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Including switching transistor and photocell at each pixel site (e.g., "MOS-type" image sensor)

Subclass of:

348 - Television

348207990 - CAMERA, SYSTEM AND DETAIL

348294000 - Solid-state image sensor

348302000 - X - Y architecture

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DocumentTitleDate
20090219429SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS, METHOD OF DRIVING SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS, AND IMAGING SYSTEM - There is provided a solid-state imaging apparatus which, while shortening the reading time period, can prevent noise from being mixed. There are included: multiple pixels (09-03-2009
20100091163Image Sensor Having Enhanced Backside Illumination Quantum Efficiency - A system and method for image sensing is disclosed. An embodiment comprises a substrate with a pixel region and a logic region. A first resist protect oxide (RPO) is formed over the pixel region, but not over the logic region. Silicide contacts are formed on the top of active devices formed in the pixel region, but not on the surface of the substrate in the pixel region, and silicide contacts are formed both on the top of active devices and on the surface of the substrate in the logic region. A second RPO is formed over the pixel region and the logic region, and a contact etch stop layer is formed over the second RPO. These layers help to reflect light back to the image sensor when light impinges the sensor from the backside of the substrate, and also helps prevent damage that occurs from overetching.04-15-2010
20110205418PIXEL DRIVE CIRCUIT, IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A pixel drive circuit includes a plurality of pixel circuits each including a photoelectric converting unit for converting an incident light into an electric charge and accumulating the converted electric charge, the plurality of pixel circuits being arranged in a matrix shape, an address decoder for selecting the pixel circuits to be controlled which are arranged on an identical line, a storage circuit for storing operation information to be executed by the pixel circuits selected by the address decoder, and a control circuit for controlling an operation of the pixel circuits selected by the address decoder in accordance with a storage state of the storage circuit. The control circuit controls a charge discharging operation of discharging an electric charge remaining in the photoelectric converting unit of each of the pixel circuits. The storage circuit holds the storage state until the charge discharging operation is completed.08-25-2011
20090195683DRIVE UNIT FOR IMAGE SENSOR, AND DRIVE METHOD FOR IMAGING DEVICE - A drive unit for an image sensor of the present invention comprises, for horizontal scanning, a drive section performing addition and readout of a first FD (floating diffusion) shared by two pixels of the same color that are adjacent in a diagonal direction by simultaneously transferring electrical charge of the two pixels of the same color, and for a second FD shared by two pixels of different colors that are adjacent in a diagonal direction, transferring and reading out electrical charge of a pixel of one color among the two pixels of different colors.08-06-2009
20090195681Sampling and Readout of an Image Sensor Having a Sparse Color Filter Array Pattern - A CMOS image sensor or other type of image sensor comprises an array of pixels arranged in rows and columns, with the columns being separated into groups each comprising two or more columns that share a common output. The image sensor further comprises sampling and readout circuitry that includes, for each group of columns in the pixel array, a corresponding set of two or more column circuits. The sampling and readout circuitry is configured to sample the common output for each group of columns independently into one of the column circuits associated with that group, and to read out the common output for each group of columns as previously sampled into another of the column circuits associated with that group. The image sensor may be implemented in a digital camera or other type of image capture device.08-06-2009
20100039546CMOS PHOTOGATE 3D CAMERA SYSTEM HAVING IMPROVED CHARGE SENSING CELL AND PIXEL GEOMETRY - A photosurface for receiving and registering light from a scene, the photosurface comprising: a first semiconductor region in which electron-hole pairs are generated responsive to light incident on the photosurface; a single, first conductive region substantially overlaying all of the first semiconductor region; at least one second semiconductor region surrounded by the first semiconductor region; a different second conductive region for each second semiconductor region that surrounds the second semiconductor region and is electrically isolated from the first conductive region; wherein when the second conductive region is electrified positive with respect to the first conductive region, electrons generated by light incident on the first semiconductor region are collected in the second semiconductor region.02-18-2010
20100013974Remote image processing for wireless communication and personal safety applications - This invention relates to wireless communication products, digital camera phones (or wireless transceiver capable of recording and transmitting digital photos); Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) applications in wireless technologies; handheld wireless safety alarms; or wireless accessories combination thereof It streamlines “Threat Phone: camera phone automation for personal safety” (Inventor: Barrett Gay; patent application Ser. No. 11/068,449; publication no. US-2006-0199609-A1; Sep. 9, 2006). Provisional patent application for “Standalone Image Capturing and Remote Digital Processing for Wireless Personal Safety” was granted to Applicant Barrett Gay, Fairburn, Ga. on Feb. 12, 2007 (USPTO-PPA No. 60/900,925).01-21-2010
20080259195SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus including: a pixel section having unit pixels arranged into a two-dimensional matrix, each unit pixel containing a photoelectric conversion section for effecting a photoelectric conversion and an amplification section for amplifying and reading signal charges generated at the photoelectric conversion section; a current supply provided for each column for flowing a bias current to the amplification section; a column processing section provided for each column for processing a signal from the amplification section column by column; an output section for sequentially reading signals processed column by column at the column processing section and outputting them to an external signal processing circuit; and a bias current controlling section for controlling the bias current of the current supply in accordance with a gain setting at the external signal processing circuit.10-23-2008
20110194008PHOTOGRAPHING APPARATUS - Provided is a photographing apparatus capable of completely removing dust from a surface of an image pickup unit mounted in the photographing apparatus. The photographing apparatus includes: a lens unit comprising a plurality of lenses; an image pickup unit that receives image light from the lens unit to form the image light into an image; a filter disposed on a side of the image pickup unit; a first vibration generating unit that is coupled to a first side of the filter; and a second vibration generating unit that is coupled to a second side of the filter opposite to the first side.08-11-2011
20110194007CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - Disclosed herein is a Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. The CMOS image sensor includes a pixel array, a frame memory, and an analog-to-digital converter. The pixel array includes N unit pixels for converting optical signals, caused by light, into electric signals. The frame memory eliminates offset voltage included in reset voltage and signal voltage transmitted from the pixel array and internal offset voltage, and performs Correlated Double Sampling (CDS) on the reset voltage and the signal voltage. The analog-to-digital converter converts an analog signal, transmitted from the frame memory, into a digital signal.08-11-2011
20130076950IMAGE MATCHING, DATA COMPRESSION AND TRACKING ARCHITECTURES - Integrated photo detector receptor with Memristor Memory cell to perform simultaneous image capture and image matching as part of meta-security camera.03-28-2013
20130076951IMAGING ELEMENT, IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, MANUFACTURING APPARATUS AND MANUFACTURING METHOD - There is provided an imaging element including a transmission channel region provided in an optical black pixel region shielded from light from an outside of a semiconductor substrate by a light shielding film, for transmitting a charge existing inside the semiconductor substrate of the optical black pixel region to an outside of the optical black pixel region.03-28-2013
20130076952CMOS Image Sensor, Timing Control Method and Exposure Method Thereof - The invention discloses a CMOS image sensor, a timing control method and an exposure method thereof. The image sensor includes a pixel array composed of multiple pixel rows and a control chip controlling the array. The control chip controls each pixel row to expose in the exposure time during one exposure period of the pixel row, and then wait predetermined time after the exposure time to output data. In the invention, the exposure time of the image sensor is separated from the time of outputting data. Therefore, the working mode of the image sensor can be controlled more flexibly. By the manner of controlling the pixel rows in the sub-array of the image sensor to expose synchronously, the flash time of the light source is the same as the exposure time of each single sub-array, thereby improving the utilization efficiency of the source energy and ensuring real-time image sampling.03-28-2013
20090180017IMAGE SENSORS WITH PIXEL RESET - Techniques for use with image sensors include transferring a signal level from an active sensor pixel to a readout circuit, performing a flushed reset of the pixel, and isolating the pixel from the readout circuit during resetting of the pixel.07-16-2009
20100073540MULTIPLE MICROLENS SYSTEM FOR IMAGE SENSORS OR DISPLAY UNITS - An imager or display system with multiple lenses, which are formed, patterned and shaped over one or more pixels in an imager or display array. The multiple lenses provide for an improved concentration of light being refracted onto a photosensitive area or light diffused from a display pixel.03-25-2010
20100073539SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - The solid-state imaging device which includes unit pixels arranged in a matrix pattern, and adds signals from the unit pixels, includes: column signal lines which transmit the signals from the unit pixels in a column direction; and ADCs which perform analog-digital conversion on the signals transmitted through the column signal lines, adds the converted signals, and outputs the added signal. The ADCs determines whether or not each signal from the unit pixels is a defective signal exceeding a predetermined voltage rage: when determined as not a defective signal, holds, as a signal to be added, a signal obtained through the analog-digital conversion of the signal determined as not a defective signal; and when determined as a defective signal, holds, as a signal to be added, a signal that is not a signal obtained through the analog-digital conversion of the defective signal.03-25-2010
20130083227SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURING ELEMENT AND METHOD FOR DRIVING SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURING ELEMENT - A solid-state image capturing element includes: a plurality of pixels arranged in rows and columns, each of which outputs an electric signal corresponding to an amount of received light; a plurality of column signal lines each of which is disposed for a corresponding one of columns of the pixels and sequentially transfers the electric signal provided from the corresponding one of the columns of the pixels; and a plurality of holding circuits each of which is disposed for a corresponding one of the column signal lines and holds the electric signal transferred via the corresponding one of the column signal lines. Each of the holding circuits includes a circuit element including an input capacitance, and holds the electric signal in the input capacitance.04-04-2013
20080291309CURRENT/VOLTAGE MODE IMAGE SENSOR WITH SWITCHLESS ACTIVE PIXELS - A voltage and current mode active pixel sensor for high resolution imaging is presented. The photo pixel is composed of a photodiode and two transistors: reset and transconductance amplifier transistor. The switch transistor is moved outside the pixel, allowing for lower pixel pitch and increased linearity of the output photocurrent. The reset and amplifier (readout) transistors may also be shared among adjacent pixels by the introduction of transfer switches between the photodiodes and the source of the reset transistor and the gate of the readout transistor. The switch transistor outside the pixels provides biasing voltages or currents to the readout transistors to selectively turn them on when readout of the corresponding photodiode is desired and turns the readout transistor off when the corresponding photodiode is not to be read out. The increased linearity of the image sensor has greatly reduced spatial variations across the image after correlated double sampling and the column fix pattern noise is greatly improved.11-27-2008
20100045839IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An image pickup apparatus comprising: a plurality of pixels each including a photoelectric converting element; a plurality of capacitor which receive signals from the plurality of pixels at first terminals; a plurality of clamping switches for setting a second terminal of each of the plurality of capacitor into a predetermined electric potential; a plurality of first storing units for storing signals from the second terminals of the plurality of capacitor; a plurality of second storing units for storing the signals from the second terminals of the plurality of capacitor; a first common output line to which the signals from the plurality of first storing units are sequentially output; a second common output line to which the signals from the plurality of second storing units are sequentially output; and a difference circuit for operating a difference between the signal from the first common output line and the signal from the second common output line.02-25-2010
20100045838BOOSTER CIRCUIT, SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A booster circuit includes: an output terminal; a reference voltage generating section that generates a boosting reference voltage; a charge pump section that boosts the reference voltage and outputs the boosted reference voltage from the output terminal; and an output-terminal voltage holding section that holds the output terminal at a voltage of a high level at a standby time. The charge pump section includes an input node, at least one boosting node, at least one reference node, at least one boosting capacitor, and a plurality of switching transistors that are provided between the input node and the at least one boosting node, between a boosting node at a last stage and the output terminal, between the input node and the reference node, and between a reference potential and a reference node, and are switched on or off by a switch signal.02-25-2010
20100045837SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME - A solid-state imaging device includes a pixel region and a driving circuit region which are disposed on a semiconductor substrate, the pixel region being configured such that a photoelectric conversion unit and a signal scanning circuit unit are included and a matrix of unit pixels is disposed, and the driving circuit region being configured such that a driving circuit for driving the signal scanning circuit unit is disposed, a first pad which is provided on a peripheral region on the semiconductor substrate on a side of a light receiving surface, the light receiving surface being formed on a substrate surface which is opposite to a substrate surface where the signal scanning circuit unit is formed, and a second pad which is provided on a side where the signal scanning circuit unit is formed, and which is disposed only at a position overlapping the pixel region.02-25-2010
20100045836Image sensor and image sensing system including the same - An image sensor includes a conductive well in a semiconductor substrate, a photo sensitive device (PSD) in the semiconductor substrate below the conductive well, the PSD and conductive well overlapping each other, and a charge transmission unit in the semiconductor substrate and adjacent to the conductive well, the charge transmission unit having a structure of a recessed gate and being positioned in a recess region of the semiconductor substrate.02-25-2010
20090180015WIDE DYNAMIC RANGE PINNED PHOTODIODE ACTIVE PIXEL SENSOR (APS) - An image apparatus and method is disclosed for extending the dynamic range of an image sensor. A first linear pixel circuit produces a first pixel output signal based on charge integration by a first photo-conversion device over a first integration period. A second linear pixel circuit produces a second pixel output signal based on charge integration by a second photo-conversion device over a second integration period, where the second integration period is shorter than the first integration period. A sample-and-hold circuit captures signals representing the first and second pixel output signals.07-16-2009
20120206635IMAGE PROCESSING APPARATUS, IMAGE PROCESSING METHOD AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT - Disclosed herein is an image processing apparatus including: a storage section configured to store a correction matrix correcting crosstalk generated by a light or electron leak from an adjacent pixel existing among a plurality of pixels for receiving light in an imaging device; and a processing section configured to carry out processing to apply the correction matrix stored in the storage section to an image signal generated by the imaging device for each of the pixels.08-16-2012
20100103302SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS AND SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP METHOD - A solid-state image pickup apparatus comprising a pixel section which comprises a plurality of unit pixels which are arranged in a matrix, and converts an input optical signal to an electric signal, a column circuit which processes the electric signal which is outputted from the pixel section column by column, and a column circuit current controlling section which reduces current of column circuit, whose electric signal is not read out, than current of column circuit whose electric signal is read out, when a first mode which thins out and reads out electric signals of column circuits is set.04-29-2010
20100110254VLN BIASING SCHEME TO ACHIEVE LOW VERTICAL SHADING FOR HIGH-SPEED AND LARGE-FORMAT CMOS IMAGE SENSORS WITH TOP/BOTTOM READOUT SCHEME - A VLN biasing scheme implemented in an image sensor with top/bottom readout. A first and second current sink coupled to the top of a first column of pixels and a second column of pixels respectively. A third and fourth current sink coupled to the bottom of a first column of pixels and a second column of pixels respectively. During column readout, each current sink sinks an equal amount of current.05-06-2010
20100110255Chracteristic value generating circuit and imaging device - The present invention is to provide a characteristic value generating circuit and an imaging device that can generate anticipated variation in the performance of an imaging device due to the individual difference and can easily evaluate the result of correction processing for the variation. A variation generating circuit 05-06-2010
20100026868Wide Dynamic Range Image Capturing System Method and Apparatus - An image capture system is presented where the dynamic range of photo imaging devices, such as a still or video camera, is increased by varying sensor exposure time on a pixel-by-pixel basis under digital camera processor control. The systems photo sensors are continuously illuminated without reset over the exposure interval. In addition to being interrogated at the end of the exposure interval, the pixels are also non-destructively interrogated at one or more intermediate times during the interval. At each interrogation, the image capture system determines individually whether the pixels have saturated and if not, the parameter value is recorded; if the pixel has saturated, the previously stored value from the preceding interval is maintained. To produce the final sensor value for the whole exposure interval, the data for pixels that reached the saturation level are adjusted to compensate for their shortened exposure.02-04-2010
20130033632IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE THAT IS PROVIDED WITH PERIPHERAL CIRCUITS TO PREVENT CHIP AREA FROM BEING INCREASED, AND IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An image pickup device which suppresses an increase in chip area of peripheral circuits without degrading the performance of a pixel section and makes it possible to prevent costs from being increased. The image pickup device includes a first semiconductor substrate and a second semiconductor substrate. A pixel section includes photo diodes each for generate electric charges by photoelectric conversion, floating diffusions each for temporarily storing the electric charges generated by the photo diode, and amplifiers each connected to the floating diffusion, for outputting a signal dependent on a potential of the associated floating diffusion. Column circuits are connected to vertical signal lines, respectively, for performing predetermined processing on signals output from the pixel section to vertical signal lines.02-07-2013
20100066884Imaging method that continuously outputs a signal based on electric charges generated by a selected pixel unit without performing an operation of deselecting the selected pixel unit - An imaging apparatus includes a pixel unit array and a driving unit. Each pixel unit includes a plurality of photoelectric conversion units, a charge-voltage converter common to the plurality of photoelectric conversion units, a plurality of transfer units which transfer electric charges generated by the plurality of photoelectric conversion units to the charge-voltage converter, an output unit which outputs a signal based on the electric charges to a signal line, and a setting unit which sets the electric potential of the charge-voltage converter. Each pixel unit is selected or deselected in accordance with the electric potential set in the charge-voltage converter. The driving unit drives the pixel unit array so that the output unit continuously outputs, to the signal line, the signal based on the electric charges generated by the plurality of photoelectric conversion units in the selected pixel unit without performing an operation of deselecting the selected pixel unit.03-18-2010
20130088628SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING SYSTEM - A solid-state imaging device includes a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix, a plurality of readout circuits provided in each column of the plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix, configured to read out for each column a signal of the plurality of pixels, a plurality of comparison units configured to compare a signal output from the plurality of readout circuits with a reference signal whose level changes with time, a counter configured to perform a count operation from when the level of the reference signal starts to change, first and second buffers each configured to buffer a count value of the counter, and a plurality of storing units connected to the plurality of comparison units, configured to store a count value of the counter when a magnitude relation between a signal output from the plurality of the readout circuits and the reference signal is inverted.04-11-2013
20130050553IMAGE SENSOR HAVING A SAMPLER ARRAY - The invention relates to an image sensor with N rows of P active photosensitive pixels using MOS technology. The sensor comprises digitizing circuits organized with N rows of P processing circuits, each processing circuit of row rank i and of column rank j comprising a respective sampler for carrying out a correlated double sampling of the signals present on a column conductor of rank j and corresponding to the observation of an image dot over the same integration time for all the rows, and an analog-digital conversion means in order to supply digital values of the analog signals sampled. The sensor is particularly suited to operating in TDI (image scanning and integration) mode.02-28-2013
20090244344SYSTEMS, METHODS, AND DEVICES FOR PREVENTING SHOOT-THROUGH CURRENT WITHIN AND BETWEEN SIGNAL LINE DRIVERS OF SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICES - An imaging device driver for transmitting a signal onto a signal line for controlling transistors of a pixel row. The device includes a controller and associated circuitry for reducing shoot-through current within and between row driver circuits for driving the signal line. The controller reduces shoot-through current by preventing concurrent transmission of high and low signal outputs to the signal line by respective high and low voltage sources of the same or different row driver circuits.10-01-2009
20090316031CMOS solid state imaging device - Each pixel of a pixel matrix portion includes a photo diode, a floating diffusion, a transfer transistor for transferring a storage charge of the photo diode to the floating diffusion in response to a transfer pulse, a reset transistor for resetting the floating diffusion in response to a reset pulse, and a reading circuit for reading a voltage of the floating diffusion to a column signal line in response to a row selection pulse. A timing generator repeats a counting of subframes, and switches a frame consisting of the subframes in designated number. A vertical scanning circuit controls whether or not the reset pulse, the transfer pulse, and the row selection pulse should be fed to respective rows of the pixel matrix portion every subframe, and controls timings of the reset pulse and the transfer pulse in each subframe.12-24-2009
20090251579Image Sensor Circuit - An image sensor circuit includes a CMOS image sensor with light sensitive pixels arranged in rows and columns and a readout circuitry. The readout circuitry includes storage means with a CDS stage for storing signals read out from the pixels at two different time instants between two subsequent reset phases and an analogue-to-digital converter, wherein the CDS stage comprises a subtracting means for subtracting the stored signals from each other and wherein the result of the subtraction is fed to the analogue-to-digital converter as a differential signal.10-08-2009
