Archives for August 2015

ON Semi Plans Comeback to Smartphone Cameras

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

SeekingAlpha's ON Semiconductors Q2 2015 earnings call transcript has few interesting statements about the company's planned comeback to the camera phone market.

Ian Ing - MKM Partners:
"Image sensors you talked about strengthened surveillance in automotive, but where are you in terms of turning more selective in the commodity types of market like handsets and consumer is that something that’s still has to play out?"

Keith D. Jackson, CEO:
"Actually we’re there, we’re participating the majority of everything in the handset piece which is the most commoditized is at the 13 megapixel rates, where we can still get some differentiation and in the more consumer pieces that you might see in the homes also again we’ve got instead of higher resolution products there and the lower resolution products are tailing off."

Few other interesting quotes:

"Revenue for our Image Sensor Group was approximately $173 million as compared to approximately $171 million for the first quarter. Aptina was nicely accretive to our non-GAAP EPS and we remain on track to generate $0.08 of non-GAAP EPS accretion from Aptina in the current year."

"We continue to gain increasing traction with our image sensors in the automotive market. If you are seeing double-digit growth in attach rates for A-dash for model year 2016 vehicles. Our design win momentum continues to accelerate and we’ve secured additional design wins for A-dash and rear view cameras with leading OEMs in Americas, Europe and South Korea. We’re seeing higher than expected attach rate for our rear view cameras driven by consumer demand ahead of government regulations and mandates."

"We are seeing strong traction for our fast focused high resolution image sensors in the sports action camera market. Adoption of our three megapixel and two megapixel image sensors for digital video recorders for cars in China is accelerating."

"Robust growth in the security market again generated strong demand for our image sensing solutions during the quarter. As expected, we saw strong volumes in China as the country began to implement a large scale transition to 1080p security cameras which will utilize our two megapixel, 1/3-Inch and three megapixel 1/3-Inch sensors. We continue to see good penetration globally in the top-tier machine vision camera manufacturers for the Python VGA CMOS image sensor devices, which reported a 23% sales increase compared to the first quarter.

In the medical market, we had a record quarter with strong growth from our imaging and hearing aid customers.
"

Go to the original article...

Face Recognition Counter-Measures

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Popular Science, WSJ: Japanese National Institute of Informatics announces eyeglasses that help users protect their privacy by disabling facial-recognition systems in cameras.

The glasses appear to be a completely passive device, and said to rely on "unique angles and patterns on its lens that reflect or absorb light. This prevents the recognition systems in digital cameras and smartphones from spotting a human face in a shot and focusing on it."

The Privacy Visor is the world’s first product with this technology,” the institute’s Professor Isao Echizen said. “We are often told not to unveil our personal information to others, but our faces are also a type of an ID. There should be a way to protect that.” Tests with cameras on smartphones showed that the eyeglasses were able to trick the facial-recognition system 90% of the time.


Thanks to DK for the link!

Go to the original article...

Canon PowerShot G3X review – big sensor, bigger zoom!

Camera Labs and DSLR Tips latest news and reviews        Go to the original article...

The PowerShot G3X is Canon's long-awaited entry into the big zoom / big sensor category, currently driven by Sony's RX10 and Panasonic's FZ1000. Like those models it employs a 1in sensor that's roughly four times the area of most super-zooms, but it outguns them with a longer 25x optical range, equivalent to 24-600mm. Its 3.2in tilting screen is the only one of its rivals to be touch-sensitive and unusually there's also microphone and headphone jacks. In our Canon G3X review we've compared it against the Lumix FZ1000 and Sony RX10 to help you choose the right high-end super-zoom!

Go to the original article...

How to Measure Anti-Blooming Efficiency

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Albert Theuwissen publishes a first blog post in series of anti-blooming efficiency measurements. The first post talks about how NOT to measure anti-blooming.

Go to the original article...

