Thursday, January 19, 2017

Technavio Market Report

BusinessWire: Technavio publishes a report on global optoelectronics market, expected to grow at a CAGR of close to 17% over 2017-2021. Technavio compares image sensor market size with other optoelectronic components:


In some parts, Technavio report looks like coming from a time capsule from 15 years ago:

"CCD image sensors were the first high-quality image sensors, which were initially used in cameras. They are being replaced by CMOS sensors gradually in every application. Though CCD sensor is superior in factors like light sensitivity, quality, and noise, CMOS image sensors have low power consumption and low manufacturing cost, leading to their increased adoption. So, in the future, CCD sensors are likely to be replaced entirely by CMOS sensors.

The growing advances in the image sensors are attributed to their increasing implementation in several imaging devices such as camera modules for consumer electronic devices and digital cameras.
"

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

TSMC RTS Noise Research

TSMC publishes an open source paper "CMOS Image Sensor Random Telegraph Noise Time Constant Extraction From Correlated To Uncorrelated Double Sampling" by Calvin Yi-Ping Chao, Honyih Tu, Thomas Wu, Kuo-Yu Chou, Shang-Fu Yeh, and Fu-Lung Hsueh in IEEE Journal of the Electron Devices Society, Jan. 2017 issue.

Abstract:

A new method for on-chip random telegraph noise (RTN) characteristic time constant extraction using the double sampling circuit in an 8.3 Mpixel CMOS image sensor is described. The dependence of the measured RTN on the time difference between the double sampling and the key equation used for time constant extraction are derived from the continuous time RTN model and the discrete event RTN model. Both approaches lead to the same result and describe the data reasonably well. From the detailed study of the noisiest 1000 pixels, we find that about 75% to 85% of them show the signature of a single-trap RTN behavior with three distinct signal levels, and about 96% of the characteristic time constants fall between 1 μs and 500 μs with the median around 10 μs at room temperature.

AltaSens Announcement

AltaSens website posted an official JVC-Kenwood announcement:

"Dear Valued Customer:

Please be advised that, in connection with restructuring our business strategy concerning CMOS sensors at our wholly-owned subsidiary AltaSens, Inc. (California, USA), we have made changes to our management team at AltaSens, Inc. as well as changes to our strategy for operations in the United States.

With respect to our current product offerings (AL41410C, AL-CM460), as well as products that are still under warranty, JVC KENWOOD will support AltaSens in honoring its commitments.

We appreciate your continued patronage.

JVC KENWOOD Corporation
"

Thanks to SD for the link!

Image Sensor Auto 2017 Confirmed Speakers

Image Sensor Auto event to be held in Dusseldorf, Germany, on April 24-26, 2017 publishes a list of confirmed speakers:
  • Jens Benndorf
    COO, Managing Director
    DreamChip Technologies GmbH
  • Judd Heape
    Senior Director, Imaging and Vision Group
    ARM
  • Carl Jackson
    CTO and Founder
    SensL
  • Marco Jacobs
    VP of Marketing
    Videantis
  • Akhilesh Kona
    Senior Analyst, Automotive Electronics & Semiconductor
    IHS Markit Technology
  • Frédéric Large
    Research and Advanced Engineering Department, Vision Systems and ADAS Applications
    PSA Group
  • Gregory Roffet
    Camera System Expert
    STMicroelectronics
  • Igor Tryndin
    Camera Architect
    NVIDIA
  • Senthil Yogamani
    Technical Lead
    Valeo Vision Systems
  • Young-Jun Yoo
    Head of Strategic Planning for R&D
    Nextchip

Digitimes on CMOS Sensors Demand

Digitimes publishes an infro from its sources on image sensor market this year:
  • Handsets with dual-lens cameras spur demand for CMOS sensors
  • More mid-range smartphones are expected to feature a dual lens cameras in 2017
  • Mobile devices consume 70% of CMOS sensors
  • Automotive market has expanded for CMOS image sensors
  • The supply of CMOS sensors becomes tight

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

MediSens Conference Videos

MediSens conference held in Dec 2016 in London, UK, publishes ON Semi and Hamamatsu interviews in its Youtube channel:





In addition, MediSens filmed all the presentations, they can be accessed by attendees for free, and for non-attendees for a fee.