20090303369SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CAMERA - The number of necessary sampling and holding capacitors is reduced. A solid-state image pickup device has signal lines to which photoreceiving elements are connected, a clamp circuit that has clamp capacitors in which one terminal is connected to the signal lines and the other terminals are short-circuited, has a switch for applying a reference voltage to the other terminals by the clamping operation, and adds signals from the plurality of photoreceiving elements provided in the row direction along with the clamping operation, adding means (switches and capacitors) which is connected to the other terminals of the clamp capacitors, adds addition signals of the respective photoreceiving element rows outputted from the other terminals and adds the signals of the plurality of photoreceiving elements provided in the column direction; an amplifier connected to the adding means; a switch for resetting the input side of the amplifier; and circuit means (switches and capacitors) for outputting an offset of the amplifier and the signal from the amplifier.12-10-2009
20090303368IMAGE SENSOR WITH ON-CHIP SEMI-COLUMN-PARALLEL PIPELINE ADCS - An imaging device with a semi-column-parallel pipeline analog-to-digital converter architecture. The semi-column-parallel pipeline architecture allows multiple column output lines to share an analog-to-digital converter. Analog-to-digital conversions are performed in a pipelined manner to reduce the conversion time, which results in shorter row times and increased frames rate and data throughput. The architecture also enhances the pitch of the analog-to-digital converters, which allows high performance, high resolution analog-to-digital converters to be used. As such, semi-column-parallel pipeline architecture overcomes the shortcomings of the typical serial and column-parallel architectures.12-10-2009
20090303367SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus including: a pixel section having two-dimensionally arranged pixels each containing a photoelectric conversion device for converting a light signal into a signal electric charge and accumulating the signal electric charge, an amplification means for amplifying and outputting as a pixel signal the signal electric charges accumulated at the photoelectric conversion device, a transfer means for transferring the accumulated signal electric charges to the amplification means, and a reset means for resetting the signal electric charges; a vertical scanning section for outputting a vertical scanning signal to drive/control the pixel section row by row; and a vertical selecting section for generating a row transfer signal in accordance with the vertical scanning signal to drive the transfer means and for generating a row reset signal having a falling edge delayed by a predetermined amount from the row transfer signal to drive the reset means.12-10-2009
20090303366INTERLEVEL CONDUCTIVE LIGHT SHIELD - A CMOS image sensor pixel includes a conductive light shield, which is located between a first dielectric layer and a second dielectric layer. At least one via extends from a top surface of the second dielectric layer to a bottom surface of the first dielectric layer is formed in the metal interconnect structure. The conductive light shield may be formed within a contact level between a top surface of a semiconductor substrate and a first metal line level, or may be formed in any metal interconnect via level between two metal line levels. The inventive CMOS image sensor pixel enables reduction of noise in the signal stored in the floating drain.12-10-2009
20090002536Biasing scheme for large format CMOS active pixel sensors - An image sensor includes circuitry compensating for voltage drops in a V01-01-2009
20090040354IMAGE-PICKUP APPARATUS AND CONTROL METHOD THEREOF - An image-pickup apparatus 02-12-2009
20090040353IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD OF DRIVING SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device includes plural color detection pixels (R, G, B) and plural luminance detection pixels (W). The color detection pixels (R, G, B) and the luminance detection pixels (W) are mixed and arranged in a two-dimensional array on a surface of a semiconductor substrate. The solid state imaging device is configured to read detection signals of the color detection pixels (R, G, B) and detection signals of the luminance detection pixels (W) independently. In driving of the solid-state imaging device, a first time period from a time when the color detection pixels (R, G, B) start to be exposed to a time when the detection signals are read and a second time period from a time when the luminance detection pixels (W) start to be exposed to a time when the detection signals are read are controlled independently.02-12-2009
20090040352SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE, ANALOG/DIGITAL CONVERSION METHOD FOR SOLID STATE IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE, AND IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE - A solid state image capture device includes a pixel array unit having unit pixels including a photoelectric conversion element disposed in a matrix shape and analog/digital conversion means for converting an analog pixel signal read from the unit pixel of the pixel array unit into digital data. The analog/digital conversion means includes a comparator unit for converting a magnitude of the pixel signal into information in a time axis direction, a counter unit for performing a count process during a time period from a start time of a comparison process at the comparator unit to an end time of the comparison process, a multi-phase clock generate unit for generating multi-phase clocks having a constant phase difference, a latch unit for latching logic states of the multi-phase clocks, and a decode unit for decoding latch data of the latch unit to obtain a value lower than a count value.02-12-2009
20090040351Method and apparatus for reducing noise in a pixel array - A method and apparatus for sampling pixels from a pixel array, the pixels being sampled at different times.02-12-2009
20130135503AMPLIFIER APPARATUS AND METHODS USING VARIABLE CAPACITANCE DEPENDENT ON FEEDBACK GAIN - An apparatus includes an operational amplifier circuit comprising at least one operational amplifier and a feedback circuit coupled between the output terminal and input terminal of the operational amplifier circuit and configured to apply a feedback gain to an output signal at the output of the first operational amplifier. The apparatus further includes a variable compensation capacitor coupled to the output terminal of the operational amplifier circuit and configured to vary a capacitance thereof responsive to the feedback gain.05-30-2013
20110013067PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM USING THE SAME - A photoelectric conversion apparatus includes: a first semiconductor region forming a part of a photoelectric conversion element; a second semiconductor region stacked on the first semiconductor region, and forming a part of the photoelectric conversion element; a third semiconductor region to which a signal charge transferred from the photoelectric conversion element; a fourth semiconductor region of the first conductivity type having an higher impurity concentration, between the first and third semiconductor region and between the second and third semiconductor regions, closer to a main surface than the first semiconductor region, and connected to the first semiconductor region; a first gate electrode over the fourth semiconductor region, an insulating film on the main surface and between the first gate electrode and the fourth semiconductor region; and a second gate electrode between the third and fourth semiconductor regions, and over the insulating film.01-20-2011
20110013066EXPOSURE CONTROL FOR IMAGE SENSORS - An imaging system utilizes an exposure control circuit to control the length of an exposure in full frame mode. The exposure control circuit receives as an input the antiblooming current from at least a representative sample of pixels and determines when to end an exposure based on the amount of current received.01-20-2011
20120224090SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, CAMERA, AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - Disclosed is a solid-state imaging device which includes an imaging region including pixels arranged two-dimensionally, each of the pixels including a photoelectric conversion element and a plurality of pixel transistors for reading out signals outputted from the photoelectric conversion element, and wirings formed on stacked layers for driving each of the pixels. A shading part between the pixels is formed by combining first and second wirings selected from the wirings.09-06-2012
20130063642IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS AND CONTROL METHOD FOR IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS - An image capturing apparatus comprises an optical system, an image sensor having pixels each including a plurality of photoelectric converters capable of outputting image signals independently, a driving unit which controls driving of the image sensor, a focus detection unit, and an addition unit which adds the output image signals on a per-pixel basis. In each pixel, the photoelectric converters are divided into groups each including at least two photoelectric converters and a charge accumulation period for one group is delayed from and partially overlaps a charge accumulation period for another. The driving unit drives the image sensor so that image signals are read from the groups in turn, and the focus detection unit detects a focus state using a phase difference method based on the read image signals independently output from the photoelectric converters.03-14-2013
20130063641DUAL-SIDED IMAGE SENSOR - An apparatus for a dual-sided image sensor is described. The dual-sided image sensor captures frontside image data incident upon a frontside of the dual-sided image sensor within an array of photosensitive regions integrated into a semiconductor layer of the dual-sided image sensor. Backside image data incident upon a backside of the dual-sided image sensor is also captured within the same array of photosensitive regions.03-14-2013
20090237544IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - There is provided an image pickup apparatus comprising a plurality of pixels each including a photoelectric conversion unit which converts incident light into an electrical signal and accumulates the electrical signal, an amplifier transistor which amplifies and outputs the signal from the photoelectric conversion unit, a transfer transistor which transfers the electrical signal accumulated in the photoelectric conversion unit to the amplifier transistor, and a processing transistor which performs predetermined processing, and a control circuit which sets the signal level supplied to the control electrode of the transfer transistor in order to turn off the transfer transistor to be lower than the signal level supplied to the control electrode of the processing transistor in order to turn off the processing transistor.09-24-2009
20090237543SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - A solid-state image pickup apparatus includes a first antireflection coating film formed on a light-receiving surface of a first photoelectric conversion element and a second antireflection coating film formed on a light-receiving surface of a second photoelectric conversion element. A total length of first photoelectric conversion element facing portions of gate lines adjacent to the first photoelectric conversion element is shorter than a total length of second photoelectric conversion element facing portions of gate lines adjacent to the second photoelectric conversion element. An area of the first antireflection coating film is larger than that of the second antireflection coating film.09-24-2009
20090237542Image Sensor Circuit - An image sensor circuit comprises09-24-2009
20090237541Method and apparatus providing reduced metal routing in imagers - An imaging device and method for operating the device. The imaging device comprises a pixel array having a plurality of pixels arranged in rows and columns. At least one pixel of the array comprises a photosensor and a first reset circuit responsive to a first reset control signal for resetting the photosensor. A first terminal of the first reset circuit is coupled to the photosensor and a second terminal of the first reset circuit is configured to receive a first resetting voltage from a control line.09-24-2009
20090237540Imager method and apparatus having combined gate signals - An imaging device and method for operating the device. The device comprises a pixel array having a plurality of pixels arranged in rows and columns and a plurality of readout circuits for the pixels. A reset circuit in one readout circuit is simultaneously operated with a dual conversion gain select circuit in another readout circuit using a common select line. Alternatively, a row circuit in one readout circuit is simultaneously operated with a dual conversion gain select circuit in another readout circuit using a common select line.09-24-2009
20090009645Image Sensor, Method for Operating an Image Sensor, and Computer Program - An image sensor includes a plurality of image elements configured to provide associated image element signals which are dependent on light intensities incident on the image elements. The image sensor includes an accumulation circuit with a plurality of charge storage elements, wherein the accumulation circuit is configured to change charges on the charge storage elements during a phase in dependence on image element signals of respectively associated image elements. The accumulation circuit is further configured to change an association between charge storage elements and associated image elements in successive phases, so that in operation, a charge on one of the charge storage elements depends on image element signals of plural image elements in a plurality of phases.01-08-2009
20090009644IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR CONTROLLING THE SAME - In an imaging apparatus, a first conversion unit multiplexes input signals including control signals for driving an image sensor to generate a multiplex signal having a frequency higher than those of the input signals. A transfer unit transfers the multiplexed signal generated by the first conversion unit according to low-voltage differential signaling. A reception unit receives the multiplexed signal from the transfer unit. A second conversion unit extracts the control signals for driving the image sensor from the multiplexed signal received by the reception unit. A third conversion unit performs at least one of correction processing and development processing on a signal generated by the image sensor. A signal generation unit generates and supplies processing timing control signals to the first conversion unit and the third conversion unit.01-08-2009
20090009643MOS TYPE SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, METHOD FOR DRIVING SUCH MOS TYPE SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, AND CAMERA - A MOS type solid-state image pickup device includes a pixel unit which includes image pickup elements arranged two-dimensionally; a readout shift register; an electronic shutter shift register; a signal processing unit which extracts a pixel signal from the selected pixel; a horizontal shift register which outputs a column selection signal; and an amplifier circuit which amplifies the extracted pixel output signal. Each of the shift registers has a function of generating a dummy pulse during a blanking period. When the blanking period occurs after the completion of scanning up to the last line, a selection signal is outputted alternately to the last line and the second-from-the-last line of the shift register.01-08-2009
20120113306IMAGE SENSOR WITH PIPELINED COLUMN ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL CONVERTERS - An image sensor includes a plurality of pixel cells organized into rows and columns of a pixel array. A bit line is coupled to each of the pixel cells within a line of the pixel array. Readout circuitry is coupled to the bit line to readout the image data from the pixel cells within the line. The readout circuitry includes a line amplifier coupled to the bit line to amplify the image data and first and second sample and convert circuits coupled in parallel to an output of the line amplifier to reciprocally and contemporaneously sample the image data and convert the image data from analog values to digital values.05-10-2012
20110115959Solid-state imaging device, method of driving the device, and camera system - A solid-state imaging device includes: a pixel section formed by pixels performing photoelectric conversion arranged in a matrix; a pixel signal readout section capable of column-parallel processing including an A/D conversion function for reading out a pixel signal from the pixel section and performing analog-digital conversion of the signal, the pixels being read in groups; a voltage sampling section sampling a bias voltage generated by an internal or external voltage generating circuit for a period in accordance with a control signal and supplying the sampled bias voltage to the pixel signal readout section; and a control section controlling the signal readout operation of the pixel signal readout section and the voltage sampling operation of the voltage sampling section. The pixel signal readout section includes a functional portion. The control section exercises control such that the voltage sampling operation is performed in a period other than at least either of a period in which an analog signal is read out or in which A/D conversion is carried out.05-19-2011
20110279725IMAGE SENSOR IN CMOS TECHNOLOGY WITH HIGH VIDEO CAPTURE RATE - An time-delay-integration image sensor comprises a matrix of photosensitive pixels organized in rows and columns, a first matrix of memory cells associated with control and adding means to store accumulated brightness levels of several rows of pixels in a row of memory cells. The first memory cell matrix is provided with the control and adding means to store in its rows accumulated brightness levels of the rows of a first half of the pixel matrix. The sensor comprises a second memory cell matrix associated with the control and adding means to store accumulated brightness levels of the rows of the second half of the pixel matrix in a row of the second memory cell matrix. Means are provided for adding the levels accumulated in a row of the first memory cell matrix to the levels accumulated in a corresponding row of the second memory cell matrix.11-17-2011
20110279724SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state imaging device includes: a pixel unit in which a plurality of pixels that perform photoelectric conversion are arranged in the form of a matrix; a pixel signal reading unit performing reading of a pixel signal in a signal line from the pixel unit in the unit of plural pixels, and performing column signal processing with respect to an input signal; and an evaluation pattern generation unit receiving a control signal and a signal line interception signal and generating a pseudo-evaluation pattern according to the control signal.11-17-2011
20110279723Signal processing circuit, solid-state imaging device, and camera system - A signal processing circuit includes: a reference signal generating circuit that generates a reference signal of a ramp waveform of which a voltage value varies with the lapse of time by changing a current; and a signal processing unit including a plurality of processing sections that process the reference signal as a ramp wave and a potential of a supplied analog signal, wherein the reference signal processing circuit has a function of adjusting an offset of the reference signal by adjusting the current from the time of starting the generation of the reference signal or adjusting the level of the reference signal at least at the time of starting the generation of the reference signal.11-17-2011
20110128429SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME, IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS, SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE, AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME - A solid state imaging device including a semiconductor substrate; at least one light sensing portion with a charge accumulating portion in the semiconductor substrate; and a dielectric layer over an induced layer of the semiconductor substrate adjacent to the charge accumulation portion, the induced layer being induced by the dielectric layer06-02-2011
20090310005SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus including: a pixel section having a plurality of pixels arranged into two dimensions for converting an incident light into a signal electric charge and for outputting an electrical signal corresponding to the signal electric charge; vertical signal lines for reading the signals of the pixel section column by column; a horizontal signal line for reading the signals through switches from the vertical signal lines; and a variable amplification section for reading the signal from the horizontal signal line with amplifying it by a predetermined amplification factor, and further includes a control section for effecting a control so that a signal level on the horizontal signal line does not exceed a predetermined limit level when signals are read out from the vertical signal lines to the horizontal signal line.12-17-2009
20090310004WIDE APERTURE IMAGE SENSOR PIXEL - An image sensor includes a unit cell of four pixels. The unit cell includes four photosensitive regions that collect charge in response to light; four transfer transistors that respectively pass the charge from each of the four photosensitive regions to one common charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism; three control wires in which a first control wire controls two of the transfer transistors and a second control wire controls one of the transfer transistors and a third control wire controls one of the transfer transistors; an amplifier connected to the common charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism that outputs an output signal in response to a signal from the charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism; and a reset transistor connected to the common charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism for resetting the charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism to a predetermined signal level.12-17-2009
20090310003IMAGE SENSOR - An image sensor for an electronic imaging device includes an array of pixel detectors. Each pixel detector includes a photosensor (12-17-2009
20090290059CONNECTION/SEPARATION ELEMENT IN PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERTER PORTION, SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, AND IMAGING APPARATUS - Suppressing a fall in sensitivity upon shooting without causing similar effect as a pixel defect in spite of being able to perform focal point detection. When a gate electrode 11-26-2009
20110285892PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION DEVICE AND CAMERA - A photoelectric conversion device including a pixel region having a photoelectric converter, and a transfer MOS transistor for transferring charges in the photoelectric converter to a floating diffusion, comprises a first insulating film continuously arranged to cover the photoelectric converter, and a first side surface and a first region of an upper surface of a gate electrode of the transfer MOS transistor while not arranged on a second region of the upper surface, the first insulating film being configured to function as an antireflection film, a contact plug connected with the floating diffusion, and a second insulating film continuously arranged to cover a periphery of the contact plug on the floating diffusion, and the second side surface and the second region while not arranged on the first region, the second insulating film being configured to function as an etching stopper in forming the contact plug.11-24-2011
20090207293IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS, IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS CONTROL METHOD, AND IMAGING SYSTEM - An image sensing apparatus comprises: an output unit which includes an output line group, a plurality of difference circuits, a first dummy line, and a second dummy line, and wherein the output line group is interposed between the first dummy line and the second dummy line, a readout unit includes a plurality of memory circuits, each of the plurality of memory circuits includes a first holding capacitance and a second holding capacitance, a gain determined by a ratio of a capacitance value of the first holding capacitance and a capacitance value of a first output line is applied to the first signal output to the first output line, and a gain determined by a ratio of a capacitance value of the second holding capacitance and a capacitance value of a second output line is applied to the second signal output to the second output line.08-20-2009
20090207294METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IMPROVING SENSITIVITY IN VERTICAL COLOR CMOS IMAGE SENSORS - The invention describes in detail the structure of a CMOS image sensor pixel that senses color of impinging light without having absorbing filters placed on its surface. The color sensing is accomplished by having a vertical stack of three-charge detection nodes placed in the silicon bulk, which collect electrons depending on the depth of their generation. The small charge detection node capacitance and thus high sensitivity with low noise is achieved by using fully depleted, potential well forming, buried layers instead of undepleted junction electrodes. Two embodiments of contacting the buried layers without substantially increasing the node capacitances are presented.08-20-2009
20120188430IMAGER PIXEL ARCHITECTURE WITH ENHANCED COLUMN DISCHARGE AND METHOD OF OPERATION - A pixel circuit includes a photosensor and a floating diffusion node. A circuit is coupled to the floating diffusion node, for selectively providing a pixel output signal to a column line. A reset circuit, which resets the floating diffusion node, is configured to be activated by the column line. A pullup circuit is included for controlling the reset circuit through a signal on the column line. A discharge circuit, which is separate from the reset circuit, is used for discharging the pixel output signal on the column line. The discharge circuit includes a transistor having a first source/drain terminal coupled to the column line and a second source/drain terminal coupled to a fixed voltage level. The gate of the transistor activates the discharging of the column line.07-26-2012
20100194956Apparatus and method for improving dynamic range and linearity of CMOS image sensor - Described herein is a circuit and related method for improving the dynamic range and the linearity characteristic of a CMOS image sensor. In various embodiments of the CMOS image sensor, a current sampler, a comparator, and a 1-bit memory are incorporated in each pixel circuit. In the image sensor, pixels are arranged in columns and a column slice is used to read the digital and analog singles from each column. In addition, a calibration circuit is incorporated in the sensor circuit for providing calibration current, which is used to generate calibration parameter. The image sensor operates in three non-overlapping modes: the difference mode, the WDR mode, and the calibration mode. The image sensor is switched among the three modes by control signals, which are provided to the image sensor by various control circuits. The image sensor normally operates in the difference mode and switches to the WDR mode when the difference between consecutive frames is over a threshold. The calibration mode allows the image sensor generate calibration parameters which are used to improve the linearity of the sensor through a interpolation method.08-05-2010