Pixart Reports Q2 2015 Results

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Pixart reports its Q2 2015 results:

"The revenue in 2015Q2 decreased by 0.6% QoQ to NT$1,084.6 million. Compared with previous quarter, 2015Q2 gross margin was slightly improved to 49.0%. The operating expenses decreased by 0.8% QoQ to NT$466.3 million. Due to favorable product mix change and the decrease in operating expenses, 2015Q2 operating margin was improved to 6.0% from 5.3% in previous quarter. The net income and the basic earnings per share for 2015Q2 were NT$59.5 million and NT$0.51 respectively."

The company's investor presentation updates on the product mix:

Go to the original article...

Yole on Sony Domination

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Yole Developpement publishes an article "Image sensor “Battle of the Giants”: Sony invests $4B. What does it means for the CIS industry?" by Pierre Cambou. The main point of the article is:

"Yole forecasts that the CIS industry will reach $10B this year, with Sony remaining the undisputed world leader --mainly at image sensor level, but gaining strong momentum at camera module level too. And what will Sony’s $4B be used for? Probably to increase capacity, enhance R&D efforts, and further widen the gap between its competitors. It may also be used in applications that will generate a firm lead in automotive, and to develop sensing technologies for consumer and automotive applications. With this bold financing move, Sony is leveraging its leading technology position and demonstrating the confidence it has in its products, its technology, and its future.

Sony is increasing in strength, and there’s little the competition can do to counter its growth.
"

Go to the original article...

Eye on Automotive Sensors

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Andrew Burt, Toshiba America's VP of Image Sensor Business Unit, continues his "Eye on Sensors" blog with a second post on automotive image sensors. The post primarily talks about TU-Automotive Conference held in Detroit in June.

Go to the original article...

BASF Spins Off its 3D Sensor Project into a Separate Company

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

BASF spins off its chemical 3D sensor project into a separate company named trinamiX. The new company has its web site under construction and only says "trinamiX is located in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and a newly founded 100% subisidiary of BASF SE, the leading chemical company. As a pioneer, we are developing the most versatile sensor system in adaptive 3D measurement technology: XperYenZ."

The company registration documents state that the purpose of the company is, in Google translation, "The development and marketing of sensor technology based on organic photosensitive dyes and the production and sales of optical sensors based on this technology."

trinamiX trademark registration says that it's intended for "Photographic, cinematographic and optical apparatuses and instruments; apparatus for recording, transmission or reproduction of images."

The one and only picture on trinamiX web site suggests the 3D photography intentions of the new company:

Go to the original article...

Etron to Spin-Off its Stereo Depth Map Controller in a Separate Business

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Digitimes: Etron Technology announces plans to spin off its 3D stereo depth map processor businesses into a wholly-owned separate company. The move is said to keep its talent and enhance product line. The planned spin-off will be discussed at a special shareholders meeting on October 5. The spin-off date is expected to be January 11, 2016, Etron indicated.

Go to the original article...

Espros CCD/CMOS Process Article

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

LaserFocusWorld: Espros Photonics publishes an article on its CCD/CMOS process capabilities "CMOS Sensors: CMOS and CCD combine in NIR time-of-flight on-chip imager" by Beat De Coi, CEO of ESPROS Photonics, and Steven Freedman, managing director at ESPROS.

The article explains why it's difficult to create a real dual-poly CCD process in advanced process nodes:

"However, by using size features less than 0.25 μm, dual-poly is no longer possible because process nodes starting at 180 nm and less uses a chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) process in the BEOL. CMP requires an absolutely flat surface for the layer deposition and structuring, so a second poly silicon layer is no longer possible. The key to a good CTE is a very narrow poly gap between the two gates. Such a narrow gap can be easily achieved by the use of a 45 nm (or less) process. However, because the non-recurring engineering and tooling costs (NRE) of such technology nodes are prohibitively high, they eliminate themselves as a candidate for a CCD implementation on CMOS. The ESPROS technology tackles this dilemma by a new designed manufacturing process. This new manufacturing process allows poly gaps of less than 100 nm, even in a standard 180 nm process environment."

