements for critical automotive applications.

Go to the original article...

Yole Forum on 3D Sensing Compares ToF Technologies

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 Yole Developpement has kindly permitted me publishing few slides from "3D Sensing for Consumer Forum 2020" held in China on Sept. 10, 2020:

Go to the original article...

Sensors for Coronavirus Testing

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

MDPI paper "A Review of the State of the Art in Non-Contact Sensing for COVID-19" by by William Taylor, Qammer H. Abbasi, Kia Dashtipour, Shuja Ansari, Syed Aziz Shah, Arslan Khalid, and Muhammad Ali Imran from Glasgow and Conentry Universities, UK shows that most of the diagnostic approaches rely on image sensors in one form or another:

Go to the original article...

Sensors for Coronavirus Testing

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

MDPI paper "A Review of the State of the Art in Non-Contact Sensing for COVID-19" by by William Taylor, Qammer H. Abbasi, Kia Dashtipour, Shuja Ansari, Syed Aziz Shah, Arslan Khalid, and Muhammad Ali Imran from Glasgow and Conentry Universities, UK shows that most of the diagnostic approaches rely on image sensors in one form or another:

Go to the original article...

LiDAR News: Robosense, Velodyne, Luminar, LeddarTech, ADI, Blickfeld

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 BusinessWire: Velodyne and RoboSense (Suteng Innovation Technology Co., Ltd.) have entered a long‑term global cross-licensing relationship encompassing a broad range of 360° surround-view lidar sensors. It covers both existing and future patents of both companies. Velodyne and RoboSense have also agreed to dismiss all the current legal proceedings in the U.S and China that exist between the two companies.

Yahoo: Ford owns 7.6% of Velodyne. Velodyne announced inaugural trading at NADAQ on Sept. 30:

Luminar's recent investor presentation shows the company's advances:


Digitimes reports that LeddarTech "sees strong prospects for flash LiDAR, according to Clive Szeto, general manager for LeddarTech Asia.

For flash LiDAR modules used in low-speed vehicles, demand in the China market is taking off, Szeto said. For example, large e-commerce operators Alibaba and JD.com have already set up fleets of autonomous logistics/delivery vehicles to replace manned vehicles."

Analog Devices presents its LiDAR prototyping platform:


M14 Intelligence publishes an interview with Florian Petit, Co-Founder of Blickfeld. Few quotes:

Our technology offers various distinctive features:

  • Our patented MEMS mirrors have dimensions of more than 10 millimeters diameter, capable of detecting even weakly reflecting objects at a distance of more than 180 meters
  • Our coaxial setup minimizes background light and produces a remarkably high signal-to-noise ratio, which benefits the range
  • The product Cube offers a wide FOV of the car giving 360-degree coverage with 4 to 6 Cubes
  • The long detection range of 250 meters 
  • They are compact in size and low in energy consumption, consuming each below 10 W typically and about 15 W max
  • They are long-range, feature a wide FOV, and a high frame rate, and produce high definition point clouds

Go to the original article...

Yole Automotive Imaging & LiDAR Forum Overview – Part 2

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Yole Developpement kindly allowed me to publish few slides from its "Imaging & LiDAR for Automotive Forum 2020" held in China in Sept 2020:

Go to the original article...

Credit Suisse on Smartphone CIS Market

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

 IFNews quotes Credit Suisse saying:

  • Samsung CIS business is growing, both 300mm and 200mm wafer-based
  • TSMC 40nm process supply is tight due to high demand of image sensors
  • Possible SMIC blacklisting would impact Omnivision and Sony production
Omnivision's production is split between the following fabs:


Credit Suisse estimates that smartphones with 4+ cameras capture more than 30% of the market in Q2 2020:

Go to the original article...

COVID-19 Testing from an Image Sensor Designer’s Perspective

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society publishes InSilixa webinar "Mass deployable Molecular Diagnostics MDx, including COVID 19 Testing: An IC Designer's Perspective" by Arjang Hassibi:

"In the past year, the outbreak of COVID-19 has affected many lives globally. The suboptimal response to the pandemic revealed systematic deficiencies and gaps in our modern healthcare system. One specific area with consequential shortcomings was the diagnosis of infection and the pathogen, particularly the absence (or delayed deployment) of precision tests where and when needed. In this talk, we will discuss and review highly customized IC technologies, broadly defined, that have the potential to address this unmet need, specifically integrated biosensors and CMOS biochip systems. First, we will review the system-level requirements of molecular diagnostics (MDx) systems and explain how they identify the unique DNA/RNA sequences of the pathogen (e.g., COVID-19 one-hour PCR test) to detect infections while achieving appropriate clinical specificity and selectivity. Next, we will discuss in detail methods by which we can design and implement MDx sensors using IC technologies. We will provide specific examples, tradeoff analysis, and manufacturing options for realizing a true CMOS MDx biochip. At the end, we will list key challenges and potential opportunities in this field."


Go to the original article...

ON Semi Unveils 2.3MP GS Sensor

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

BusinessWire: ON Semiconductor introduced the AR0234CS 2.3MP CMOS sensor with global shutter. The new sensor is designed for a variety of applications including machine vision cameras, AR/VR/MR headsets, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) and barcode readers.

The AR0234CS captures 1080p video and single frames operating up to 120fps with industry-leading shutter efficiency.

The need for quality image sensing is increasing, as more manufacturers are automating with vision-based expert systems,” said Gianluca Colli, VP and GM, Industrial and Consumer Sensor Division (ICSD) Group at ON Semiconductor. “That demand requires optimizing size, performance and power of the image sensor. ON Semiconductor is one of the first manufacturers to recognize and respond to this need with the AR0234CS.

Other advanced features of the AR0234CS include: programmable regions of interest with on-chip histogram, auto exposure control and 5 x 5 statistics engine, fully integrated strobe illumination control, a flexible row and column skip mode, along with horizontal and vertical mirroring, windowing and pixel binning.

Go to the original article...

css.php