20100245647SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, DRIVING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes a first chip including a plurality of pixels, each pixel including a light sensing unit generating a signal charge responsive to an amount of received light, and a plurality of MOS transistors reading the signal charge generated by the light sensing unit and outputting the read signal charge as a pixel signal, a second chip including a plurality of pixel drive circuits supplying desired drive pulses to pixels, the second chip being laminated beneath the first chip in a manner such that the pixel drive circuits are arranged beneath the pixels formed in the first chip to drive the pixels, and a connection unit for electrically connecting the pixels to the pixel drive circuits arranged beneath the pixels.09-30-2010
20110298957IMAGE DATA PROCESSING METHOD, IMAGE SENSOR AND IMAGE DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM USING THE METHOD - An image sensor supporting a normal sampling mode and a 1/N sampling mode for transmitting image data detected by a plurality of unit image sensors and stored in a plurality of latch circuits to a data processor using a plurality of transmission lines, wherein N is a natural number greater than 2, the image sensor including a horizontal address generator configured to generate horizontal addresses corresponding to addresses of the plurality of latch circuits, and to generate, based on the horizontal addresses, a first channel selection control signal and a second channel selection control signal of which activation times at least partially overlap.12-08-2011
20110298956LINEAR IMAGE SENSOR IN CMOS TECHNOLOGY - A time-delay-integration image sensor comprises a matrix of pixels organized in rows and columns. Each pixel comprises a first photosensitive element, a storage node and a first transfer element connected between the first photosensitive element and the storage node, Each pixel further comprises a second photosensitive element, a second transfer element connected between the second photosensitive element and the storage node, and a third transfer element connected between the storage node and the second photosensitive element of an adjacent pixel of the column. A control circuit is configured to simultaneously command the first and second transfer elements to on state and the third transfer element to off state, and, in a distinct phase, to simultaneously command the first and third transfer elements to on state and the second transfer element to off state.12-08-2011
20110298955Clock multiplying circuit, solid-state imaging device, and phase-shift circuit - A clock multiplying circuit includes: first and second inverters being ON/OFF-controlled by a positive- or negative-phase signal, respectively, of a first clock signal and including current source and current sync terminals; a capacitive element provided between output ends of the inverters; a current supplying unit increasing, if a frequency of the first clock signal increases, the control current and supplying the control current to the current source terminals of the inverters and outputting, from the current sync terminals of the inverters, a control current the same current amount as that of a control current to the current source terminal; a differential detecting unit receiving input of a potential difference signal between both electrodes of the capacitive element and generating a second clock signal having a phase difference of 90 degrees; and a multiplied-signal generating unit generating a double signal of the first clock signal on the basis of the clock signals.12-08-2011
20100177230IMAGE SENSOR DRIVING APPARATUS - An image sensor driving apparatus is provided with a plurality of output blocks having the functions of both a binary output block and a ternary output block and, therefore, is adaptable to image sensors with various types of specifications. The image sensor is provided with a plurality of dual-purpose binary/ternary output blocks having the functions of both a binary output block and a ternary output block and is configured to change over between binary operations and ternary operations, according to driving/controlling signals from a timing generator or selection signals from the outside of the apparatus.07-15-2010
20120099011CMOS IMAGER WITH INTEGRATED CIRCUITRY - A CMOS imager is integrated on a single substrate along with logic and support circuitry for decoding and processing optical information received by the CMOS imager. Integrating a CMOS imager and peripheral circuitry allows for a single chip image sensing device.04-26-2012
20110285889CAMERA MODULE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE CAMERA MODULE - A camera module includes an image sensor chip including a substrate having first and second opposite surfaces and a ground pad on the first surface, a housing surrounding the sides of the image sensor chip but which leaves the second surface of the image sensor chip exposed, an electromagnetic wave-shielding film united with the housing, and an electrical conductor electrically connected to the ground pad. The camera module also has an optical unit disposed on the first surface of the image sensor chip in the housing to guide light from an object to the image sensor chip. The electrical conductor extends through a side of the housing. The conductor also contacts the electromagnetic wave-shielding film to electrically connect the ground pad and the electromagnetic wave-shielding film.11-24-2011
20110285891Integrated Display Camera Using Masked Display Elements - Embodiments of the present invention provide a system for capturing photographic images with a camera integrated in an electronic display. The system includes: a display screen; a set of display elements coupled to a front side of the display screen; a set of masking elements coupled behind the set of display elements; and an image-capturing mechanism coupled to a backside of the display screen. The masking elements are configured to prevent the display elements from displaying behind the masking elements and wherein some portion of the display screen is at least partially transparent.11-24-2011
20110292266Electro-Active Focus and Zoom Systems - Aspects of the present invention provide dynamic focusing systems and dynamic zoom systems having no moving parts. The dynamic focusing systems can include an electro-active lens, a fixed focus lens in optical communication with the electro-active lens and a focal plane. The dynamic zoom systems can include a first electro-active lens, a second electro-active lens, a fixed focus lens, and a focal plane. The electro-active lenses of the present invention can have an adjustable optical power to provide variable focusing capability. The dynamic focusing systems and dynamic zoom systems can include a controller for altering the adjustable optical powers of the electro-active lenses. The dynamic focusing systems can focus on objects at various distances based on the controlled optical power of the included electro-active lenses. The dynamic zoom systems can provide magnification and de-magnification based on the controlled optical power of the included electro-active lenses.12-01-2011
20110292265Integrating A/D converter, integrating A/D conversion method, solid-state imaging device and camera system - An integrating A/D converter includes: a comparator comparing an input voltage to a reference voltage having a ramp waveform, a voltage value of which linearly varies with time; a higher-order bit counter starting operation or stopping operation triggered by inversion of an output signal of the comparator and outputting higher order bits by performing counting in a cycle of a clock signal; and a time-to-digital converter latching phase information of the clock signal corresponding to plural signals obtained by delaying an output signal of the comparator and decoding the latched values to output lower order bits having higher resolution than the clock cycle.12-01-2011
20090278969SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state image pickup device and a camera system in which: (1) counters are organized into a counter group and a memory group on a column-by-column basis; (2) in each column, the individual counters are cascade-connected between individual bits; (3) switches are provided at bit output portions of the individual counters; (4) connecting sides of the individual switches are commonly connected to a column-signal transfer line, and output sides of the switches are shared with the other individual bits; (5) inputs of memories (latch circuits), which store digital data for horizontal transfer, share the column-signal transfer line; and (6) outputs of the memories corresponding to the individual bits are connected via switches to data transfer signal lines wired so as to be orthogonal to the column-signal transfer line.11-12-2009
20130215308SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - A solid-state image sensing device is configured such that a first voltage is applied to a first conductivity type semiconductor region and a second voltage is applied to source-drain regions having a second conductivity type of the MOS capacitance to apply inverse bias between the semiconductor region and the source-drain regions of the MOS capacitance.08-22-2013
20090295967IMAGING APPARATUS - A plurality of pixels arranged into two dimensions; a differential processing means for effecting a differential processing between a reset level of the pixel and a signal level changing correspondingly to a light signal incident on the pixel so as to produce an imaging signal of the pixel; a reset level detection means for detecting and outputting a result as to whether the reset level is within a predetermined range or outside the predetermined range; an extraction means for extracting pixels to be corrected based on a result of the differential processing by the differential processing means and the result of detection by the reset level detection means; and a correction means for replacing the result of the differential processing by the differential processing means of the pixels to be corrected extracted by the extraction means with an imaging signal corresponding to a saturation level.12-03-2009
20090002535OFFSET-COMPENSATED SELF-RESET CMOS IMAGE SENSORS - Devices and methods for improving the dynamic range and signal-to-noise ratio of image sensors. Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors that use at least one CMOS image pixel circuit, and methods that the CMOS image sensor integrated circuit is configured to perform.01-01-2009
20100091162ACTIVE PIXEL SENOR CIRCUIT - The present invention relates to an active pixel sensor circuit and a method of operating same. In one embodiment, the active pixel sensor circuit includes a reset transistor having a gate, a source and a drain, a silicon rich oxide (SRO) photosensor having an anode and a cathode electrically coupled to the source of the reset transistor, and a readout transistor having a gate electrically coupled to the cathode of the SRO photosensor, a source and a drain.04-15-2010
20100091164DUAL PANEL PIXEL READOUT IN AN IMAGER - An imager having two panels of pixels (i.e., the imager's rows of pixels are split into two panels) that are controllable by separate row decoders. The dual panel architecture allows pipelining of pixel readout and column readout operations to improve the imager's frame rate. The dual panel architecture may use a standard pixel configuration, a shared column and/or a shared row and column configuration.04-15-2010
20100271524MULTILAYER IMAGE SENSOR PIXEL STRUCTURE FOR REDUCING CROSSTALK - An image sensor pixel includes a substrate, a first epitaxial layer, a collector layer, a second epitaxial layer and a light collection region. The substrate is doped to have a first conductivity type. The first epitaxial layer is disposed over the substrate and doped to have the first conductivity type as well. The collector layer is selectively disposed over at least a portion of the first epitaxial layer and doped to have a second conductivity type. The second epitaxial layer is disposed over the collector layer and doped to have the first conductivity type. The light collection region collects photo-generated charge carriers and is disposed within the second epitaxial layer. The light collection region is also doped to have the second conductivity type.10-28-2010
20100079646Vertical 4-way shared pixel in a single column with internal reset and no row select - A method and apparatus for reducing space and pixel circuit complexity by using a 4-way shared vertically aligned pixels in a same column. The at least four pixels in the pixel circuit share a reset transistor and a source follower transistor, can have a plurality of same colored pixels and a plurality of colors, but do not include a row select transistor.04-01-2010
20100033612Composite Image Device and Related Portable Electronic device - A composite image device having image capturing, laser pointing, lighting and related functions in one includes a first perspective window, a second perspective window, a third perspective window, an image capturing module, laser source module, a light source module and a switchable light modulating module. The image capturing module captures ambient light through the first perspective window to generate digital image data. The laser source module emits a laser through the second perspective window. The light source module emits illuminating light through the third perspective window. The switchable light modulating module includes at least a light modulating gate and a switching device for moving the at least a light modulating gate to a position relatively parallel to the second or third perspective window to modulate the emitted laser or the emitted illuminating light.02-11-2010
20100277633METHOD, APPARATUS AND SYSTEM PROVIDING IMAGER VERTICAL BINNING AND SCALING USING COLUMN PARALLEL SIGMA-DELTA DIGITAL CONVERSION - A method, apparatus and system are disclosed for digitizing a plurality of analog pixel signals of a pixel array in a manner which produces a digital signal representing the combination of said plurality of analog pixel signals.11-04-2010
20090195682Counter array and image sensor including the same - A counter array and an image sensor including the same may be provided. The counter array may include a controller and a plurality of counter units. The controller may output an operation control signal and a direction indication signal. The counter units hold previous output values or may perform a counting operation in response to the operation control signal and may perform an up-count operation or a down-count operation in response to the direction indication signal when performing the counting operation.08-06-2009
20090190017IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM - An image sensing apparatus includes a pixel array including a light-shielded area where light-shielded pixels are arranged, and an effective area where non-light-shielded pixels are arranged. Each of the light-shielded pixels includes a first photoelectric conversion unit, a first charge-voltage converter which converts charges generated in the first photoelectric conversion unit into a voltage, and a first amplification transistor functioning as a MOS transistor which receives, at the gate, the voltage converted by the first charge-voltage converter. Each of the non-light-shielded pixels includes a second photoelectric conversion unit, a second charge-voltage converter which converts charges generated in the second photoelectric conversion unit into a voltage, and a second amplification transistor functioning as a MOS transistor which receives, at the gate, the voltage converted by the second charge-voltage converter. The gate capacitance of the first amplification transistor is larger than that of the second amplification transistor.07-30-2009
20090190020IMAGER APPARATUS, DRIVING METHOD, AND CAMERA - In an XY address type solid-state imager apparatus comprising a solid-state imager having a plurality of pixels two-dimensionally arranged, and horizontal and vertical scanning circuits to read signals of the pixels, the scanning circuits each have a progressive scanning circuit to progressively read pixel signals by a first scanning control signal, and an interlace scanning circuit to read pixel signals with an interlaced manner by a second scanning control signal different from the first scanning control signal, and arbitrarily carries out combining of progressive reading and interlace reading in one frame in accordance with a combination of the respective scanning control signals, and reads pixel signals.07-30-2009
20090190021Solid-state Image Pickup Device Having Analog-Digital Converters Configured To Sum Values Of Multiple Pixels In The Array And Method For Driving The Same - A CMOS image sensor includes column-parallel ADCs. Each of the ADCs includes a comparator and an up/down counter. With this configuration, digital values of pixels in a plurality of rows can be added without using additional circuits, such as an adder and a line memory device, and the frame rate can be increased while maintaining constant sensitivity.07-30-2009
20090190018SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE, METHOD FOR READING SIGNAL OF SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE, AND IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An image sensor includes a pixel array having vertical signal lines, each interconnected to one of columns of the pixel array, and a column processor including a unit readout circuit provided for each of sets of a predetermined number of columns. The unit readout circuit includes input switches, each connected to a corresponding one of the vertical signal lines and being sequentially turned on and off, an input capacitor having one end commonly connected to the input switches, a reference switch for selectively providing a reference voltage to the input capacitor, an operational amplifier connected to the other end of the input capacitor, a reset switch for selectively providing a short-circuit between input and output ends of the operational amplifier, and a feedback circuit provided for each of the columns and including a feedback switch and a feedback capacitor connected in series between the two ends of the operational amplifier.07-30-2009
20100201860METHOD AND APPARATUS PROVIDING CMOS IMAGER DEVICE PIXEL WITH TRANSISTOR HAVING LOWER THRESHOLD VOLTAGE THAN OTHER IMAGER DEVICE TRANSISTORS - A transistor of a pixel cell for use in a CMOS imager with a low threshold voltage of about 0.3 V to less than about 0.7 V is disclosed. The transistor is provided with high dosage source and drain regions around the gate electrode and with the halo implanted regions and/or the lightly doped LDD regions and/or the enhancement implanted regions omitted from at least one side of the gate electrode. The low threshold transistor is electrically connected to a high voltage transistor with a high threshold voltage of about 0.7 V.08-12-2010
20100201859Transparent Conductor Based Pinned Photodiode - A pinned photodiode with improved short wavelength light response. In exemplary embodiments of the invention, a gate oxide is formed over a doped, buried region in a semiconductor substrate. A gate conductor is formed on top of the gate oxide. The gate conductor is transparent, and in one embodiment is a layer of indium-tin oxide. The transparent conductor can be biased to reduce the need for a surface dopant in creating a pinned photodiode region. The biasing of the transparent conductor produces a hole-rich accumulation region near the surface of the substrate. The gate conductor material permits a greater amount of charges from short wavelength light to be captured in the photo-sensing region in the substrate, and thereby increases the quantum efficiency of the photosensor.08-12-2010
20120086843SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CONTROL METHOD THEREOF, AND CAMERA - An object of the invention is to cause a part of charge spilling from a photoelectric conversion unit to flow into a charge holding unit and thereby extend dynamic range and at the same time improve image quality. There is provided a solid-state image pickup device having a pixel including: a photoelectric conversion unit generating and accumulating charge by means of photoelectric conversion; a first charge holding unit being shielded from light, and being adaptable to accumulate a part of charge spilling from the photoelectric conversion unit in a period during which the photoelectric conversion unit generates and accumulates charge; an amplifying unit (SF-MOS) amplifying charge; a first transfer unit (Tx-MOS) transferring the charge accumulated in the photoelectric conversion unit to the amplifying unit; and a second transfer unit (Ty-MOS) transferring the charge accumulated in the first charge holding unit to the amplifying unit.04-12-2012
20100201858SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE AND CONTROL METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - A solid-state image sensing device includes an image sensing region having pixels arranged in a two-dimensional array. A vertical shift register circuit selects a desired pixel row of the pixels by changing the number of one or more clock signals supplied and timing thereof in one horizontal period. A pulse selector circuit supplies a drive pulse to the desired pixel row selected by the vertical shift register circuit.08-12-2010
20090316033IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS - An image sensing apparatus comprises: a pixel array; a driving unit; a readout unit which, when performing still image shooting parallel to movie shooting, reads out, in each of successive frame periods, first signals from a first pixel group, and reads out, over the successive frame periods, second signals of a first frame period from pixels of a second pixel group that are different from each other between the successive frame periods; and a generation unit which generates an image signal for a movie of one frame in each of the successive frame periods from the first signals read out in each of the successive frame periods, and also generates an image signal for a still image of one frame in the first frame period by composing the first signals read out in the first frame period and the second signals read out over the successive frame periods.12-24-2009
20090316032IMAGE SENSOR AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING IMAGE SENSOR - An image sensor includes an increase portion for impact-ionizing and increasing signal charges, a charge increasing electrode for applying a voltage increasing the signal charges to the increase portion and an insulating film provided between the charge increasing electrode and the increase portion, wherein the insulating film includes a first insulating film made of a thermal oxide film and a second insulating film made of an oxide film, formed on the first insulating film.12-24-2009
20100110257SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, IMAGE PICKUP SYSTEM, AND DRIVING METHOD OF THE SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An apparatus includes a pixel array in which pixels for outputting an analog signal are arranged in a matrix, vertical output lines each of which is connected to pixels in a same column, A/D conversion units, which are individually connected to the vertical output lines, for converting the analog signal into a digital signal, and a constant current supply unit for supplying a constant current to the A/D conversion units. Each of the A/D conversion units includes an integration unit for integrating the constant current, a comparison unit for comparing the integrated constant current with the analog signal and outputting a comparison signal, and a digital signal storage unit for storing a digital signal corresponding to the comparison signal. The integration unit includes an input capacitor for receiving the constant current. The comparison unit is connected to the constant current supply unit via the input capacitor.05-06-2010
20090167916IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHODS, AND STORING MEDIUM HAVING COMPUTER PROGRAM TO PERFORM THE METHODS - An imaging apparatus and method using a line memory controller for writing first image region data of an amount less than the total storage capacity of a line memory among image data output on a line-by-line basis from an imaging device, to the line memory and reading the first image region data from the line memory, an SDRAM controller for writing a second image region data besides the first image region data among image data output from the imaging device on a line-by-line basis to a storage medium and reading the second image region data from that storage medium after image data output from the imaging device is ended, and a line memory controller for writing the second image region data read from the storage medium to the line memory. Thus, the size of and power consumption by the storage medium can be reduced.07-02-2009
20090096905IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An image pickup apparatus which is capable of providing optimal image quality according to a scene to be shot, and is improved in user-friendliness. A determination unit comprising a comparator, a comparison potential, and an OR element determines an output level of each pixel or each area formed by a plurality of pixels in the image pickup device with reference to a predetermined output level. A system controller changes a charge transfer period in a horizontal blanking period for a line including a pixel or an area of with the output level is not lower than the predetermined output level, according to a result of determination by the determination unit.04-16-2009
20120140101WAFER LEVEL CAMERA MODULE WITH ACTIVE OPTICAL ELEMENT - A wafer level camera module can be easily connected to a host device via mounting surface contacts. The module includes an electrically controllable active optical element and a flexible printed circuit that provides electrical connection between the optical element and surface conductors on a mounting surface of the module. The surface conductors can be a group of solder balls, and the module can have another group of solder balls that make connection to another electrical component of the module, such as an image sensor. All of the solder balls can be coplanar in a predetermined grid pattern, and all of the components of the device can be surrounded by a housing such that the camera module is an easily mounted ball grid array type package.06-07-2012