"...a new mixed process from ESPROS Photonics that combines CMOS and CCD attributes addresses these limitations. The choice of a suitable substrate material contributes, among other things, to a fully depleted detector thickness of 50 μm. This results in a superior QE in the NIR region, maintaining >80% QE at λ = 850 nm and >50% QE at λ = 950 nm."

Go to the original article...

IHS: 1.8 Billion Gesture Control Interfaces to Ship in 2015

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Electronics360: The global market for gesture sensing interfaces is set to grow 10% this year thanks to growth in emerging applications such as virtual reality games, smartwatches, smart TVs and other consumer electronics, according to IHS.

Gesture sensing interfaces are poised to reach 1.8 billion units in 2015 and by 2019 IHS forecasts 2.5 billion gesture sensing interfaces will be shipped in consumer electronics and IT applications. “Gesture sensing control will not compete with touch screens, but will instead be complementary, because each technology is appropriate for specific applications,” says Calvin Hsieh, director for touch and user interfaces for IHS. Hsieh uses smart TVs as an example where touch screens will not work because the TV is too far from viewers. “Gesture sensing control is poised to become the second most common user interface for smart devices after touch screens.” He cautions, however, that it will take time to develop apps that rely on gesture sensing and change consumer’s touchscreen centric behaviors.

Among the leading gesture sensing technologies, optical-based 3D depth sensing—such as time of flight (ToF), stereo vision and structured light for freehand gesture control—will make up 66% of the sensor unit shipments for game console applications in 2015. 3D depth sensing technologies are also making an impact in webcam technology for notebook PCs, where it is forecast to grow 43% this year. This will push 3D depth sensing technologies to overtake 2D technology this year, IHS says.

Go to the original article...

Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Features Brand New ISP

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Qualcomm announces its next generation Snapdragon 820 AP featuring the newly designed ISP:

"Second is the brand new Qualcomm Spectra camera ISP. This dual-ISP, our most advanced to date, is designed to provide superior camera image quality and experiences. Qualcomm Spectra supports the latest 14-bit sensors for a wider range of colors and more natural skin tones. You can also expect better photos through the hybrid autofocus framework and multi-sensor fusion algorithms that support next generation computational photography."

Qualcomm Spectra ISP is said to be company's most advanced dual-imaging signal processing unit to-date, integrated and designed to provide best-in-class camera image quality and end-user benefits, including:

  • Superior image quality, with more natural skin tones via advanced, 14-bit dual ISPs supporting up to 3 simultaneous cameras (e.g. one facing the user, and two rear facing), and up to 25 megapixels at 30 frames per-second with zero shutter lag;
  • Improved photos with Qualcomm Spectra ISP’s flexible hybrid autofocus framework and multi-sensor fusion algorithms supporting next generation computational photography;
  • Improved power efficiency when compared to previous generations, better noise immunity and higher throughput via advanced compression techniques and use of the latest MIPI serial C-PHY interface; and
  • Next generation Computer Vision and other use cases via direct-to-DSP raw bayer data streaming and pre-processing capabilities.

EETimes reports that the new ISP is "able to handle up to one 25-megapixel, or two 12-Mpixel sensors that could be used for depth sensing cameras."

The new chip samples are expected in the second half of this year. Devices based on Snapdragon 820 are expected to be available in 1H 2016.

Androidpolice publishes Qualcomm's slide deck from the new AP presentation:

Go to the original article...

Interview with Kyushik Hong, Samsung LSI

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

After the Samsung Imaging Forum, Indian Economic Times publishes an interview with Kyushik Hong, VP of Marketing, Samsung System LSI business. Few quotes:

"Samsung System LSI has three groups: contract manufacturing for others (the Foundry business), the System on Chip or SoC business, which takes care of application processors (Exynos is part of this) and the third is LSI (imaging sensors).