Also, News-Medical publishes its review of the conference.

EETimes on ADAS Vision Processors Race

EETimes article on ADAS processors race talks about emerging competitors of Mobileye ADAS vision processor:

"During the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, companies ranging from MediaTek and Renesas to NXP and Ambarella, told us they are working on “alternatives” to Mobileye’s EyeQ chips. On the opening day of CES, On Semiconductor announced that it has licensed CEVA's imaging and vision platform for its automotive advanced driver assistance (ADAS) product lines."

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oscar-Winning Image Sensors

Oscars.org: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announces its scientific and technical awards. Among them, two are image sensor related: RED for upgradeable image sensor, and Sony CineAlta F65 for high performance and unique color pattern.

  • To RED Digital Cinema for the pioneering design and evolution of the RED Epic digital cinema cameras with upgradeable full-frame image sensors.
    RED’s revolutionary design and innovative manufacturing process have helped facilitate the wide adoption of digital image capture in the motion picture industry.
  • To Sony for the development of the F65 CineAlta camera with its pioneering high-resolution imaging sensor, excellent dynamic range, and full 4K output.
    Sony’s unique photosite orientation and true RAW recording deliver exceptional image quality.

Update: The ARRI and Panavision camera awards are said to be image sensor related too:

  • To ARRI for the pioneering design and engineering of the Super 35 format Alexa digital camera system.
    With an intuitive design and appealing image reproduction, achieved through close collaboration with filmmakers, ARRI’s Alexa cameras were among the first digital cameras widely adopted by cinematographers.
  • To Panavision and Sony for the conception and development of the groundbreaking Genesis digital motion picture camera.
    Using a familiar form factor and accessories, the design features of the Genesis allowed it to become one of the first digital cameras to be adopted by cinematographers.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Reportedly, Altasens Closed Down

As written in comments to Altasens news post, apparently, the company has been closed down on Friday, the 13th of January, 2017.

From Altasens web site, still active for now:

"AltaSens is a wholly owned subsidiary of JVC KENWOOD Corporation.

The company was originally founded in 2004 as a fabless global supplier of imaging sensors. Our earliest roots trace back to our original formation as the CMOS Imaging Sensors Group within the Rockwell Scientific Company in 2000.

AltaSens spun off from Rockwell in 2004, at the precise time to make its mark in the nascent HD broadcasting market, just as the FCC set its mandate for broadcast-industry HD transmission. Adding to the technology provided by AltaSens’ technical team and the associated intellectual property from Rockwell were the business acumen and initial funding that were provided by ITX Corporation of Tokyo, Japan. The new company introduced the world’s first 1080p60 CMOS sensors at the NAB show in April of 2004.

Subsequently, AltaSens became a wholly owned subsidiary of ITX Corporation. During this time, the company delivered several unique sensors meeting specialized requirements for prototype imaging cameras that were not made available for commercial sale.

AltaSens is currently a leading supplier of imaging sensors for HD videoconferencing and has supplied imaging sensors for many types of HDTV cameras, including the first Blu Ray camcorders offered in the global marketplace.

The leadership team at AltaSens has decades of international business and advanced technology development experience in the semiconductor industry. We have successfully created many innovative imaging sensor designs for leading-edge cameras and scientific instruments. Working closely with our customers as well as our talented sensor design, wafer production, sensor packaging, sensor production, logistics, and quality assurance teams, we bring together world-class expertise and creativity to supply the best possible CMOS imaging sensor for each specific application.
"

Lester Kozlowski and Gregory Chow
in an early AltaSens Lab

Nintendo Switch Controller Features 3D Camera

Arstechnica: The newly announced Nintendo Switch gaming console features 3D camera in its controllers:

"The most intriguing surprise inside the Joy-Con controller is a motion-depth infrared camera, which Nintendo's designers insist can differentiate between distinct hand shapes. To illustrate this, Nintendo reps showed off the controller recognizing hand shapes for rock, paper, and scissors. The tracker will also be able to detect exactly how far an object is from the controller. Nintendo says these will be able to record full video "in the future."

The Joy Con's motion-tracking IR camera.
The IR camera is able to recognize hand shapes
The camera also measures distance to an object