20090153718ROLLING-RESET IMAGER - An imaging system comprises a rolling-reset imager that forms an electronic image of an object, a light source illuminating the object with pulsed light, and a bandpass optical filter disposed between the object and the rolling-reset imager. The pulsed light has an illumination frequency spectrum and an illumination pulse width defining an effective exposure time for forming the image of the object. The bandpass optical filter has a frequency pass band permitting transmission of a significant portion of the illumination frequency spectrum while at least approximately inhibiting transmission of at least some light having frequencies outside the illumination frequency band. An imaging method illuminates an object with light in a given frequency range, so that the illumination light reflects from the object along with background light. The method filters the reflected light so as to attenuate at least some of the background light by a greater attenuation factor than the illumination light. The method forms a pixelized electronic image based on the filtered light on a rolling-reset basis.06-18-2009
20090153713Imaging Device - An imaging device including an imaging element having a plurality of pixels for switching a linear conversion mode for linearly converting incident light to an electric signal and a logarithm conversion mode for logarithmically converting incident light to an electric signal on the basis of incident light intensity, 06-18-2009
20090153714Method for resetting time-based CMOS image sensor - A method of resetting a time-based CMOS image sensor may be provided, where the time-based CMOS image sensor may include a photodiode, a transfer transistor transferring photo-generated charges generated in the photodiode to a floating diffusion node and having a gate to which a ramp signal is input, and a reset transistor resetting the photodiode and the floating diffusion node. The method may include generating photo-generated charges at the photodiode, transferring the photo-generated charges to the floating diffusion node in response to a ramp signal; and resetting a reset electron potential of the photodiode to be higher than a reset electron potential of the floating diffusion node.06-18-2009
20080284888Image Pickup Device and Image Pickup Result Outputting Method - The present invention is applied to an image pickup device with a CMOS solid-state image pickup element, in which an analog-to-digital conversion circuit is disposed in a surface on an opposite side from an image pickup surface in a semiconductor chip 11-20-2008
20100128157SKIMMED CHARGE CAPTURE AND CHARGE PACKET REMOVAL FOR INCREASED EFFECTIVE PIXEL PHOTOSENSOR FULL WELL CAPACITY - An imaging device having pixels that store charge from a photosensor under at least one storage gate during a sampling period. A driver used to operate the at least one storage gate, estimates how much charge in the pixel exceeds a predetermined limit during a non-destructive pixel sensing operation. A specific voltage is stored on the pixel's floating diffusion region to flag how many times the pixel exceeded the limit. The final pixel signal and the stored information is readout at the end of integration period to create a sum that represents the pixel's final signal value.05-27-2010
20080303932ISOLATION STRUCTURE FOR IMAGE SENSOR DEVICE - Provided is an image sensor device including a substrate with a pixel region and a peripheral region. A first isolation structure is formed on the substrate in the pixel region. The first isolation structure includes a trench having a first depth. A second isolation structure is formed on the substrate in the peripheral region. The second isolation structure includes a trench having a second depth. The first depth is greater than the second depth.12-11-2008
20080291311IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, FOCUS DETECTION DEVICE, IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING FOCUS DETECTION DEVICE, AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An image pickup device includes a pixel unit which has first pixels and second pixels. A first photoelectric conversion unit is configured to generate charges corresponding to light incident upon each of the first pixels. A first control unit is connected to the first photoelectric conversion unit and configured to control the first photoelectric conversion unit. A second photoelectric conversion unit is configured to generate charges corresponding to light incident upon each of the second pixels. The second photoelectric conversion unit is smaller than the first photoelectric conversion unit. A second control unit is connected to the second photoelectric conversion unit and configured to control the second photoelectric conversion unit. The second control unit is arranged in a space which is generated due to a size difference between the first photoelectric conversion unit and the second photoelectric conversion unit.11-27-2008
20080284891Image sensor and an electronic information device - An image sensor is disclosed. The image sensor includes a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix which detects a pixel signal of each pixel based on a voltage difference between a reset voltage which is a reference voltage of each pixel and a signal voltage generated by a photoelectric conversion at each pixel, and includes a plurality of read lines located for each pixel column, wherein the reset voltage and the signal voltage are read from the pixel of the corresponding pixel column; and a reset current supply section provided for each read line, wherein at the same time a first reset current is supplied from a pixel to the read line when reading the reset voltage from the pixel, the section supplies a second reset current to the read line such that a sum of the first reset current and the second reset current is constant.11-20-2008
20100079649IMAGE SENSOR SYSTEM WITH SYNCHRONIZED SWITHCED-MODE POWER SUPPLY - The invention relates to an image sensor comprising an integrated circuit chip incorporating a matrix of rows and columns of photosensitive pixels and a read amplifier, the amplifier supplying successive signals representing the lighting of the different pixels of the image, with a pixel reading frequency determined by a system clock. The system is powered by a general power supply voltage and the read amplifier is powered by a stabilized power supply voltage supplied by a DC/DC voltage converter receiving the general power supply voltage. The DC/DC converter comprises a switched-mode power supply that uses a switch to chop a direct current at high frequency and a rectifier to rectify and filter the chopped current. The chopping frequency is the pixel reading frequency, which eliminates certain power supply-related noises that degrade the video signal.04-01-2010
20100079647SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state image pickup device includes a pixel array including pixels, each having a photoelectric conversion element and a detecting unit detecting an acquired electric signal, arranged in a matrix, a signal line provided for each column of the pixel array and connected to the detecting unit through a switching element, a selection line provided for each row of the pixel array and supplied with a selection pulse causing the switching element to conduct, a resetting unit provided in each pixel constituting the pixel array and applying a predetermined potential to the detecting unit of the pixel, and an output control unit provided in each pixel constituting the pixel array and causing the switching element of the pixel to conduct according to the selection pulse supplied to another selection line connected to another switching element of another pixel belonging to another row.04-01-2010
20100079651IMAGE SENSOR AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME - An image sensor and a method of manufacturing an image sensor. An image sensor may include a first pixel. A first pixel may include a first photodiode and a first readout circuit. An image sensor may include a second pixel. A second pixel may include a second photodiode and a second readout circuit, which may be disposed at one side of a first pixel. An image sensor may include a different threshold voltage of a first drive transistor relative to a threshold voltage of a second drive transistor. A method of manufacturing an image sensor may include forming a first pixel having a first photodiode and a first readout circuit, and may include forming a second pixel having a second photodiode and a second readout circuit, wherein a threshold voltage of a first drive transistor relative to a threshold voltage of a second drive transistor is different.04-01-2010
20100085458Solid-state imaging element, driving method therefor, and camera system - A solid-state imaging element includes a pixel array unit having pixels arranged in a matrix, each pixel including a photoelectric conversion element, and a pixel drive control unit capable of controlling driving of the pixel array unit so as to perform a read or reset access operation of the pixel array unit in accordance with specified address information. The pixel drive control unit is capable of setting a desired region in the pixel array unit as a window region to be accessed. The pixel drive control unit includes a function for performing, concurrently with access to the window region and output processing, read or reset access on at least one adjacent outer row that is adjacent to the window region.04-08-2010
20110267522Solid-state imaging device, drive method thereof and camera system - A solid-state imaging device includes: pixel signal reading lines; a pixel unit in which pixels including photoelectric conversion elements are arranged; and a pixel signal reading unit performing reading of pixel signals from the pixel unit through the pixel signal reading lines, wherein the pixel signal reading unit includes current source circuits each of which includes a load element as a current source connected to the pixel signal reading line forming a source follower, and the current source circuit includes a circuit generating electric current according to a slew rate of the pixel signal reading line and replicating electric current corresponding to the above electric current to flow in the current source.11-03-2011
20100123812Photoelectric Conversion Circuit and Solid State Imaging Device Including Same - A photoelectric conversion circuit (P05-20-2010
20110169992SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes: an image area including pixels arranged in a matrix; two row memories each of which alternatively (i) stores at a time pixel signals for each of rows, and (ii) sequentially provides each of the stored pixel signals; a reading control unit, during a horizontal period, sequentially reading the stored pixel signals one by one from a first line memory to cause the first line memory, the first line memory representing one of the two row memories; a holding control unit causing, during the horizontal period, a second line memory to hold pixel signals provided from one of the rows in the image area, the second line memory representing another one of the two row memories; and a reading suspending unit causing the reading control unit to suspend reading out the pixel signals from the first line memory during a noise occurrence predicted period.07-14-2011
20110169991IMAGE SENSOR WITH EPITAXIALLY SELF-ALIGNED PHOTO SENSORS - An image sensor pixel includes a substrate doped to have a first conductivity type. A first epitaxial layer is disposed over the substrate and doped to also have the first conductivity type. A transfer transistor gate is formed on the first epitaxial layer. An epitaxially grown photo-sensor region is disposed in the first epitaxial layer and has a second conductivity type. The epitaxially grown photo-sensor region includes an extension region that extends under a portion of the transfer transistor gate.07-14-2011
20090201407VARIABLE PIXEL CLOCK ELECTRONIC SHUTTER CONTROL - CMOS image sensor with a rolling shutter that uses two separate clocks. One of the clocks is used during normal operation. When timing is changed, the other clock is started and used during an interim period to avoid distortion in the image. After that interim period, the new clock timing is coupled to the original clock circuit.08-13-2009
20090201405SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - An imaging apparatus is provided. The apparatus generally comprises an array and storage elements. The array includes photosensitive cells that are arranged in a plurality of columns and a plurality of rows such that each column includes a set of photosensitive cell pairs that have a shared region with a share floating diffusion region and a shared selection transistor. Also, the location of each shared region of each column is shifted by one row in each adjacent column.08-13-2009
20090190019Semiconductor image sensor array device, apparatus comprising such a device and method for operating such a device - A plural line CMOS sensor array device is provided with sensor cells arranged in a matrix of coordinate-wise rows and columns. Each cell comprises a photosensitive area, an output node, and a transfer gate for selectively interconnecting the photosensitive area and the output node. Along at least a first coordinate direction adjacent cells are functionally configured as mutually mirror-symmetric structures in that their proximate output nodes are facing each other and are arranged for separately feeding a respective output channel.07-30-2009
20090273698Image-sensing chip package module for reducing its whole thickness - An image-sensing chip package module for reducing its whole thickness can fix an image-sensing unit under a substrate unit via an adhesive body disposed between the substrate unit and the image-sensing unit, so that the image-sensing unit can be firmly fixed under a bottom area (the bottom area is a receiving space formed by using a plurality of first conductive protruding bodies to support the substrate unit up relative to a main PCB) of the substrate unit. In other words, the image-sensing unit is received in the receiving space formed by using the first conductive protruding bodies to support the substrate unit up relative to the main PCB, so that the whole thickness of the image-sensing chip package module can be reduced. Therefore, it is easy for designer to integrate the image-sensing chip package module into any portable electronic devices such as mobile phone or notebook.11-05-2009
20090284633IMAGE SENSOR, DATA OUTPUT METHOD, IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, AND CAMERA - An image sensor includes: a pixel array block configured to get image data by photoelectrically converting light; a register group configured to store information associated with processing of the image sensor; and a parallel interface configured to output the image data to outside in parallel output; wherein the parallel interface further outputs a register value group stored in the register group to outside when the image data is not being outputted to outside.11-19-2009
20090290058SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - In a solid-state imaging device, provided is a solid-state imaging device in which a first gate insulation film 11-26-2009
20090295968SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus including: a pixel section having pixels two-dimensionally arranged into rows and columns each pixel containing a photoelectric conversion means, an amplification means for amplifying and outputting as pixel signal a signal electric charge of the photoelectric conversion means, and a reset means for resetting signal electric charges accumulated at the amplification means; a vertical scanning section for selecting a row to be read out of the pixel section; a vertical signal line provided column by column for outputting the signal from the pixel section; and a sample-and-hold type bias section connected to the vertical signal line containing at least a hold means for setting an electric current flowing into the amplification means. The sample-and-hold type bias section causes to generate an electric current corresponding to a voltage set at the hold means when signal electric charges accumulated at the photoelectric conversion means is read out from the amplification means.12-03-2009
20090295970SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus including: a pixel section having a plurality of pixels arranged into rows and columns each pixel containing at least a photoelectric conversion device for converting an incident light into signal electric charges, a transfer device for transferring the signal electric charges generated at the photoelectric conversion device, and an amplification device for amplifying the transferred signal electric charges; vertical signal lines provided in common for each column to read outputs of the pixels; constant current supplies respectively connected to the vertical signal lines; an amplification section for amplifying an image signal obtained from the pixels; a clip section for clipping the vertical signal line so that it does not fall below a predetermined voltage in a read period for outputting the signal electric charges generated at the photoelectric conversion device onto the vertical signal line; and a control section for changing a clip level of the clip section in accordance with setting of an amplification factor at the amplification section.12-03-2009
20090295969SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus, comprising, a pixel section including a two-dimensional matrix of a plurality of pixels each provided with a photoelectric conversion section, and an amplifier section that amplifies an output of the photoelectric conversion section and outputs a pixel signal, a column signal line provided on a column basis in the pixel section to receive the pixel signal outputted from the amplification section of each of the pixels, a column amplification section in which a first input terminal is coupled with an end of each of the column signal lines via a first switch device, and a second input terminal is coupled via a second switch device with a load section that is in charge of setting an amplification rate for use to amplify the pixel signal, a third switch device that couples together the load section and others in the plurality of various columns, and a control section that controls coupling and decoupling by the first, second, and third switch devices.12-03-2009
20100283881Solid-state imaging apparatus, driving method of the solid-state imaging apparatus, and electronic equipment - A solid-state imaging apparatus includes: a pixel array section in which pixels including photoelectric conversion elements are two-dimensionally arranged in a matrix form, and a plurality of systematic pixel drive lines to transmit drive signals to read out signals from the pixels are arranged for each pixel row; and a row scanning section to simultaneously output the drive signals through the plurality of systematic pixel drive lines to a plurality of pixel rows for different pixel columns.11-11-2010
20110199526SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DRIVING THE SAME - A system and method for driving a solid-state image pickup device including a pixel array unit including unit pixels. Each unit pixel includes a photoelectric converter, column signal lines and a number of analog-digital converting units. The unit pixels are selectively controlled in units of rows. Analog signals output from the unit pixels in a row selected by the selective control though the column signal lines are converted to digital signals via the analog-digital converting units. The digital signals are added among a number of unit pixels via the analog-digital converting units. The added digital signals from the analog-digital converting units are read. Each unit pixel in the pixel array unit is selectively controlled in units of arbitrary rows, the analog-distal converting units being operable to performing the converting in a (a) normal-frame-rate mode and a (b) high-frame-rate mode in response to control signals.08-18-2011
20100103301INCREASING READOUT SPEED IN CMOS APS SENSORS THROUGH BLOCK READOUT - A method and associated architecture for dividing column readout circuitry in an active pixel sensor in a manner which reduces the parasitic capacitance on the readout line. In a preferred implementation, column readout circuits are grouped in blocks and provided with block signaling. Accordingly, only column output circuits in a selected block significantly impart a parasitic capacitance effect on shared column readout lines. Block signaling allows increasing pixel readout rate while maintaining a constant frame rate for utility in large format high-speed imaging applications.04-29-2010
20100060765Data bus control scheme for and image sensor and image sensor including the same - A memory system including a plurality of memory cells configured to receive digital signals includes an address decoder, a data bus, and a sense amplifier configured to receive data output from memory cells activated by addresses from the address decoder. The pre-charging the data bus and evaluating previous data by the sense amplifier occurs substantially simultaneously during a first period. The data bus and the sense amplifier are isolated from each other during the first period.03-11-2010
20100060766Solid-state imaging device and camera - A solid-state imaging device includes a pixel array unit in which pixels having photoelectric converting elements configured to accumulate electric signals in accordance with the quantity of received light and detecting units configured to detect the electric signals accumulated using the photoelectric converting elements are arrayed in a matrix and a timing signal generator configured to generate a timing signal with which an electric signal accumulation time period of each of respective pixels constituting the pixel array unit is set to be a time period obtained by adding a time period calculated on the basis of a position where each of the respective pixels constituting the pixel array unit is arranged to a predetermined time period.03-11-2010
20100060764HIGH GAIN READ CIRCUIT FOR 3D INTEGRATED PIXEL - An image sensor includes (a) a first wafer having (i) a photosensitive area; (ii) a charge-to-voltage conversion region; (b) a second wafer having (i) a first amplifier that receives a signal from the charge-to-voltage conversion region; (c) an electrical interconnect connecting the charge-to-voltage conversion region to an input of the amplifier; (d) an electrically biased shield at least partially enclosing at least a portion of the electrical interconnect.03-11-2010
20080239125IMAGE SENSOR SUITABLE FOR OPERATING IN SUBRESOLUTION MODE - “An image sensor suitable for operating in subresolution mode, including a plurality of pixels each formed of an elementary cell including a photodiode, and a reset transistor for connecting the photodiode to a reference voltage source, and a readout transistor connected to a column bus bar for acquiring the value of the charge of the photodiode, where the elementary cells are grouped in subsets forming macro-pixels, each subset having a common electrical connection, to which each elementary cell is able to connect by its reset transistor, in order to share the charges between the photodiodes of the elementary cells of said subset, said common electrical connection being suitable for connection to the reference voltage source.”10-02-2008
20080239127Method and apparatus for processing a pixel signal - An NchMOS transistor Q10-02-2008
20110267521IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - An image sensing device includes an image sensing chip, an optical module and a protecting element. The image sensing chip has a front surface defining an image sensing region thereon. The optical module includes a barrel and at least one transparent element. The barrel is directly disposed on the front surface and around the image sensing region. The transparent element is disposed in the barrel and faces to the image sensing region. The protecting element covers an area of the front surface outside the optical module and surrounds the barrel. The image sensing device has a thin thickness.11-03-2011
20110199525METHOD AND APPARATUS PROVIDING PIXEL STORAGE GATE CHARGE SENSING FOR ELECTRONIC STABILIZATION IN IMAGERS - An imaging device that stores charge from a photosensor under at least one storage gate. A driver used to operate the at least one storage gate, senses how much charge was transferred to the storage gate. The sensed charge is used to obtain at least one signature of the image scene. The at least one signature may then be used for processing such as e.g., motion detection, auto-exposure, and auto-white balancing.08-18-2011
20100128156SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device includes a plurality of unit pixels. Each unit pixel has a photodiode, a reading transistor, a floating diffusion, a capacitance adding transistor, and a reset transistor. The reading transistor reads signal electric charges from the photodiode. The floating diffusion accumulates the signal electric charges read from the reading transistor. The capacitance adding transistor selectively adds capacitance to the floating diffusion. The reset transistor resets an electric potential of the floating diffusion.05-27-2010
20090051797DIGITAL IMAGE CAPTURING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR CORRECTTING IMAGE TILT ERRORS - An digital image capturing device includes an image sensor, a tilt sensor, an image processor, and a memory device. The image sensor is configured for capturing an image of an object. The tilt sensor is configured for sensing a tilt angle of the image sensor. The image processor is configured for adjusting an orientation of the captured image based on the sensed tilt angle to correspond to the orientation of the object. The memory device is used for storing the adjusted image.02-26-2009
20090033783IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM - An image sensing apparatus comprises: a pixel array in which a plurality of pixels are arrayed in a row direction and column direction; a selection unit configured to select a row of the pixel array; and a readout unit configured to read out signals from the pixels of the row selected by the selection unit, wherein, when the readout unit reads out signals from the pixels of not all rows but some rows in the pixel array, the selection unit resets the pixels of rows in adjacent regions adjacent to readout rows from which signals are read out, and the pixel array includes rows, in which the pixels are not reset by the selection unit, in regions other than the readout rows and the adjacent regions.02-05-2009
20090033781IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS AND IMAGE CAPTURING SYSTEM - An image sensing apparatus comprises a pixel and a driving unit, wherein the driving unit includes a buffer circuit including a first PMOS transistor and a first NMOS transistor, and letting V02-05-2009