Automotive is one good example where demand is really increasing. Some modern high-end cars now can have up to 20 imaging sensors built in. Some are used for the more mundane reverse cameras, other more sophisticated systems can track cars and obstacles around you while driving, read and interpret data from traffic lights and signboards, track the driver's state, warn you if you are too close to other cars or warn you if you are straying from a lane. All these systems rely on imaging sensors. Internet connected surveillance cameras for home use are on the rise as are consumer drones with HD cameras. Cleaning robots use image sensors too - to detect obstacles and move around them. Finally, even the medical industry seems to be taking to this. For instance, a company we're in talks with is developing technologies that use imaging sensors for non-invasive blood tests. This is all possible because these sensors can see spectrum of light that the human eye cannot.
"

Go to the original article...

IC Insights: CMOS Sensors are in the Midst of a New Wave of Growth

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

IC Insights: After leveling off in the second half of the last decade, CMOS image sensors are in the midst of a strong new wave of growth driven by a broad range of applications and promises to lift worldwide sales to record-high levels each year through 2019. According to IC Insights, CMOS image sensor sales are climbing 15% in 2015 to reach an all-time high of $10.1 billion after a strong 19% increase in 2014 and subpar 4% growth in 2013 that primarily resulted from steep price erosion and inventory corrections in camera phones. CMOS image sensor unit shipments are now projected to grow 19% in 2015 to a record-high 3.7 billion after rising 20% in 2014 and 2013.


For about 15 years, digital cameras in cellphone handsets have been the dominant system application in CMOS image sensors and that will continue to be the case in the second half of this decade, but growth rates are expected to be pushed higher by new automotive and machine-vision applications, security and surveillance systems (including body cameras), medical imaging, and a wide assortment of optical-sensing nodes tied to the Internet of Things (IoT). In 2014, about 70% of CMOS image sensor sales ($6.2 billion) were for embedded cameras in cellphones, but that percentage is expected to fall to 49% in 2019 ($7.3 billion), which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 3.4%. In comparison, total CMOS image sensor sales are projected to grow by a CAGR of 11.1% in the five-year forecast period to reach $15.0 billion in 2019.

IC Insights forecasts sales of CMOS image sensor sales for automotive safety systems will climb by a CAGR of 57.4% to $2.1 billion in 2019 and represent 14% of the market’s total dollar volume that year compared to just 3% in 2014. CMOS sensor sales for security systems and surveillance applications are expected to grow by a CAGR of 38.4% in the five-year forecast period to $899 million in 2019, which will represent 6% of the market’s total sales that year versus 2% in 2014. Medical and scientific instrument applications driving up CMOS image sensors sales by a CAGR of 36.0% to $824 million in 2019 or about 6% of the total market compared to about 2% in 2014. Toys and video game applications are expected to increase sales of CMOS image sensors by a CAGR of 32.7% to $255 million by 2019, which will represent 2% of the market’s total revenue compared to 1% in 2014.

Major suppliers of CMOS image sensors are responding to the shift in what’s driving sales growth. For instance, CMOS image sensor leader Sony now aims to become the largest supplier of imaging solutions for automotive systems by the middle of the next decade after it accomplished its goal of taking the top spot in camera phones in the past few years. Sony’s CMOS image sensor sales grew 31% in 2014 to about $2.8 billion, which represented a 32% share of the market’s total revenues. After Sony, OmniVision was second in CMOS sensor sales ($1.4 billion in 2014) followed by Samsung ($1.2 billion), Sharp ($720 million), SK Hynix ($488 million), and China’s GalaxyCore ($360 million), according to IC Insights’ supplier ranking.

Go to the original article...

MIPI M-PHY Boosts Speed to 11.6Gbps

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

BusinessWire: MIPI Alliance updates its MIPI M-PHY specification to v4.0, and adds a fourth gear (Gear 4 at 11.6 Gbps), to double the potential bandwidth per lane compared to the previous specification. It introduces adaptive receiver equalization to improve support for challenging channels while maintaining the peak transmission rate of 11.6 Gbps/lane or 46.4 Gbps over 4 lanes. It also scales optical media converter (OMC) data rates up to Gear 4, to build connections that are meters in length to support MIPI M-PHY’s use on more types of devices and the growing market for mobile-influenced platforms, such as automotive systems.