20090033780SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE - An object of the present invention is to provide a two-dimensional solid state imaging device which can realize speeding up of signal output. The two-dimensional solid state imaging device includes: a pixel region; a first capacitance element and a second capacitance element each of which is arranged for a different column of pixels and accumulates pixel signals of the corresponding column of pixels; a first horizontal signal line and a second horizontal signal line each of which transmits the pixel signals accumulated in a corresponding capacitance element; a common signal line connected to the horizontal signal lines; a scan timing generation unit and a switch unit which control readout of the pixel signals from the capacitance element to the horizontal signal line; and an external output timing unit and a switch unit which select the horizontal signal line and control output of the pixel signals from the selected horizontal signal line to the common signal line. Here, the scan timing generation unit and the switch unit, and the external output timing unit and the switch unit control the readout and the output of the pixel signals, respectively, so that a time period required for the readout of the pixel signals from the capacitance element to the signal line is longer than a time period required for the output of the pixel signals from the signal line to the common signal line.02-05-2009
20090033779Method, apparatus, and system providing multi-column shared readout for imagers - An imager and method of operating an imager employing multi-column shared readout circuitry. Columns of a pixel array are organized into groups, each group having a respective multi-column shared readout circuit. The columns of each group are readout serially but in parallel with the columns of other groups. Each multi-column shared readout circuit may comprise a black level correction clamp, a multi-column analog gain amplifier, a analog-to-digital converter, a digital offset correction block, and a digital gain calibration block. A single-column analog gain amplifier may amplify an analog pixel signal value of each column prior to processing by a respective multi-column shared readout circuit.02-05-2009
20080273107Data transfer circuit, solid-state imaging device and camera system - A data transfer circuit includes at least one transfer line transferring digital data, at least one data detecting circuit connecting to the transfer line, multiple holding circuits holding a digital value corresponding to the input level and transferring the digital value to the transfer line, and a scanning circuit selecting the multiple holding circuits, wherein the multiple holding circuits are laid out in parallel, and the transfer line is placed in the direction orthogonal to the direction of the parallel layout of the holding circuit and connects to the data detecting circuit placed in the orthogonal direction.11-06-2008
20090295966SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA - A column amplifier includes: a load transistor having a gate for receiving a fixed potential; a drive unit configured to drive a current having a current value in accordance with a potential of the input point; a reset transistor configured to turn ON when the pixel signal is at a reset potential and turn OFF when the pixel signal is at a read potential; and a clip transistor configured to turn OFF when a potential of the output point is smaller than a predetermined potential and turn ON when the potential of the output point is the predetermined potential or greater, and the drive unit has a circuit structure configured to selectively apply first and second current driving abilities.12-03-2009
20090295965METHOD AND CIRCUIT FOR DRIVING ACTIVE PIXELS IN A CMOS IMAGER DEVICE - One embodiment of the present invention describes a pixel circuit that comprises at least one photodiode, a first transistor coupled between the photodiode and a floating diffusion node, a second transistor coupled between the floating diffusion node and a modifiable driving voltage signal, and a third transistor having a gate coupled to the floating diffusion node, a source coupled to a signal output, and a drain coupled to a constant voltage. Another embodiment of the present invention provides a method for driving the pixel circuit, which comprises resetting the photodiode and the floating diffusion node, exposing the photodiode to light to accumulate charges, selecting the pixel circuit by switching the driving voltage signal from a first voltage level to a second voltage level, retrieving a reference voltage from the selected pixel circuit, and retrieving an image signal from the selected pixel circuit corresponding to the accumulated charges.12-03-2009
20080278614SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE HAVING A PLURALITY OF LINES FORMED IN AT LEAST TWO LAYERS ON SEMICONDUCTOR SUBSTRATE - In a MOS-type solid-state imaging device 11-13-2008
20080278613Methods, apparatuses and systems providing pixel value adjustment for images produced with varying focal length lenses - Methods, apparatuses and systems are disclosed for providing pixel value corrections in accordance with the focal length of a variable focal length lens used to capture an image. Two or more adjustment surfaces, each corresponding to a focal length of said lens, are stored. If an image is captured using a focal length of the lens which does not correspond to a stored adjustment surface, an interpolated or extrapolated adjustment surface is determined and applied to a captured image.11-13-2008
20080278615Solid-state image pickup device and camera system - A solid-state image pickup device, including: a pixel section including at least one pixel circuit including a mechanism for converting an optical signal into an electric signal and accumulating the electric signal in response to exposure time; a pixel driving section configured to drive the pixel section to carry out signal accumulation and signal outputting; at least one different circuit section configured to carry out a process relating to accessing to the pixel section through the pixel driving section; and a control section configured to control, at least upon the signal accumulation of the pixel circuit, the pixel driving section so as to maintain the pixel circuit in a state wherein the pixel circuit accumulates the electric signal and control supply of a power supply voltage to the different circuit section.11-13-2008
20080291313High dynamic range imager with a rolling shutter - A high dynamic range imager operates pixels utilizing at least a short integration period and a long integration period. The pixel reading circuits of the imager are adapted to process pixel signals corresponding to the integration periods in parallel. The pixel signals are converted into digital values in parallel. The digital values are each linear functions of the incident light and therefore suitable for use with conventional color processing algorithms. A pipelined rolling shutter operation may be employed where the short integration period of one row of pixels is performed simultaneously with the long integration period of another row of pixels.11-27-2008
20080291310Imager and system utilizing pixel with internal reset control and method of operating same - A pixel having no dedicated reset control line. By using the voltage on the column line to control the gate of the reset transistor, there is no need to provide a dedicate reset control line.11-27-2008
20080303930PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION DEVICE AND IMAGE-PICKUP APPARATUS - In a photoelectric conversion device, groups of unit pixels are arranged in a well, where each of the unit pixels includes photoelectric conversion elements, an amplifier transistor, and transfer transistors. The photoelectric conversion device includes a line used to supply a voltage to the well, a well-contact part used to connect the well-voltage-supply line to the well, and transfer-control lines used to control the transfer transistors. The transfer-control lines are symmetrically arranged with respect to the well-voltage-supply line in respective regions of the unit-pixel groups.12-11-2008
20100060767ANALOG-SIGNAL PROCESSING CIRCUIT FOR IMPROVING ACCURACY OF ARITHMETIC MEAN OF SIGNALS - In a first signal conversion circuit, a first electrode of a first capacitor is connected to a first signal line, and a second electrode thereof is connected to a first node. In a second capacitor, a third electrode thereof is connected to a second signal line, and a fourth electrode thereof is connected to a second node. In a first inverting amplifier including a first negative feedback switch, a first input electrode is connected to the first node, and a first output electrode is connected to a third node. In a second inverting amplifier including a second negative feedback switch, a second input electrode is connected to the second node. A first averaging switch is connected between a first node and second node. A second averaging switch is connected between third node and fourth node.03-11-2010
20080211951IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA - An imaging device is disclosed. The device includes: a unit pixel that outputs an analog electric signal in accordance with a signal charge; a local voltage supply circuit that generates a local voltage different from an operation voltage; a reference signal generation section that generates a reference signal based on the local voltage provided by the local voltage supply circuit; and a processing section that converts, by referring to the reference signal generated by the reference signal generation section, the analog signal provided by the unit pixel into a digital signal. In the imaging device, the reference signal generation section keeps constant a load current of the local voltage supply circuit in an operating state.09-04-2008
20110205419PIXEL DRIVE CIRCUIT, IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A pixel drive circuit including a plurality of pixel circuits, each including a photoelectric converting unit for converting an incident light into an electric charge and accumulating the converted electric charge, the plurality of pixel circuits being arranged in a matrix shape, an address decoder for selecting the pixel circuits to be controlled which are arranged on an identical line, a storage circuit for storing operation information to be executed by the pixel circuits selected by the address decoder, and a control circuit for controlling an operation of the pixel circuits selected by the address decoder in accordance with a storage state of the storage circuit. The control circuit controls a charge discharging operation of discharging an electric charge remaining in the photoelectric converting unit of each of the pixel circuits. The storage circuit holds the storage state until the charge discharging operation is completed.08-25-2011
20080252765IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE - The present invention resides in an image pickup device capable of reducing the deformation of the image of the photographed object. An image pickup element included in the image pickup device has a matrix of pixels, for which the control of the charge storage and the readout of image signal data is performed on a row-by-row or column-by-column basis. The storage controller controls the charge storage operation of the image pickup element. On the other hand, the readout controller controls the readout of the image signal data from the image pickup element, while keeping constant the unit period for the readout of the image signal data from the image pickup element. A synchronization signal generator provides a synchronization signal as a timing reference for the frame-based operation of the image pickup element. The synchronization signal period controller variably controls the repetition period of the synchronization signal, while the photographing is under way.10-16-2008
20080284890SOLID-STATE IMAGE-SENSING DEVICE - A solid-state image-sensing device has a MOS transistor (T11-20-2008
20080211950IMAGING APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM - An imaging apparatus includes a pixel unit array and a driving unit. Each pixel unit includes a plurality of photoelectric conversion units, a charge-voltage converter common to the plurality of photoelectric conversion units, a plurality of transfer units which transfer electric charges generated by the plurality of photoelectric conversion units to the charge-voltage converter, an output unit which outputs a signal based on the electric charges to a signal line, and a setting unit which sets the electric potential of the charge-voltage converter. Each pixel unit is selected or deselected in accordance with the electric potential set in the charge-voltage converter. The driving unit drives the pixel unit array so that the output unit continuously outputs, to the signal line, the signal based on the electric charges generated by the plurality of photoelectric conversion units in the selected pixel unit without performing an operation of deselecting the selected pixel unit.09-04-2008
20080246868SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - In a solid-state image sensing device, a second substrate having transparency, including a via is placed on a solid-state image sensor having a pixel region and a logic region formed in a first substrate and in which a passive component electrically connected with the solid-state image sensor through the via is mounted on the second substrate. Thus, highly efficient location of passive components is attained for miniaturization.10-09-2008
20080239126CMOS solid-state image pickup apparatus - Basically, en electronic shutter function of a CMOS solid-state image pickup apparatus is implemented by a rolling shutter of which exposure timing sequentially shifts between pixel rows. The exposure period for one pixel row is from a time point when readout of the pixel row is started to a time point when next readout of the pixel row is started. Thus, in order to achieve exposure similar to that of a global shutter with the same exposure period applied to all of the pixel rows, there is set a blank period where no pixel signal is read out from any one of the pixel rows, and an LED is illuminated over a predetermined portion within the blank period. In this way, the CMOS solid-state image pickup apparatus having a rolling shutter function can achieve similar exposure to a global shutter.10-02-2008
20080284889IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS AND METHOD OF CORRECTING CAPTURED IMAGE DATA - An image pickup apparatus includes a solid-state image pickup device including a plurality of pixels arranged in a two-dimensional array, a circuit necessary for the pixel structure being shared between the pixels of a predetermined number having the same arrangement pattern; correction value generating means for generating a correction value for the pixel data read out from the pixel position of each pixel having the same arrangement pattern, the correction value being used for correcting the nonuniformity in pixel characteristics caused by a difference in position between the pixels in the arrangement pattern; and correcting means for correcting each pixel data read out from the solid-state image pickup device on the basis of the correction value for the corresponding pixel data, generated by the correction value generating means.11-20-2008
20100141821Image Sensor Devices Having Dual-Gated Charge Storage Regions Therein - An image sensor device may include a dual-gated charge storage region within a substrate. The dual-gated charge storage region includes first and second diodes within a common charge generating region. This charge generating region is configured to receive light incident on a surface of the image sensor device. The first and second diodes include respective first conductivity type regions responsive to first and second gate signals, respectively. These first and second gate signals are active during non-overlapping time intervals.06-10-2010
20090096904Method and apparatus providing column parallel architecture for imagers - An imaging apparatus and a method using column processing circuits arranged in multiple rows for processing pixels in a pixel array.04-16-2009
20090180014SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS, IMAGING SYSTEM, AND DRIVE METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - The present invention is directed to provide a solid-state imaging apparatus and a method of driving the solid-state imaging apparatus. If the total read out time of all of the pixels is shortened when effective pixels are thinned out to be read out without thinning out OB pixels, then the reset time period of each row is different from each other, and the problem of uneven charge accumulation time periods is caused. An improvement by the present invention is that, if no signals are read out from a part of the rows of the pixels in an effective pixel region to skip the rows, then the time period in which the rows to be skipped are selected is made to be shorter than the time period in which the rows from which signals are read out are selected, and the pixels in the optical black pixel region and the pixels in the effective pixel region are driven by the drive pulses of patterns different from each other.07-16-2009
20090160992IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, COLOR NOISE REDUCTION METHOD, AND COLOR NOISE REDUCTION PROGRAM - An image pickup apparatus includes an image sensor including a color filter having pixels of different colors arranged in a predetermined order and a demosaic processor. The image sensor receives a subject image and outputs an image signal including color signals of the different colors. The demosaic processor generates color signals of the different colors for each of pixels of the image from the image signal. The demosaic processor includes a generation unit and a noise reduction unit. The generation unit performs computation using a target color signal representing a predetermined target color signal included in the image signal and a predetermined different color signal so as to generate a color-related signal that associates the target color signal with the predetermined different color signal for a pixel of the target color signal. The noise reduction unit performs a noise reduction process on the color-related signal generated by the generation unit.06-25-2009
20090180013Solid image capture device and electronic device incorporating same - The solid image capture device 07-16-2009
20090180016DIFFERENTIAL COLUMN READOUT SCHEME FOR CMOS APS PIXELS - The present invention provides an improved column readout circuitry and method of operation which minimizes substrate and other common mode noise during a read out operation. The circuit improves the consistency of the pixel to pixel output of the pixel array and increases the dynamic range of the pixel output. This is accomplished by obtaining a differential readout of the reset signal and integrated charge signal from a desired pixel along with the reset signal and charge signal from a reference circuit. In this manner common mode noise can be minimized by a combination of signals from the desired and reference pixels in the sample and hold aspect of the column circuitry. In one exemplary embodiment of the invention, a 3T pixel arrangement is used. In another exemplary embodiment, a 4T arrangement is used. Additional exemplary embodiments provide differential column readout circuitry that can be used with any two signal sources.07-16-2009
20090160991UNIT PIXEL FOR USE IN CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - A unit pixel of a CMOS image sensor includes one PMOS for receiving light and generating electric signals and one NMOS that outputs the signals applied from the PMOS. Therefore, the pitch size of the pixel itself can be reduced, and the whole area by the image sensor can be also reduced. The present unit pixel improves image embodying characteristics even at low illumination, and does not require integration time, thereby enabling production of a moving picture at high speed. Further, the present unit pixel of the image sensor is formed using only a simple MOS process, which dramatically simplifies the fabrication steps. Therefore, process yield can be improved, while production cost savings can be realized. According to the present discussion, the unit pixel of a CMOS image sensor formed on a P type semiconductor substrate, includes an N type doped well, a PMOS for receiving light and generating electric signals, and an NMOS for outputting the signals from the PMOS.06-25-2009
20130120626CMOS IMAGE SENSOR WITH SHARED MULTIPLEXER AND METHOD OF OPERATING THE SAME - A CMOS image sensor includes a pixel array unit, a row selection unit, and a logic circuit. The pixel array unit is used for sensing an object. The pixel array unit includes M pixels and P multiplexers and each of the M pixels is electrically connected to one of the P multiplexers, wherein M is a positive integer and P is a positive integer smaller than M. The row selection unit and the logic circuit are electrically connected to the P multiplexers. The row selection unit is used for generating a row selection signal. The logic circuit is used for determining a sensing region corresponding to the object wherein the sensing region includes N of the M pixels. Furthermore, the logic circuit controls Q multiplexers, which are electrically connected to the N pixels, to transmit the row selection signal to the N pixels.05-16-2013
20110205417METHOD AND IMAGE SENSOR PIXEL WITHOUT ADDRESS TRANSISTOR - The invention describes in detail a solid-state CMOS image sensor, specifically the CMOS image sensor pixel that has only two row lines per pixel, pinned photodiode for sensing light, and one or two column lines. The pixel does not have an address transistor and the sensing and reset transistors are both MOS p-channel type. This architecture results in a low noise operation with a very small output transistor random noise. In addition this new pixel architecture allows for the standard CDS signal processing operation, which reduces the pixel to pixel non-uniformities and minimizes kTC reset noise. The pixel has high sensitivity, high conversion gain, high response uniformity, and low noise, which is enabled by the efficient 3T pixel layout.08-25-2011
20090128679Solid State Image Pickup Device - This invention improves linearity of a solid-state image pickup device beyond that of the prior art source follower to improve image quality. The image pickup device has plural pixels disposed in an array. Each pixel includes: a photodiode (PD); a transfer transistor (Tr05-21-2009
20090128678SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, DRIVING CONTROL METHOD, AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device and an imaging apparatus are provided. The solid-state imaging device performs an AD conversion in a column parallel for an analog pixel signal outputted from each of pixels disposed in a two-dimensional matrix shape. The solid-state imaging device includes: an AD conversion unit including a plurality of pixel signal accumulating units; a first switching unit for disconnecting parallel connection of a second pixel signal accumulating unit other than a first pixel signal accumulating unit which is one of the plurality of pixel signal accumulating units; and a second switching unit for connecting the second pixel signal accumulating unit to a pixel signal line of a second pixel adjacent to the first pixel in a row direction, when parallel connection of the second pixel signal accumulating unit is disconnected by the first switching unit.05-21-2009
20090027532IMAGE SENSOR CONTROL METHOD - A method for acquiring images using at least one CMOS-type sensor with four transistors including an acquisition node and a read node, where the read node can receive a compression signal, including a step of reading a reference state of the sensor; a reset step; an integration step, during which the sensor is exposed and during part of which the compression signal is applied to the read node; and a step of reading the data acquired during the integration step; the read node being, during the integration step, isolated from the acquisition node, except immediately before the application of the compression signal, at which time the acquisition node is connected to the read node long enough to enable a transfer of the charges present at the acquisition node to the read node.01-29-2009
20090141157IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM - An image sensing apparatus includes an output unit including a first output line which transmits a first signal of the first pixel, a second output line which transmits a second signal of the first pixel, a third output line which transmits a first signal of the second pixel, a fourth output line which transmits a second signal of the second pixel, a first difference circuit which operates the difference between the first signal and the second signal of the first pixel to generate a first image signal, and a second difference circuit which operates the difference between the first signal and the second signal of the second pixel to generate a second image signal, wherein the first output line is arranged between the third output line and the fourth output line, and the third output line is arranged between the first output line and the second output line.06-04-2009
20090141156REFERENCE VOLTAGE GENERATION IN IMAGING SENSORS - The claimed subject matter provides systems and/or methods that facilitate generating and/or maintaining low noise reference voltages for CMOS imaging System-on-Chip (iSoC) sensors. A primary reference voltage can be generated utilizing a low noise bandgap. Further, the primary reference voltage can be filtered via a low pass filter. The filtered, primary reference voltage can thereafter be distributed to a plurality of isolated domains. Each of the isolated domains can generate an independent set of reference voltages based upon the filtered, primary reference voltage. Moreover, subsets of these reference voltages can be employed by programmable digital to analog converters (DACs). Each of the reference voltages can be isolated from switching noise and/or clock glitches generated within each domain. Further, each DAC output can be buffered to have adequately low impedance with appropriate drive capability and requisite signal swing.06-04-2009
20090141155HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IMAGING CELL WITH ELECTRONIC SHUTTER EXTENSIONS - A pixel sensor cell of improved dynamic range and a design structure including the pixel sensor cell embodied in a machine readable medium are provided. The pixel cell comprises a coupling transistor that couples a capacitor device to a photosensing region (e.g., photodiode) of the pixel cell, the photodiode being coupled to a transfer gate and one terminal of the coupling transistor. In operation, the additional capacitance is coupled to the pixel cell photodiode when the voltage on the photodiode is drawn down to the substrate potential. Thus, the added capacitance is only connected to the imager cell when the cell is nearing its charge capacity. Otherwise, the cell has a low capacitance and low leakage. In an additional embodiment, a terminal of the capacitor is coupled to a “pulsed” supply voltage signal that enables substantially full depletion of stored charge from the capacitor to the photosensing region during a read out operation of the pixel sensor cell. In various embodiments, the locations of the added capacitance and photodiode may be interchanged with respect to the coupling transistor. In addition, the added capacitor of the pixel sensor cell allows for a global shutter operation.06-04-2009
20090015700Apparatus and method for eliminating artifacts in active pixel sensor (APS) imagers - An active pixel sensor (APS) that includes circuitry to eliminate artifacts in digital images. The APS includes a comparator for comparing a signal level from a pixel to an adjusted saturation voltage to determine if the pixel is saturated. If the pixel is saturated, the signal output from the pixel is replaced with an analog voltage having a maximum value corresponding to a brightest pixel in the image.01-15-2009
20090015699IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS DRIVING METHOD, IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS, AND IMAGE SENSING SYSTEM - Since pixel signals are not only added in the row direction but also averaged in the column direction, it is possible to sufficiently increase the frame rate even when the number of pixels increases. Additionally, since the spatial centers of gravity of the added or averaged signals are arranged at equal intervals in a Bayer array, it is possible to reduce false color (moiré) generation and suppress the decrease in the spatial resolution.01-15-2009
20090122174SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD OF DRIVING THE SAME - A solid-state imaging device includes: an effective pixel area in which a plurality of pixels having photodiodes (PD) are provided in row and column directions, the effective pixel area being capable of allowing light from outside to be incident in each PD and generating electric signals by photoelectric conversion; and a non-effective pixel area in which a plurality of pixels covered with a light-shielding film are provided, and a reference area and a failure-detection pattern area are formed as sub-areas. Each pixel in the reference area has a PD. The failure-detection pattern area has a configuration such that pixels with PD and pixels without PD are arranged in combination in a predetermined arrangement pattern. Each of pixels in the effective pixel area is driven so as to output a pixel signal, and each of pixels in the non-effective pixel area including the failure-detection pattern area also can be driven so as to output a pixel signal. A failure such that a signal from an image sensor is not outputted at all can be detected even in a dark environment.05-14-2009
20090122173LOW NOISE READOUT APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR CMOS IMAGE SENSORS - A low noise readout apparatus and method for CMOS image sensors having a complementary metal oxide semiconductor with a plurality of pixels, each pixel having a charge-generating unit configured to release a charge, a potential well for receiving the released charge from the charge-generating unit, a first gate, a second gate and a floating gate, in series and adjacent the potential well, the first gate transfers the charge from the potential well to the second gate, the second gate transfers the charge to the floating gate to generate a first corresponding readout voltage, the first gate, the second gate and the floating gate transfer the charge back and forth, at least once, to generate at least a second corresponding readout voltage, and a readout circuit coupled to the floating gate, the readout circuit measures a voltage corresponding to the charge transferred to the floating gate.05-14-2009
20130215309SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREOF, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - There is provided a solid-state imaging device including a pixel part obtained by arranging a plurality of pixels performing photoelectric conversion, and a pixel signal readout part including a logic part and reading out a pixel signal from the pixel part, wherein the pixel part and the logic part are formed as a layered structure, wherein the layered structure includes a low hardness layer at least lower in hardness than another layer out of a plurality of layers, and wherein a dividing part different from the other layer is formed in a side portion of the low hardness layer.08-22-2013
20090051798Wide dynamic range linear-and-log active pixel - A pixel circuit having an improved dynamic range is disclosed. When incoming light detected by the photodiode is strong, the accumulated (integrated) charge on a signal capacitor becomes large. To compensate, the excess signal component becomes compressed and the pixel circuit begins operating in logarithmic rather than linear mode. In this way, the circuit can achieve a higher dynamic range more closely resembling the image sensing properties of the human eye.02-26-2009
20110228153CMOS IMAGER WITH INTEGRATED CIRCUITRY - A CMOS imager is integrated on a single substrate along with logic and support circuitry for decoding and processing optical information received by the CMOS imager. Integrating a CMOS imager and peripheral circuitry allows for a single chip image sensing device.09-22-2011
20110141333SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DRIVING THE SAME - According to one embodiment, a back side illumination type solid-state imaging device includes an imaging area in which a plurality of unit pixels each including a photoelectric conversion section and a signal scan circuit section are arranged on a semiconductor substrate, and a light illumination surface formed on a surface of the semiconductor substrate located opposite a surface of the semiconductor substrate on which the signal scan circuit section is formed, wherein the unit pixel comprises a high-sensitivity pixel and a low-sensitivity pixel with a lower sensitivity than the high-sensitivity pixel. And each of the high-sensitivity pixel and the low-sensitivity element comprises a first pixel separation layer located on the light illumination surface side in the semiconductor substrate to separate the pixels from each other.06-16-2011
20090086074DUAL MODE CAMERA SOLUTION APPARATUS, SYSTEM, AND METHOD - A camera solution includes an image sensor and an image processing and control system. At least two different operating modes are supported, with one of the modes having a higher dynamic range. Control of the dynamic range is provided at the system level. The system supports statically or dynamically selecting an operating mode that determines the dynamic range of a camera. In one implementation, the system supports the use of either a conventional image sensor that does not natively support a high dynamic range or a dual-mode image sensor.04-02-2009
20090086076SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes a reflection timing control signal output unit, a data holding unit, and a collective-reflection processing unit. The reflection timing control signal output unit outputs a reflection timing control signal for controlling a timing of outputting operation setting data. The data holding unit latches the operation setting data inputted from outside and outputs the operation setting data. The collective-reflection processing unit collectively latches the operation setting data in synchronism with the reflection timing control signal, and outputs the latched operation setting data to a driving section. The reflection timing control signal output unit receives a vertical synchronization signal and an end-of-communication signal representative of an end of communication of a series of operation setting data from outside, and outputs the reflection timing control signal to the collective-reflection processing unit in synchronism with the vertical synchronization signal after the end-of-communication signal is received.04-02-2009
20090086077SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURE APPARATUS AND IMAGE CAPTURE APPARATUS - A solid-state image capture apparatus includes a pixel array section with a plurality of pixels arranged in two-dimensional directions, each having a photoelectric conversion section, and pixel drive control section for performing pixel signal readout by sequentially scanning the pixel array section either in a row direction or in a column direction, and driving and controlling individual pixels of the pixel array section through a level shifter circuit. The pixel drive control means includes thinning-out readout control means for performing pixel signal readout, reset control means for resetting either a non-readout pixel row or a non-readout pixel column not being selected by the thinning-out readout control means and gate means for causing the pixel drive control means to perform driving control, whereby current concurrently flowing into the level shifter circuit during the thinning-out readout driving, may be avoided and large current caused by the level shifter circuit may be suppressed.04-02-2009
20090086075SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, DRIVING METHOD THEREOF, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state image pickup device includes a pixel array including pixels arranged in a matrix, a pixel signal readout unit, and a timing control unit for controlling processing of the pixel signal readout unit by using a timing signal. The pixel signal readout unit includes: a plurality of comparators for comparing a readout signal potential with a reference voltage to generate a determination signal and outputting the determination signal, and a plurality of counters. Each counter counts a comparison time of each corresponding one of the comparators. The timing control unit (a) divides a predetermined processing period into at least a first-time readout period, a first comparison period, a second-time readout period, and a second-time comparison period, (b) classifies the periods into two periods, and (c) generates a timing signal of processing of each divided period by counting for each divided period in the counter.04-02-2009
20090201406SOLID STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS AND IMAGE PICKUP SYSTEM - The invention is to reduce a color mixing resulting from influences of adjacent pixels. The invention provides a solid-state image pickup apparatus including plural pixels each including a PN junction area constituting a photoelectric conversion area, a floating diffusion area for holding a charge outputted from the PN junction area, an amplifying transistor for amplifying the charge in the floating diffusion area, and a wiring for connecting at least the floating diffusion area, a gate electrode of the amplifying transistor and a resetting MOS transistor, and a signal output line for outputting signals from the amplifying transistors, the apparatus including shield lines between the wiring of one pixel or the floating diffusion area and the wiring of one pixel and the signal output line of another adjacent pixel.08-13-2009
20090207292SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS AND DRIVING METHOD THEREOF - A solid state imaging apparatus of less fixed pattern noises and less shading comprises an imaging area wherein a plurality of pixel circuits are arranged in two dimensionally, and each of the pixel circuits includes a plurality of photoelectric conversion elements each for generating an electric charge by a photoelectric conversion and for accumulating the electric charge, a single floating diffusion portion for accumulating the charge, a plurality of transfer switches for transferring the electric charges respectively from the plurality of photoelectric conversion elements to the single floating diffusion portion and an amplifying transistor for amplifying a voltage corresponding to the electric charge accumulated by the floating diffusion portion, wherein the plurality of transfer switches transfers the electric charges from the plurality of photoelectric conversion elements sequentially to the floating diffusion portion while maintaining the amplifying transistors at the activation state.08-20-2009
20090207291Solid-state imaging device, camera, and electronic device - Disclosed is a solid-state imaging device which includes an imaging region including pixels arranged two-dimensionally, each of the pixels including a photoelectric conversion element and a plurality of pixel transistors for reading out signals outputted from the photoelectric conversion element, and wirings formed on stacked layers for driving each of the pixels. A shading part between the pixels is formed by combining first and second wirings selected from the wirings.08-20-2009
20090213260SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CONTROL METHOD THEREOF, AND CAMERA - An object of the invention is to cause a part of charge spilling from a photoelectric conversion unit to flow into a charge holding unit and thereby extend dynamic range and at the same time improve image quality. There is provided a solid-state image pickup device having a pixel including: a photoelectric conversion unit generating and accumulating charge by means of photoelectric conversion; a first charge holding unit being shielded from light, and being adaptable to accumulate a part of charge spilling from the photoelectric conversion unit in a period during which the photoelectric conversion unit generates and accumulates charge; an amplifying unit (SF-MOS) amplifying charge; a first transfer unit (Tx-MOS) transferring the charge accumulated in the photoelectric conversion unit to the amplifying unit; and a second transfer unit (Ty-MOS) transferring the charge accumulated in the first charge holding unit to the amplifying unit.08-27-2009
20090213259Correlation Double Sampling Circuit for Image Sensor - A correlation double sampling (CDS) circuit for sampling a reset signal and a light-sensing signal outputted from a pixel column of an image sensor includes two sampling capacitors and four transistor switches. The operation of the CDS circuit needs not change polarities of the two sampling capacitors, such that MOS capacitors that have higher capacitance per unit area can be utilized for realizing the two sampling capacitors for reducing thermal noises induced when performing sampling. Additionally, fewer transistors are used in the CDS circuit, and thus charge injection noises caused by switching the transistor switches can also be reduced.08-27-2009
20090251582SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE, DRIVING METHOD OF THE SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE, AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT - A solid state imaging device includes: multiple unit pixels including a photoelectric converter generating electrical charge in accordance with incident light quantity and accumulating the charge, a first transfer gate transferring the accumulated charge, a charge holding region holding the transferred charge, a second transfer gate transferring the held charge, and a floating diffusion region converting the transferred charge into voltage; an intermediate charge transfer unit transferring, to the charge holding region, a charge exceeding a predetermined charge amount as a first signal charge; and a pixel driving unit setting the first transfer gate to a non-conducting state, set the second transfer gate to a conducting state, transfer the first signal charge to the floating diffusion region, set the second transfer gate to a non-conducting state, set the first transfer gate to a conducting state, and transfer the accumulated charge to the charge holding region as a second signal charge.10-08-2009
20090244348METHOD AND APPARATUS PROVIDING PIXEL ARRAY HAVING AUTOMATIC LIGHT CONTROL PIXELS AND IMAGE CAPTURE PIXELS - A pixel array uses two sets of pixels to provide accurate exposure control. One set of pixels provide continuous output signals for automatic light control (ALC) as the other set integrates and captures an image. ALC pixels allow monitoring of multiple pixels of an array to obtain sample data indicating the amount of light reaching the array, while allowing the other pixels to provide proper image data. A small percentage of the pixels in an array is replaced with ALC pixels and the array has two reset lines for each row; one line controls the reset for the image capture pixels while the other line controls the reset for the ALC pixels. In the columns, at least one extra control signal is used for the sampling of the reset level for the ALC pixels, which happens later than the sampling of the reset level for the image capture pixels.10-01-2009
20090237545SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CONTROL METHOD THEREOF - An image sensor controls the gain of a pixel signal on a pixel-by-pixel basis and extends a dynamic range while maintaining a S/N ratio at a favorable level. A column unit in an image sensor is independently detects a level of each pixel signal and independently sets a gain for level of the signal. A photoelectric converting region unit has pixels arranged two-dimensionally with a vertical signal line for each pixel column to output each pixel signal. The column unit is on an output side of the vertical signal line. The column unit for each pixel column has a pixel signal level detecting circuit, a programmable gain control, a sample and hold (S/H) circuit. Gain correction is performed according to a result of a detected level of the pixel signal.09-24-2009
20090251580Circuit and Method for Reading Out and Resetting Pixels of an Image Sensor - A circuit for resetting and reading out a pixel cell of a CMOS image sensor is proposed. The circuit allows for reading out the pixel cell at least two times during a main integration interval, thereby generating at least two pixel signals. The circuit further comprises means for combining the at least two pixel signals to an output signal. The means for combining are operable to combine the at least two pixel signals weighted in dependence on a saturation level of the pixel cell. A method for controlling the circuit for reading out the image sensor is also proposed.10-08-2009
20090251583IMAGE SENSOR FOR REMOVING HORIZONTAL NOISE - Disclosed herein is an image sensor for removing a horizontal noise. The image sensor includes a pixel array including a plurality of unit pixels located at every row or column; an analog bus located at every row or column, for transferring output signals of the pixel array; and a readout circuit for reading the output signals of the pixel array loaded on the analog bus, wherein the readout circuit includes: a plurality of first transistors having a drain connected to the column analog bus and a source connected to a supply voltage; and a second transistor having a drain connected to a gate of the second transistor and gates of the first transistors, and a source connected to the supply voltage, wherein, a size of the second transistor is larger than a size of the first transistor.10-08-2009
20090256942Simultaneous readout of CMOS APS imagers - A new method of reading an imager is achieved. The method comprises providing an imager array comprising n rows and m columns where a pair of rows can be read during a single row access time. A first image field is completed by sequentially reading and storing pixel values of pairs of adjacent rows of the imager array. The reading begins at a first row, and the reading stops when less than three rows are unread. Thereafter pixel values of the next row are read and not stored. Thereafter pixel values of the first row of the imager array are read and not stored. A second image field is completed by sequentially reading and storing pixel values of pairs of adjacent rows. The reading begins at the second row, the reading stops when less than two rows are unread.10-15-2009
20090256940Method and apparatus providing dynamic boosted control signal for a pixel - A method and apparatus that generates boosted control signals for a transistor in a target pixel circuit. At least one modified pixel circuit is provided with a transistor layout that approximates a layout of the target pixel circuit. In the modified pixel circuit, one transistor that corresponds to a transistor in the target pixel that is to be controlled provides a voltage used to generate a control signal for the corresponding transistor in the target pixel.10-15-2009
20100149394SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM USING THE SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - It is an object of the present invention to provide a solid-state imaging apparatus that outputs digital signals at high speed. A solid-state imaging apparatus is provided that includes plural analog-to-digital converters that convert analog signals obtained by photoelectric conversion into digital signals, plural digital memories that store the digital signals converted by the analog-to-digital converters, plural block digital output lines that are provided to correspond to blocks of the plural digital memories and to which the digital signals stored in the plural digital memories included in the blocks are output, a common digital output line that outputs the digital signals output from the plural block digital output lines, buffer circuits that buffer the digital signals output from the block digital output lines, and block selecting units that can switch the block digital output lines electrically connected to the common digital output line.06-17-2010
20090244345CMOS image sensor and driving method thereof - A CMOS image sensor is provided. The CMOS image sensor includes a photodiode receiving light and generating photocharges, a transfer transistor connected to the photodiode and transferring the photocharges, a floating diffusion accumulating the photocharges transferred from the transfer transistor, a reset transistor discharging the photocharges accumulated in the floating diffusion, and a merge gate transistor controlling capacitance of the floating diffusion. The CMOS image sensor may obtain a wide dynamic range signal without an increase in size of a pixel.10-01-2009
20090244347IMAGE SENSOR WITH AN IMPROVED SENSITIVITY - An image sensor having a surface intended to be illuminated and pixels, each pixel including a photosensitive area formed in an active area of the substrate, at least one first pixel including a first microlens located on the surface, the sensor including at least one second pixel including a transparent portion forming a pedestal located at least partly on the surface and a second microlens at least partially covering the pedestal.10-01-2009
20120194723SOLID STATE IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state image capture device includes: a pixel section in which pixels are arranged in a matrix; control lines; a pixel drive section that performs control, through the control lines, an operation of the pixels so as to perform a shutter operation of the pixel section and so as to perform reading; a reading circuit that reads signals from the pixels; and a shutter-mode switching section that controls an operation of the pixel drive section in accordance with a rolling shutter system in which exposure is performed for each row or a global shutter system in which exposure is simultaneously performed on all the pixels. The pixel drive section includes a shutter-mode corresponding section that causes an impedance value from the control lines to a power supply in a global shutter operation to be greater than an impedance value in a rolling shutter operation.08-02-2012
20120194722DYNAMIC RANGE EXTENSION FOR CMOS IMAGE SENSORS FOR MOBILE APPLICATIONS - Aspects of the invention provide dynamic range extension for CMOS image sensors for mobile applications. An embodiment of the invention may comprise setting for each pixel in a pixel array one of a plurality of integration times and one of a plurality of signal gains, wherein the settings may be used to generate corresponding digital data for each pixel in the pixel array. The corresponding digital data for adjacent pixels for the same color plane may then be grouped into a superpixel, where each pixel has associated with it a different combination of integration time and signal gain.08-02-2012
20100177231SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME, AND ELECTRONIC INFORMATION DEVICE - A solid-state image capturing apparatus is manufactured, which has a high sensitivity and high resolution with no color filter or no on-chip microlens required and with no shading generated or no variance in performance between pixel sections. In a solid-state image capturing apparatus 07-15-2010
20090251581Sub-pixels, unit pixels, image sensors and methods of operating the same - An image sensor includes a plurality of unit pixels arranged in an array. Each unit pixel includes a plurality of sub-pixels configured to be irradiated by light having the same wavelength. Each sub-pixel includes a plurality of floating body transistors. Each floating body transistor includes a source region, a drain region, a floating body region between the source region and the drain region, and a gate electrode formed on the floating body region.10-08-2009
20100039547PHOTO-SENSOR, MEASUREMENT APPARATUS AND CAMERA SYSTEM - The present invention provides a photo-sensor with a stable current limiting function and pixel reset function. When the incident light quantity of the phototransistor is equal to or less than a predetermined quantity and the base potential of the phototransistor is in a first potential of an operation point in a stationary state, an MOSFET for discharging an electric charge is controlled so as to be turned OFF. In addition, when the incident light quantity of the phototransistor is equal to or more than the predetermined quantity, a MOSFET for detecting an electric current is controlled so as to operate in a saturation region. When the base potential of the phototransistor has changed to a second potential from the first potential, the MOSFET for discharging an electric charge is controlled so as to be turned ON.02-18-2010
20080259194METHOD, APPARATUS, AND SYSTEM PROVIDING A RECTILINEAR PIXEL GRID WITH RADIALLY SCALED PIXELS - Pixels in an imaging device pixel array are sized according to their geographic location in the pixel array to compensate for various optical characteristics/issues. In one example, pixel size is increased according to the distance of the pixel from the x-axis and/or the y-axis of the pixel array to correct for lens shading.10-23-2008
20100265375SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes: a light-receiving element; and a multilayer film which is disposed on a side of a light-receiving surface of the light-receiving element and is formed by laminating a plurality of layers made of materials having different refractive indices, in which a defect layer is included in at least one of the laminated layers, wherein in the defect layer, a plurality of kinds of materials having different refractive indices coexist in a surface parallel to the light-receiving surface.10-21-2010
20090316034SOLID STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - A column A/D converter includes two column A/D converting elements. Each of the column A/D converting elements is operable to divide a pixel signal read out from a pixel array into two blocks i.e. an upper block constituted of upper two bit data, and a lower block constituted of lower two bit data, and sequentially perform A/D conversion with respect to the blocks in the unit of one horizontal scanning period. A controller causes each of the column A/D converting elements to concurrently perform A/D conversion with respect to different blocks of pixel signals at different rows.12-24-2009
20100177229Image Sensing System And Method Utilizing A Mosfet - A unit cell includes a MOSFET and an integration capacitor. The MOSFET includes a source, a drain, and a gate. The drain is coupled to the source, and the MOSFET is operable to store a first portion of an electric charge corresponding to a detected light intensity. The integration capacitor includes a first end and a second end. The first end is coupled to the drain of the MOSFET and the second end is coupled to a ground. The integration capacitor is operable to store a second portion of the electric charge corresponding to the detected light intensity.07-15-2010