Support for M-PHY v4.0 will be included in the next versions of MIPI UniPro and MIPI CSI-3, which will undergo development later in 2015. Cameras that use CSI-3, when based on UniPro enabled by M-PHY v4.0, will be able to transmit 4K video with 60 fps and 12 bits per pixel on a single differential pair.

We are pleased to announce that MIPI M-PHY will deliver a peak data rate of 11.6 Gbps on one lane and increase bus and system efficiency,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of the board of MIPI Alliance. “The new specification dramatically bolsters performances and throughput of data transmitted on 2 pins and offers companies new opportunities to enhance the capabilities of protocols that operate on this technology.

I want to emphasize as well that advancement of M-PHY does not stop with this release,” said Henrik Icking, chair of the MIPI Alliance PHY working group. “The working group plans to continue evolving this versatile specification to meet future data transport needs for mobile and mobile-influenced ecosystems.

Go to the original article...

Kodak First Digital Camera

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

New York Times publishes a story how Steven Sasson invented the first digital camera in 1973 at Kodak. The article talks about the imaging landscape at that days and has the pictures of the first digital camera and a computer system displaying the first Kodak digital images:


Thanks to DSSB for the link!

Go to the original article...

High Speed Camera Reference Designs

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

PRNewswire: Cypress and THine introduce what they say the industry's fastest USB 3.0 camera reference design kit with 13MP resolution at 21fps. The new Ascella design kit is based on Cypress's EZ-USB CX3 USB3.0 camera controller and THine's THP7312 ISP.


While we are at high speed cameras, Mediatek's 10-core Helio X20 mobile AP, to be launched in Dec. 2015, supports cameras with 32MP resolution at 24fps speed, with dual camera depth map processing and numerous other image processing features:

Go to the original article...

TSMC Buys Omnivision Stake in Visera

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Taipei Times reports that TSMC board had approved a plan to acquire Taiwan OmniVision Investment Holding Co Ltd and a 49% stake in VisEra Holding Cayman Ltd, both local subsidiaries of OmniVision Technologies Inc, for US$126M. TSMC’s proposed deal increases its stake in VisEra Holding to 98.2%. VisEra Holding was established as a joint venture between TSMC and OmniVision Technologies. Now Omnivision needs to sell some of its assets in Taiwan to allow a regulatory approval of its acquisition by a Chinese investment consortium.

Go to the original article...

IR Interviews Light Founders

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Imaging Resource publishes an interview with Light startup CEO Dave Grannan and CTO Rajiv Laroia. Few quotes:

Dave Grannan: It’s been a ton of progress, both on the commercial front and the technology front. You know what we’re doing is pretty radical, using multiple small cameras to give SLR quality in smartphone form factor. <...> Our Series A funding was used to take us from concept to prototype. Series B is being used to grow the team and take us from prototype to production and shipping of a final product.

IR: So, you now have working prototypes that are taking pictures now?

Dave Grannan: Yeah, it’s still a little bit in the early stages, but we’re to the point now where we’re starting to get the first photographs.

IR: At this point, do you have any assembled units that could be used to give examples of image quality obtainable using the technology?

Dave Grannan: Not that we’re releasing yet, but maybe in the next couple of months we’ll be prepared to do that.

IR: How far away do you think you are from manufacturing? How are things going with Foxconn and are there any updates on when we might see products with Light’s technology in them?

Dave Grannan: We’re not at liberty to reveal [others’] plans, but we expect to see some product announcements yet this year, toward the Fall/Q4 timeframe. We expect those products to be in-market by middle of next year.

Go to the original article...

Brightway Offers its Automotive Gated Image Sensor

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Automotive gated camera developer BrightWay Vision offers its fast gated image sensor as a product for sale. The company's Youtube video explains how it works, starting from time 1:18:



Go to the original article...

Canon EOS 5Ds review – the resolution King of DSLRs!

Camera Labs and DSLR Tips latest news and reviews        Go to the original article...

Canon's EOS 5DS is the highest resolution DSLR to date with a whopping 50.6 Megapixels - more than double the EOS 5D Mark III, not to mention a leapfrog over the Nikon D810 and Sony A7r II. Beyond the headline-grabbing resolution, much of the 5Ds remains the same as the three-year old 5D Mark III, including an absence of Wifi, while the video capabilities are actually a step backward. But for the Canon faithful, the wait for a high-res body is finally over. Is it the DSLR you've been waiting for? Find out in my Canon EOS 5Ds review!

Go to the original article...

Samsung Image Sensor Forum 2015 in India

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Samsung has held its first Samsung Image Sensor Forum 2015 in New Delhi, India, showcasing its latest image sensor products and technologies, including the 1.0μm-pixel sensor, RWB color pattern technology, and PDAF. The forum was attended by over 150 experts including partners and customers within the mobile imaging industry, including smartphone manufacturers and partners.

Samsung has been constantly introducing innovative image sensor technologies to deliver optimum performance on today’s ever-slimming smart mobile devices,” said Kyushik Hong, VP Marketing, System LSI Business at Samsung. “Gathering with industry leaders in India opens the door to further engagement and facilitates ongoing communication with ecosystem partners in supporting image sensor demands in India.

Go to the original article...

Himax and TowerJazz Q2 2015 Reports

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Himax Q2 2015 quarterly earnings report updates on the company's image sensor business:

"Our CMOS image sensors experienced a slow first half since 4G smartphone adoption in China remained weak. The lack of smartphone replacement demand hurt the shipments of our high end product offerings. Entering the third quarter, we are pleased to report that we have secured several new customers in the second half mass production pipeline with our 8-megapixel and 13-megapixel sensors."

SeekingAlpha earnings call transcript quotes the company CEO Jordan Wu:

"And on CMOS image sensors, our 8-megapixel and 13-megapixel, we are a latecomer to the demo of CMOS image sensors, you are aware and the very weak China demand this year certainly hasn't helped a player such as us. In particular for high-end products, customers they are actually more reluctant to adopt a newcomer's product, in particular when the demand is weak and when they probably sit on the higher level of inventory. But we are now seeing very promising new design wins of several customers which are scheduled to start mass production in this quarter and a lot also in Q4."

Update: Himax investor presentation dated by Aug. 2015 quotes IHS market forecast:


Just a couple days before that, in TowerJazz Q2 2015 earnings call, the CEO Russell Ellwanger said:

"For CMOS image sensor, in the last quarter we started mass production of 13 megapixel sensors at TPSCo based on our state-of-the-art 1.12 micro pixel technology. The 8 megapixel sensor with the same simple technology will add to mass production in the next quarter. For silicon it’s showing an excellent picture quality. We have won another customer for the very high end photography market in our 12-inch Fab.

Overall, we have many design winds for the 12-inch Fab that will materialize to mass production in 2016 and 2017, not just in smartphone high-end camera markets, but also in the high end photography and the security markets. In parallel, we are moving very fast with the development of global shutter technology in the array factor, TPSCo’s 8-inch 110 nanometer fab. We already won three customers from this technology which is the natural continuation of the road map where state-of-the-art global shutter technology presently running at 0.18 micro in Fab2 in Migdal HaEmek.

The mixed sensor production in Fab2 continues to steadily grow in all areas, expressly gesture controlled 3D, high-end photography, industrial cameras, medical dental x-ray sensors. We have new projects coming from our existing customers as well as new customers from all geographies including China.

Our focus for the next quarter is to support the very fast ramp expected in TPSCo 12-inch fab with our CIS customers, complete the development of our global shutter technology and support the ramp of our existing products in Fab2 that are expected to grow significantly in 2016. In parallel, we continue to put a lot of focus on the development of gesture recognition sensors with several leading customers in both the time of flight technology and structure by technology. We expect the gesture control segment to be a dominant part of our business in the coming years.

Finally, we have previously announced a partnership with [indiscernible] to build next generation, infrared cameras for smartphone application. We have successfully completed the development and are now shipping production volume of this technology supporting [indiscernible] new product ramp.
"

Go to the original article...