20100177228NARROW BANDWITH ILLUMINATION IMAGE PROCESSING SYSTEM AND METHOD - A low power color image capturing system having a power source, the system comprising: a narrow bandwidth illuminator adapted to provide illumination having a peak intensity defining a narrow bandwidth; an image capturing device adapted to capture a raw image from an object illuminated by the narrow bandwidth illuminator; and a processor adapted to control the system and having an algorithm operatable upon the raw image to provide a modified image; wherein the modified image has enhanced color intensities over substantially all visible wavelengths.07-15-2010
20100157125CMOS SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A CMOS solid state imaging device capable of achieving a higher image quality while reducing the size and power consumption and increasing the number of pixels and speeds. The CMOS solid state imaging device includes a light-receiving portion that performs photoelectric conversion according to a quantity of received light, a transfer gate used to read out charges obtained through the photoelectric conversion in the light-receiving portion, and a peripheral transistor in a periphery of the light-receiving portion. A voltage applied to the transfer gate is set higher than a voltage applied to the peripheral transistor.06-24-2010
20100165165METHOD AND DEVICE FOR A CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - A method for determining photocurrents corresponding to a plurality of wavelength ranges. The method includes receiving at least a light by a photodiode within a first wavelength range. The first wavelength range includes a second wavelength range and a third wavelength range. The method provides a first bias voltage to the photodiode and determines a first photocurrent within the first wavelength range, the first photocurrent being associated with the photodiode and the first bias voltage. The method also provides a second bias voltage to the photodiode, different from the first bias voltage, and determines a second photocurrent within the first wavelength range, the second photocurrent being associated with the photodiode and the second bias voltage. The method further includes processing information associated with the first and second photocurrents, and determining at least a third photocurrent corresponding to the second wavelength range and a fourth photocurrent corresponding to the third wavelength range.07-01-2010
20100188544SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, IMAGING APPARATUS, AND SIGNAL READING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device includes a plurality of pixel portions, each of the pixel portions includes: a semiconductor photoelectric conversion portion for generating holes according to an amount of incident light and storing the generated holes; a semiconductor floating diffusion layer for converting the holes generated in the photoelectric conversion portion into a voltage corresponding to an amount of the generated holes; and a transistor having a gate electrode which is connected to an output of the floating diffusion layer and an electron storage portion which is disposed under the gate electrode and an amount of electrons stored in which varies depending on a voltage applied to the gate electrode, and the solid-state imaging device further includes: a reading circuit as defined herein.07-29-2010
20100188543SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS, DRIVING METHOD THEREOF AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state image capturing apparatus includes: a pixel array unit including two-dimensionally arranged pixels each including a photoelectric conversion unit, a transfer transistor that transfers charges accumulated in the photoelectric conversion unit, and a charge discharging transistor that selectively discharges the charges accumulated in the photoelectric conversion unit; and a driving unit that performs driving for reading signals from each pixel of the pixel array unit, and drives the charge discharging transistor by using a signal for the driving.07-29-2010
20100259663IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An image pickup apparatus comprising: a plurality of pixels each including a photoelectric converting element; a plurality of capacitor which receive signals from the plurality of pixels at first terminals; a plurality of clamping switches for setting a second terminal of each of the plurality of capacitor into a predetermined electric potential; a plurality of first storing units for storing signals from the second terminals of the plurality of capacitor; a plurality of second storing units for storing the signals from the second terminals of the plurality of capacitor; a first common output line to which the signals from the plurality of first storing units are sequentially output; a second common output line to which the signals from the plurality of second storing units are sequentially output; and a difference circuit for operating a difference between the signal from the first common output line and the signal from the second common output line.10-14-2010
20100002118DUAL SENSITIVITY IMAGE SENSOR - A system of taking images of different sensitivities at the same time uses both an image sensor, and an auxiliary part to the image sensor. The image sensor element can be a photogate, and the auxiliary part can be the floating diffusion associated with the photogate. Both the photogate and the floating diffusion accumulate charge. Both are sampled at different times. The floating diffusion provides a lower sensitivity amount of charge than the photogate itself. The system can have a photogate and floating diffusion in each pixel along with a select transistor, a reset transistor, and a follower transistor. All of this circuitry can be formed of CMOS for example. The system can also operate in a column/parallel mode, where each column of the photo sensor array can have a column signal processor which samples and holds the reset signal, the floating diffusion signal and the photogate signal.01-07-2010
20100002117PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION DEVICE - A photoelectric conversion device in which at least a first metal wiring layer and a second metal wiring layer are arranged on a semiconductor substrate in an order named, the semiconductor substrate comprises a pixel region where a plurality of pixels are arrayed in a matrix, each pixel including at least a photoelectric conversion portions and an amplification transistor, wherein the second metal wiring layer includes power supply lines each configured to supply a power supply voltage to the amplification transistors of at least two pixel columns, and wherein the amplification transistor of a pixel column having no power supply line receives the power supply voltage from the power supply line via the first metal wiring layer.01-07-2010
20100002115Method for Fabricating Large Photo-Diode Arrays - A photodetector array and method for making the same are disclosed. The photodetector array includes a two-dimensional array of pixels and a controller. Each pixel includes a photodetector and a readout circuit, the readout circuit coupling that pixel to a corresponding bit line when a readout signal is received on a corresponding row line. The controller generates the row selection commands and processes signals on the bit lines. The photodetector array is divided into a plurality of sub-chips fabricated on a semiconductor substrate and having a plurality of metal conductors overlying the substrate. The sub-chips include a plurality of slave sub-chips, each slave sub-chip includes a row decode circuit, and a plurality of the rows of pixels, the row decode circuit in one of the slave-sub-chips providing the readout signals on row lines in that sub-chip in response to one of the row selection commands.01-07-2010
20100002116Apparatus and method for image recording - Apparatuses and methods which involve reading out an image sensor comprising an array of light-sensitive sensor elements are disclosed. In an embodiment, the light-sensitive sensor elements are grouped into a plurality of consecutive sensor element groups, and in an embodiment reading out the light-sensitive sensor elements is performed groupwise in an at least partially not according to the consecutive order of the groups.01-07-2010
20100182475BINOCULAR SYSTEM WITH DIGITAL CAMERA - A viewing module is disclosed, being detachably connected to a digital camera module configured to provide a digital image of a scene. In at least one embodiment, the viewing module includes two oculars in which the digital image provided by the camera module may be viewable, the viewing module being adapted for switching the scene viewable in the oculars between an overview of the scene and a detailed view of the scene, where the detailed view of the scene may be a digital still image of the scene. An advantage with at least one embodiment of the invention is that it is possible to use an already available camera, such as a users compact camera, and attach the viewing module, thereby making it unnecessary for the user of the camera to purchase an additional combined camera an binocular as previously known. Instead, the viewing module according to at least one embodiment of the present invention acts as an accessory to the already available camera module, thus providing additional features to an already available camera module.07-22-2010
20100259661AMPLIFYING CIRCUIT AND IMAGING DEVICE IMAGING DEVICE - This invention is an amplification circuit which limits increased power consumption and circuit surface area use and an imaging device including this amplification circuit. After initially discharging a capacitor, a signal charge corresponding to the difference between pixel signals is transferred repeatedly to the capacitor during an integration phase storing a signal charge proportional to the number of repetitions. The output of amplification is the signal charge accumulated in the capacitor. The gain is independent of the capacitor capacitance ratio. Thus the capacitor size can be smaller than conventional amplification circuits.10-14-2010
20100188545PMOS PIXEL STRUCTURE WITH LOW CROSS TALK FOR ACTIVE PIXEL IMAGE SENSORS - An image sensor with an image area having a plurality of pixels each having a photodetector of a first conductivity type, the image sensor includes a substrate of the first conductivity type; a first layer of the second conductivity type between the substrate and the photodetectors, spanning the image area and biased at predetermined potential with respect to the substrate for driving excess carriers into the substrate to reduce cross talk; one or more adjacent active electronic components disposed in the first layer within each pixel; and electronic circuitry disposed in the substrate outside of the image area.07-29-2010
20090046190SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state image pickup device includes a pixel array including a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix, and a pixel signal read-out circuit for reading out a pixel signal from the pixel array in units of a plurality of pixels. The pixel signal read-out circuit includes a plurality of comparators and a plurality of counters. The comparators are disposed to correspond to a column of the pixels, and compare a read-out signal potential and a reference voltage to generate a determination signal and output the determination signal. The counters are controlled by outputs of the comparators. Each of the counters is configured to count a comparison time of a corresponding comparator of the comparators. The counters have a different operation period for each one or a plurality of columns.02-19-2009
20100013972PIXEL SENSOR CELL WITH FRAME STORAGE CAPABILITY - A set of frame transfer transistors are provided between a hold gate transistor and a transfer gate transistor of a CMOS image sensor to enable storage of charge generate in the photosensitive diode after exposure. The readout of the charges from the set of frame transfer transistors may be performed after a plurality of exposures of the CMOS image sensor, between each of which charges are shifted toward the transfer gate transistor within the set of frame transfer transistors. Useful operation modes are enabled including a burst mode operation for rapid capture of successive images and high dynamic range operations in which multiple images are taken with different exposure times or a large capacitance is provided by ganging the diffusions of the set of frame transfer transistors.01-21-2010
20100013975IMAGE SENSOR - This image sensor includes a charge transfer region transferring signal charge, a transfer electrode formed on the surface of the charge transfer region through a first insulating film, an increasing portion provided on the charge transfer region for increasing the signal charge and a transistor, provided on a region other than the charge transfer region, having a second insulating film smaller in thickness than the first insulating film.01-21-2010
20100013973PIXEL SENSOR CELL WITH FRAME STORAGE CAPABILITY - A set of frame transfer transistors are provided between a hold gate transistor and a transfer gate transistor of a CMOS image sensor to enable storage of charge generate in the photosensitive diode after exposure. The readout of the charges from the set of frame transfer transistors may be performed after a plurality of exposures of the CMOS image sensor, between each of which charges are shifted toward the transfer gate transistor within the set of frame transfer transistors. Useful operation modes are enabled including a burst mode operation for rapid capture of successive images and high dynamic range operations in which multiple images are taken with different exposure times or a large capacitance is provided by ganging the diffusions of the set of frame transfer transistors.01-21-2010
20130215310METHOD FOR DRIVING PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION APPARATUS - In a photoelectric conversion apparatus including a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix, each pixel including a photoelectric conversion unit, first and second holding units that hold electric charge, a first transfer unit that connects the photoelectric conversion unit and the first holding unit, a second transfer unit that connects the first and second holding units, and a third transfer unit that connects the photoelectric conversion unit and a power supply, each pixel is controlled so that the potential of the third transfer unit for electric charge held in the photoelectric conversion unit is higher than that of the first transfer unit at least during a charge accumulation period of the pixel, and thereafter, the potential of the third transfer unit is higher than that of the photoelectric conversion unit while the potentials of the first and second transfer units are lower than that of the photoelectric conversion unit.08-22-2013
20130215311CAMERA DEVICE, ELECTRONIC APPARATUS AND FLEXIBLE CHASSIS - A camera device includes: a metal panel to be grounded; a main board on which a CMOS imaging device is mounted; a sub board having a ground plane obtained by leading out a ground pattern of the main board through a flexible portion and mounting the led-out ground pattern, which is connected to the main board through the flexible portion; and a metal support plate one surface of which is fixed to the main board through an adhesive layer, wherein the ground plane of the sub board is connected to the other surface of the support plate by bending the flexible plate, which electrically connects the ground pattern of the main board to the panel through the support plate to be grounded.08-22-2013
20100238338SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE, IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD OF DRIVING SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A solid state imaging device includes: a photoelectric converting portion that is formed in a semiconductor substrate and serves to generate an electric charge depending on an incident light; a floating gate that stores the electric charge generated in the photoelectric converting portion; and a transistor that have a control gate and provided with the floating gate between the control gate and the semiconductor substrate. A specific resistance of the floating gate and that of the photoelectric converting portion are almost equal to each other.09-23-2010
20100245648SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING APPARATUS - An imaging device includes a basic cell having two or more the pixels that share floating diffusion. The imaging device also includes a transistor shared by the two or more pixels in the basic cell and arranged on the outside of the two or more pixels. The imaging device further includes a light receiving unit connected to the floating diffusion shared by the pixels in the basic cell through a transfer gate. In the imaging device, on-chip lenses are arranged substantially at regular intervals. Also, an optical waveguide is formed so that the position thereof in the surface of the solid-state imaging device is located at a position shifted from the center of the light receiving unit to the transistor and in the inside of the light receiving unit and the inside of the on-chip lens.09-30-2010
20100238337MODULAR PICO PROJECTION WALL - A display system includes a laser projector that projects light onto a the back of a screen, a sensor that detects light reflected from the back of the screen, a processor in communication with the sensor, the processor controlling light projected from the laser projector based on data regarding the light detected from the sensor. The laser projector, sensor, and processor are all contained within a single housing.09-23-2010
20100231772METHOD OF READING AN IMAGE SENSOR SIGNAL AND IMAGE SENSOR - The invention relates to matrix-array image sensors with MOS-technology active pixels, comprising a matrix-array of pixels arranged in rows and columns. To read the signal from a pixel, the reset potential present on a column conductor is sampled in two capacitors. The first capacitor is linked to an input of a comparator; the other input receives, through the second capacitor, a linear voltage ramp varying in a first direction for a first duration, then a linear voltage ramp in the reverse direction; a digital value N of the time between the start of this second ramp and the switching over of the comparator is counted; the useful potential present on the column conductor and representing the lighting of the pixel is sampled again, but in the first capacitor only; two ramps identical to the preceding ones are applied to the second input, through the second capacitor; a digital value N′ of the time between the start of the second reverse ramp and the switching over of the comparator is counted, the difference between the two counts N and N′ representing a measurement of the lighting of the pixel.09-16-2010
20100238339IMAGE SIGNAL PROCESSING DEVICE AND METHOD - When a method or apparatus of assuring simultaneous exposure, such as a mechanical shutter, is not provided with a MOS imaging sensor, moving subjects are distorted with a MOS image sensor when capturing a still image of a fast-moving subject because imaging and reading are not simultaneous across the MOS sensor. Changing the MOS sensor exposure sequence and reading sequence, and interpolating the read data, change and correct the read sequence line by line when imaging a high resolution moving image, and thus improve distortion in moving subjects.09-23-2010
20100238335CLAMP CIRCUIT AND SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE HAVING THE SAME - A clamp circuit includes a clamp circuit which limits an output of a source follower circuit, includes a first Nch transistor, a first constant current source connected between ground and the output terminal, a second Nch transistor having a gate that receives a bias voltage and a source connected to the output terminal of the source follower circuit, a second constant current source connected between the power supply and a drain of the second Nch transistor, and a first Pch transistor having a gate connected to the drain of the second Nch transistor, a source connected to the power supply, and a drain connected to the output terminal of the source follower circuit.09-23-2010
20110058082CMOS Image Sensor with Noise Cancellation - An image sensor that has one or more pixels within a pixel array coupled to a control circuit and to one or more subtraction circuits. The control circuit may cause each pixel to provide a first reference output signal and a reset output signal and may then cause each pixel to provide a light response output signal and a second reference output signal. The light response output signal corresponds to the image that is to be captured by the sensor. The subtraction circuit may provide a difference between the reset output signal and the first reference output signal to create a noise signal, and may provide a difference between the second reference output signal and the light response output signal to create a normalized light response output signal. The noise signal may then be subtracted from the normalized light response output signal to generate an image signal having reset noise cancelled therefrom.03-10-2011
20100208114Two-path sigma-delta analog-to-digital converter and image sensor including the same - A two-path sigma-delta analog-to-digital converter and an image sensor including the same are provided. The two-path sigma-delta analog-to-digital converter includes at least one integrator configured to integrate a first integrator input signal during a second half cycle of a clock signal and integrate a second integrator input signal during a first half cycle of the clock signal by using a single operational amplifier; a quantizer configured to quantize integrated signals from the at least one integrator and output a first digital signal and a second digital signal; and a feedback loop configured to feed back the first and second digital signals to an input of the at least one integrator. A first analog signal and a second analog signal respectively input from two input paths are respectively converted to the first and second digital signals using the single operational amplifier, thereby increasing power efficiency and reducing an area.08-19-2010
20100220227Method of producing a solid-state image pickup apparatus, solid-state image pickup apparatus, and electronic apparatus - A method of producing a solid-state image pickup apparatus, including the steps of: forming a plurality of light-receiving portions on a substrate; forming a plurality of transfer gates to be connected to the plurality of light-receiving portions formed on the substrate; forming an insulation film on the substrate; exposing a base by etching the insulation film so that the etched part of the insulation film between the adjacent transfer gates tapers away; and injecting an impurity into the exposed part using the insulation film that has remained after the etching as a mask to thus form an impurity injection portion.09-02-2010
20100079650IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR DRIVING SOLID-STATE IMAGING ELEMENT - In an imaging apparatus equipped with a solid-state imagining element includes: a photoelectric converting portion; a floating gate provided above a semiconductor substrate, for storing thereinto electric charges generated in the photoelectric converting portion; and a writing transistor for injecting the electric charges generated in the photoelectric converting portion into the floating gate, the solid-state imaging element is further comprised of: a control portion for driving a writing transistor in such a manner that injecting of the electric charges generated in the photoelectric converting portion into the floating gate is stopped during an exposing time period, and after the exposing time period has accomplished, the electric charges generated in the photoelectric converting portion during the exposing time period are injected into the floating gate.04-01-2010
20100194957COMPLEMENTARY METAL-OXIDE SEMICONDUCTOR (CMOS) IMAGE SENSOR - A CMOS image sensor includes a unit pixel including controlled by a high voltage; a reference high voltage generator for generating a reference high voltage; and a high voltage output unit for generating the high voltage by using the reference high voltage as an operating voltage to thereby output the high voltage to the unit pixel, wherein a level of the high voltage is stably maintained regardless of a variations of the reference high voltage level.08-05-2010
20100194955CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - A pixel of a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor includes a plurality of photodiodes for sensing light to thereby generate photoelectric charges in different regions; a plurality of transfer transistors for transferring photoelectric charges of corresponding photodiodes in response to a first control signal; a floating diffusion region for receiving photoelectric charges transferred by the plurality of transfer transistors; a rest transistor connected between a power supply voltage and the floating diffusion region for resetting the floating diffusion region by controlling a voltage loaded on the floating diffusion region in response to a second control signal; a drive transistor connected between the power supply voltage and the floating diffusion region to serve as a source follower buffer amplifier; and a select transistor connected between the drive transistor and a pixel output terminal for performing an addressing operation in response to a third control signal.08-05-2010
20090322923PHOTOELECTRIC APPARATUS, METHOD OF FABRICATING PHOTOELECTRIC APPARATUS, AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A photoelectric apparatus includes a substrate and an array of a plurality of pixels each having at least one photoelectric device including a lower electrode over the substrate, a photoelectric layer over the lower electrode, and an upper electrode over the photoelectric layer, the photoelectric apparatus further includes an electrically conductive partition between adjacent two of the pixels, the conductive partition being electrically connected with the upper electrode and a transparent insulating layer on the upper electrode, and the pixels is individually sealed in by the partition and the transparent insulating layer.12-31-2009
20090322922SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - In order to suppress a variation of a signal held by each signal holding unit, a solid-state imaging apparatus of the present invention is characterized in that, when a clamp operation of a pixel output signal is performed in the signal holding unit, a time changing rate of an amplitude of a drive pulse supplied to the selecting unit for turning from a non-conducting state to a conducting state is not larger than a time changing rate of the amplitude of the drive pulse supplied to the selecting unit for turning from the conducting state to the non-conducting state.12-31-2009