SD Optics Offers Fast Focusing MEMS Lens

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Korea-based SD Optics, a subsidiary of Stereo Display, Inc, unveils its Micro Mirror Array Lens System (MALS) presented in the company's Youtube video:



Go to the original article...

ST Combines SF and SEL Transistors

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

In a push to minimize the number of transistors in pixel while keeping the high readout speed, ST patent application US20150215559 "Pixel circuit with fast read out" by Cedric Tubert proposes to combine SF and SEL transistors in the neighboring rows. What serves as a SF transistor in one row, functions as SEL transistor for another row, and wise versa:

Go to the original article...

TSR on 2014 Image Sensor Market Shares

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

FT article on Sony strategies and intentions quotes TSR on image sensor market shares in 2014:


The article also quotes Sony CFO, Kenichiro Yoshida, saying: "Until now, we rarely turned to mergers and acquisitions for our research and development, but we will be looking for those opportunities to take on new challenges. <...> Potential M&A targets include start-ups with skills in computer algorithms to perform image processing."

Go to the original article...

Sony Presents its Solid-State RGB-IR Solution

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Nikkei: Sony presented its new RGB-IR solution at Infrared Array Sensor Forum 2015 on July 31, 2015. Sony has replaced a half of G color in Bayer CFA with white (W). By using data of the three primary colors in addition to W to perform data processing, it becomes possible to remove only near-infrared light signals, Sony said. As a result, a color image can be taken by without an IR-cut filter. The new technology is said to enable existing image sensors to take an image using not only visible light but near-infrared light just by replacing a color filter and image processing software. The color filter is supplied by Fujifilm.

The Japanese version of Nikkei article also has a picture explaining the new Sony technology:


The description reminds me Pixim patent US8619143 "Image sensor including color and infrared pixels" by Ricardo Motta, now belonging to Sony. The Pixim patent uses Gray instead of White in CFA, but looks similar in other aspects:

Go to the original article...

Low Temperature Detector Conference

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

The bi-annual International Workshop on Low Temperature Detectors (LTD) has been held in Grenoble, France on July 20- 24, 2015. Most of the presentations are published on-line and reveal quite a huge differences between the regular room temperature approaches and the cryogenic ones. One of the exotic techniques is Kinetic Inductance Detectors presented by Ben Mazin, UCSB:


Extrinsic Blocked Impurity Band detectors are now being made of Ge and use stacked ROIC, as presented in "Development for Germanium Blocked Impurity Band Far-Infrared Image Sensors with Fully-Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator CMOS Readout Integrated Circuit" by Takehiko Wada, et al.:

Go to the original article...

Olympus Proposes Polarization Selective Layer under CFA

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

Dpreview quotes Japanese language Egami blog on Olympus patent proposing a polarization selective layer underneath Bayer CFA:


The claim is that the polarization filters located in the separate layers reduce the light loss, as compared with a combined CFA-polarization filter design.

Thanks to BVB for the link!

Go to the original article...

Pelican Imaging Restructures to Focus on Depth Tech for AR/MR Headsets

Image Sensors World        Go to the original article...

PRNewswire: Pelican Imaging is using its camera array technology to deliver a depth solution for mixed/augmented reality devices. There is market transition in progress in both mobile and MR/AR markets where there is a need for robust depth solutions that work in all lighting conditions, over a broad range of distances.

Recently, Pelican Imaging restructured its company to simplify its organization and align the internal resources with the company's overall business strategy in order to deliver this solution to the schedule required by its customers. This restructuring provides Pelican Imaging financial stability and sufficient resources needed to execute on addressing the needs of these markets.

Chris Pickett, Pelican CEO, said: "As I mentioned in my presentation recently at Augmented World Expo, we believe multi-baseline camera arrays augmented with near-IR patterned illumination can address the needs of depth imaging for these devices. This allows the system to perform robustly in both low light and bright light conditions while delivering high precision near- and far-field depth, providing advantages over 'time of flight' systems."

Go to the original article...

css.php