20090073298IMAGE SENSING APPARATUS AND IMAGING SYSTEM - An image sensing apparatus comprises a pixel including, a column signal line, a readout circuit, an output line, and an output unit. The readout circuit includes a first accumulation unit, a first opening/closing unit, a second accumulation unit, a transmission unit, and a second opening/closing unit. A capacitance of the first accumulation unit is smaller than a capacitance of the second accumulation unit, and the signal held by the second accumulation unit is read out to the output unit based on the capacitance of the second accumulation unit and the capacitance of the output line.03-19-2009
20090073297TWISTED INPUT PAIR OF FIRST GAIN STAGE FOR HIGH SIGNAL INTEGRITY IN CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - Methods for forming conductors and global bus configurations for reducing an interference signal from electromagnetic interference (EMI) source are provided. First and second conductor lines are formed on an integrated circuit in a twisted pair configuration. A differential amplifier is formed on the integrated circuit and coupled to each of the first and second conductor lines. The first and second signals are respectively transmitted through the first and second conductor lines and are modified by the interference signal. The modified first and second signals are differentially amplified by the differential amplifier so that the interference signal is substantially cancelled.03-19-2009
20130128089VERTICAL 4-WAY SHARED PIXEL IN A SINGLE COLUMN WITH INTERNAL RESET AND NO ROW SELECT - A method and apparatus for reducing space and pixel circuit complexity by using a 4-way shared vertically aligned pixels in a same column. The at least four pixels in the pixel circuit share a reset transistor and a source follower transistor, can have a plurality of same colored pixels and a plurality of colors, but do not include a row select transistor.05-23-2013
20090160990Imager method and apparatus having combined select signals - An imaging device and method for operating the device. The device comprises a pixel array having a plurality of pixels arranged in rows and columns and a plurality of readout circuits for the pixels. A reset circuit in one readout circuit is simultaneously operated with a row select circuit in another readout circuit using a common select line. A transfer select circuit may also be simultaneously operated with the common select line.06-25-2009
20110032405IMAGE SENSOR WITH TRANSFER GATE HAVING MULTIPLE CHANNEL SUB-REGIONS - An image sensor pixel includes a photosensitive element, a floating diffusion region and a transfer transistor channel region. The transfer transistor channel region is disposed between the photosensitive region and the floating diffusion region. The transfer transistor channel region includes a first channel sub-region having a first doping concentration and a second channel sub-region having a second doping concentration that is different from the first doping concentration.02-10-2011
20090128677Dual sensitivity image sensor - A dual sensitivity image sensor provides a standard mode and a high-sensitivity mode of operation via iSoC integration. In addition to boosting sensitivity, the high sensitivity mode also reduces temporal noise thereby optimally boosting the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) of the image sensor. The circuit does not significantly increase pixel complexity and requires minimal changes to the support circuits in the iSoC including the addition of support and control circuitry to facilitate seamless mode change.05-21-2009
20080309809IMAGE SENSOR AND READOUT METHOD - The invention relates to an image sensor, in particular a CMOS image sensor, for electronic cameras, having a plurality of light sensitive pixels arranged in rows and columns and a number of output amplifiers. The image sensor is made such that the order in which the pixels are switched to the output amplifiers is varied with respect to the order in which the pixels are arranged along a row of the image sensor.12-18-2008
20080303931Data transfer circuit, solid-state imaging device and camera system - Disclosed herein is a data transfer circuit including, a plurality of data transfer lines, a plurality of data outputting sections, a plurality of data holding sections, a data-acquiring-clock supplying section a clock supplying section, and a column scan section.12-11-2008
20080291312IMAGING SIGNAL PROCESSING APPARATUS - An image signal processing apparatus includes a sensing section which includes R, G, and B pixels and produces R, G, and B color signals, a first adding section which adds, while weighting pixels, a color signal of a center pixel of a pixel arrangement and color signals of the peripheral pixels to produce a first addition signal, a contour signal generating section which generates a contour signal from the color signals before the addition, a second adding section which adds the contour signal to the first addition signal to produce a second addition signal, a ratio coefficient calculation section which calculates a ratio coefficient of an average value of the R, G, and B color signals to a sum-up value of the average values, and an RGB signal generating section which generates new R, G, and B signals using the ratio coefficients and the first or second addition signal.11-27-2008
20090109313Self-Triggering CMOS Image Sensor - An image sensor and method for using the image sensor to capture an image are disclosed. The image sensor includes an imaging array, a first block amplifier and a controller. A first plurality of pixels in the imaging array includes pixels having a photodiode connected to a first node by a gate transistor, a reset transistor connected between the first node and a reset node, a pixel amplifier having an input connected to the first node and an output, and an output gate for connecting the pixel amplifier output to an output bus. The sensor has a monitoring mode and an image capture mode. In the monitoring mode the reset node is connected to the first block amplifier whose output is monitored and used to trigger the image capture mode when the output exceeds a predetermined threshold.04-30-2009
20090109314SOLID STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CAMERA - A solid state image pickup device which can prevent color mixture by using a layout of a capacitor region provided separately from a floating diffusion region and a camera using such a device are provided. A photodiode region is a rectangular region including a photodiode. A capacitor region includes a carrier holding unit and is arranged on one side of the rectangle of the photodiode region as a region having a side longer than the one side. In a MOS unit region, an output unit region including an output unit having a side longer than the other side which crosses the one side of the rectangle of the photodiode region is arranged on the other side. A gate region and the FD region are arranged between the photodiode region and the capacitor region.04-30-2009
20110128430Image Sensors Having Multiple Photoelectric Conversion Devices Therein - Image sensors include a second photoelectric conversion device disposed in a lower portion of a substrate and a first photoelectric conversion device extending between the secondary photoelectric conversion device and a light receiving surface of the substrate. Electrical isolation between the first and second photoelectric conversion devices is provided by a photoelectron barrier, which may be an optically transparent electrically insulating material. MOS transistors may be utilized to transfer photoelectrons generated within the first and second photoelectric conversion devices to a floating diffusion region within the image sensor. These transistors may represent one example of means for transferring photoelectrons generated in the first and second photoelectric conversion devices to a floating diffusion region in the substrate, in response to first and second gating signals, respectively. The first and second gating signals may be active during non-overlapping time intervals.06-02-2011
20100238336POWER-SUPPLY-NOISE CANCELLING CIRCUIT AND SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A power supply voltage containing a noise component is supplied to each pixel at the time of sampling of a reset level of a signal read out from each pixel, and a power supply voltage in which the noise component is suppressed is supplied to each pixel at the time of sampling of a read level of the signal read out from each pixel.09-23-2010
20100302426PIXEL SENSOR WITH VOLTAGE COMPENSATOR - A photodetecting circuit is disclosed. The photodetecting circuit includes a photodetector, a storage node with first and second node terminals, a transfer transistor disposed intermediate the first node terminal of the storage node and the photodetector for electrically connecting the first node terminal and the photodetector upon receiving a transfer signal to a gate of the transfer transistor, a reset transistor disposed intermediate a reset voltage node and the first node terminal of the storage node for electrically connecting the first node terminal to the reset voltage node upon receiving a reset signal to a gate of the reset transistor, and an output circuit for generating an output signal based on a voltage at the first terminal. First the reset signal is applied, followed by the transfer signal. Next, a compensation signal is applied at the second terminal of the storage node. The compensation signal increases the voltage at the first terminal whilst the output circuit generates the output signal. The compensation signal is a logically negated version of the transfer signal.12-02-2010
20110122307REDUCED PIXEL AREA IMAGE SENSOR - An image sensor that includes a plurality of pixels disposed on a substrate, each pixel includes at least one photosensitive region that collects charges in response to incident light; a charge-to-voltage conversion node for sensing the charge from the at least one photosensitive region and convening the charge to a voltage; an amplifier transistor having a source connected to an output node, having a gate connected to the charge-to-voltage conversion node and having a drain connected to at least a portion of a power supply node; and a reset transistor connecting the output node and the charge-to-voltage conversion node.05-26-2011
20130141621IMAGING APPARATUS - An imaging apparatus, which includes an imaging device having a plurality of image sensors, is configured to receive light incident on the imaging device, obtain an output voltage based the received light, and generate an image based on the output voltage. The plurality of image sensors have an aperture pixel region that accumulates and outputs the charges generated based on the incident light and a shielded optical black region. The imaging device performs a skipping operation for arbitrarily and non-sequentially selecting a read row. By performing an offset correction of a step amount produced during the non-sequential reading due to the skip operation, the step resulting from the skip reading can be corrected.06-06-2013
20110242384Image sensor using light-sensitive device and method of operating the image sensor - Provided are an image sensor using a light-sensitive oxide semiconductor material as a light-sensitive device and a method of operating the image sensor for acquiring RGB values of incident light in the image sensor, the image sensor includes an array of a plurality of light-sensing cells wherein each of the light-sensing cells includes a light-sensitive oxide semiconductor layer that forms a channel region of an oxide semiconductor transistor. Electronic characteristics of the light-sensitive oxide semiconductor layer vary according to an amount of light irradiated onto the light-sensitive oxide semiconductor layer. Each of the light-sensing cells constitutes a single unit color pixel.10-06-2011
20110025900Solid-state image sensing device, analog-digital conversion method of solid-state image sensing device, and electronic apparatus - A solid-state image sensing device includes: a pixel array unit including pixels arranged in a matrix and a vertical signal line wired with respect to each pixel column; an analog-digital conversion circuit provided with respect to each pixel column and having a comparator using an analog signal as a comparison target input and a counter measuring a time from start to completion of the comparison of the comparator; a reference signal generating unit that generates reference signals with ramp waveforms; a first switch that, in a thinning readout mode, shorts the vertical signal line belonging to one pixel column of a specific group of pixel columns and the vertical signal line belonging to another group of pixel columns from which no signals are readout; and a second switch that, in the thinning readout mode, provides the reference signals to the comparator belonging to the one pixel column and the comparator belonging to the another group, respectively.02-03-2011
20110025899ARRAY OF MICROLENSES WITH INTEGRATED ILLUMINATION - The invention relates to a microlens array with integrated illumination, an imaging system with such a microlens array, an image detection device and also a method for producing the microlens array.02-03-2011
20100182474IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE COMPRISING PIXEL COMBINATION MEANS - An image capture device includes n image sensors arranged to capture images respectively of a same scene according to at least three different colors, each of the sensors comprising a pixel array, each pixel being associated with a MOS transfer transistor, the transfer transistors of n neighboring pixels being associated with a same output; and a read circuit associated with control circuitry for reading separately, the output of each transfer transistor, or cumulatively, the outputs of from two to n neighboring transfer transistors.07-22-2010
20100182473SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device includes a plurality of vertical signal lines that propagate, for respective columns of a pixel array, pixel signals from pixels, a plurality of sample-hold-signal converting circuits provided in a number larger than a number of the vertical signal lines, a plurality of switch circuits that connect one of the vertical signal lines and two or more of the sample-hold-signal converting circuits, and a control circuit that separately switches the switch circuits such that one of the vertical signal lines is connected to one of the sample-hold-signal converting circuits.07-22-2010
20090066825SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND ITS DRIVING METHOD - A driving method is used in a solid-state imaging device including a plurality of pixel circuits which are arranged in rows and columns, and each of which has a photoelectric conversion unit and a charge accumulation unit and receives a common power source. The driving method includes steps of: reading out, to the outside of the pixel circuit, a photocharge generated at a photoelectric conversion unit in a pixel circuit in a readout row, after resetting a potential of the charge accumulation unit in the pixel circuit to a potential of the common power source while supplying a bias current to the pixel circuit for readout, the photocharge being transferred to the charge accumulation unit as a signal charge; discharging a photocharge generated at a photoelectric conversion unit in a pixel circuit in a discharge row that is to be a readout row later, after resetting a potential of a charge accumulation unit in the pixel circuit to a potential of the common power source, the photocharge being transferred to the charge accumulation unit as an unnecessary charge; and uniformizing a potential of the charge accumulation unit to be reset in the discharging in the case where the discharging is executed following the reading out and in the case where the discharging is executed independently03-12-2009
20110001862CAMERA MODULE - A camera module includes a lens barrel assembly and a lens holder. The lens assembly includes a lens barrel and a lens received in the lens barrel. The lens include an optical axis. The lens barrel defines a recess in a sidewall of the lens barrel. The barrel holder includes a peripheral sidewall, an inner flange formed on an inner surface of the peripheral sidewall, and a protrusion extending from the inner flange. The peripheral sidewall of the barrel holder is threadedly engaged with the lens barrel. The protrusion extends in a direction parallel to the optical axis and is inserted in the recess.01-06-2011
20110109781SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD OF CONTROLLING THE SAME - According to one embodiment, a solid state imaging device includes a first photodiode, a first transistor, a floating diffusion, a second transistor, a third transistor. The first photodiode performs photoelectric conversion and accumulates a charge obtained. The first transistor reads the charge. The floating diffusion is one end of a current pathway of the first transistor. The charge is read through the first transistor to the first node. The second transistor's gate is connected to the first node. The second transistor's one end of a current pathway is connected to a vertical signal line. The one end of a current pathway of the third transistor is connected to the floating diffusion. Another end is connected to a power supply. The charge accumulated in the floating diffusion is discharged to the power supply by turning on the third transistor.05-12-2011
20110025898CMOS ACTIVE PIXEL WITH VERY HIGH FUNCTIONAL DYNAMICS - The invention relates to a structure of an active pixel of the CMOS type (02-03-2011
20090225210IMAGING DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device, a line sensor and an optical sensor for enhancing a wide dynamic range while keeping high sensitivity with a high S/N ratio, and a method of operating a solid-state imaging device for enhancing a wide dynamic range while keeping high sensitivity with a high S/N ratio are provided. The solid-state imaging device comprises an integrated array of a plurality of pixels, each of which comprises a photodiode PD for receiving light and generating photoelectric charges, a transfer transistor Tr09-10-2009
20120033121SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - According to one embodiment, a pixel that outputs a photoelectrically-converted pixel signal, a column ADC circuit that converts the pixel signal output from the pixel into a digital value, a test-signal generating unit that generates a test signal with which the column ADC circuit is tested, and a switching circuit that switches between the pixel signal output from the pixel and the test signal generated in the test-signal generating unit to input to the column ADC circuit are included.02-09-2012
20110019049PHOTO DETECTING APPARATUS AND UNIT PIXEL THEREOF - A unit pixel of a photo detecting apparatus includes a photogate, a transfer gate and a floating diffusion region. The photogate includes a junction gate extending in a first direction and a plurality of finger gates extending from the junction gate in a second direction substantially perpendicular to the first direction. The transfer gate is formed adjacent to the junction gate. The floating diffusion region is formed adjacent to the first transfer gate.01-27-2011
20110043676CMOS IMAGE SENSOR AND IMAGE SIGNAL DETECTING METHOD - A CMOS image sensor includes a photodiode, a switch configured to transfer a signal sensed by the photodiode to a sensing node, and a comparator electrically and directly connected to the sensing node and configured to compare the sensed signal of the sensing node and a ramp signal. Reset offset of the comparator is maintained at a constant offset voltage level during an initialization mode.02-24-2011
20110115958Solid-State imaging device and load current source circuit - Disclosed herein is a solid-state imaging device including: a plurality of pixel circuits each of which converts an optical signal into a pixel signal; a load current source circuit adapted to supply a load current, used to read out the pixel signal from the plurality of pixel circuits, to the pixel circuits on a column-by-column basis; a signal readout circuit adapted to read out a reference signal and the pixel signal from the pixel circuits on a row-by-row basis and output the difference between the reference and pixel signals that have been read out; and a control signal generation circuit adapted to generate a maintenance control signal used to maintain the load current constant during a readout period that lasts from when the reference signal is read out by the signal readout circuit to when the pixel signal is read out by the signal readout circuit.05-19-2011
20110242388IMAGE SENSING DEVICE AND CAMERA - An image sensing device comprises a pixel array, and a peripheral circuit, a column selecting circuit, and a readout, wherein each pixel includes a photodiode, a floating diffusion, a transfer PMOS transistor to the floating diffusion, an amplifier PMOS transistor, and a reset PMOS transistor, the amplifier PMOS transistor has a gate which is formed by an n-type conductive pattern, and is isolated by a first element isolation region and an n-type impurity region which covers at least a lower portion of the first element isolation region, and each PMOS transistor included in the column selecting circuit has a gate which is formed by a p-type conductive pattern and is isolated by a second element isolation region, and an n-type impurity concentration in a region adjacent to a lower portion of the second element isolation region is lower than that in the n-type impurity region.10-06-2011
20110115960ACTIVE PIXEL SENSOR WITH MIXED ANALOG AND DIGITAL SIGNAL INTEGRATION - An active pixel sensor includes mixed analog and digital signal integration on the same substrate. The analog part of the array forms the active pixel sensor, and the digital part of the array does digital integration of the signal.05-19-2011
20090033782SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND DRIVING METHOD THEREOF - It is an object of the present invention to provide a solid-state imaging device capable of prevent image defects from appearing in an outputted image while suppressing increase in a layout area with a simple circuit structure and is an MOS solid-state imaging device. The MOS solid-state imaging device includes pixels which outputs signals corresponding to intensity of incident light, vertical signal lines which are respectively provided to columns of the pixels and each of which transmits the signals from said pixels in a column direction, and column amplifier circuits that amplify the signals from the pixels and are respectively connected to the vertical signal lines, and each of the column amplifier circuits includes a voltage clipping circuit includes a voltage clipping circuit which limits a maximum output voltage of said column amplifier circuit.02-05-2009
20090322925PROVIDING CURRENT TO COMPENSATE FOR SPURIOUS CURRENT WHILE RECEIVING SIGNALS THROUGH A LINE - Circuits, methods, and systems are disclosed in which a current is provided to compensate for spurious current while receiving signals through a line. For example, the spurious current can be sensed and the compensating current can be approximately equal to the sensed spurious current. The spurious current could include photocurrent from a bright light, and the compensating current can prevent bright light effects.12-31-2009
20110242387PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION APPARATUS AND MANUFACTURING METHOD FOR A PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION APPARATUS - A photoelectric conversion apparatus (10-06-2011
20110242385Solid-state imaging device and camera system - A solid-state imaging device includes: a pixel circuit including a photoelectric conversion device and an amp device that outputs electric charges, which are photoelectrically converted by the photoelectric conversion device, through electric potential modulation of an output signal line; and a reading section including an AD (analog digital) conversion circuit that compares an output level of the signal line with a reference signal which changes with a regular slope and digitalizes an output signal on the basis of a timing at which a previously-defined relationship is satisfied between the output signal and the reference signal.10-06-2011
20090219428SOLID STATE IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS AND CAMERA APPARATUS - A solid state image capturing apparatus is disclosed. A pixel array section has unit pixels containing photoelectric conversion elements, the unit pixels being two-dimensionally arranged in a matrix, and column signal wires correspondingly to columns of the matrix of the unit pixels. A line scanning section selectively controls lines of the matrix of the unit pixels of the pixel array section. An analog-to-digital conversion section converts an analog signal outputted from unit pixels of a line of the matrix of the unit pixels selected by the line scanning section through a corresponding column signal line to a digital signal. A conversion clock supply section selectively generates a conversion clock having a first clock period or a second clock period. An addition section adds unit pixel digital signals converted in the analog-to-digital conversion section by the conversion clocks having the first clock period and the second clock period, respectively.09-03-2009
20090219426Embedded cache memory in image sensors - An embodiment of an embedded cache memory in an image sensor comprises a memory cell array wherein the memory cells are substantially isolated from laterally adjacent memory. The memory cell array includes a plurality of memory cells. Each of the memory cells is formed in a standard CMOS image sensor process without the need for SOI processes. Each cell includes first and second n-type and p-type regions arranged around a vertically integrated gate. Data is written to a cell by causing carriers to accumulate in the body of the device through carrier generation mechanisms that may include impact ionization, band-to-band tunneling and/or channel-initiated secondary hot electrons.09-03-2009
20110242386SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, DRIVING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - A solid-state image pickup device includes: a plurality of unit pixels including at least a photoelectric converting section, a charge-to-voltage converting section, and one or more transfer means for transferring a charge in a predetermined path; a light shielding film for shielding a surface of the plurality of unit pixels excluding at least a light receiving section of the photoelectric converting section from light; and voltage controlling means for controlling a voltage applied to the light shielding film; wherein transfer of the charge by one of the transfer means is controlled by controlling the voltage applied to the light shielding film.10-06-2011
20110085067MULTILAYER IMAGE SENSOR PIXEL STRUCTURE FOR REDUCING CROSSTALK - An image sensor pixel includes a substrate, a first epitaxial layer, a collector layer, a second epitaxial layer and a light collection region. The substrate is doped to have a first conductivity type. The first epitaxial layer is disposed over the substrate and doped to have the first conductivity type as well. The collector layer is selectively disposed over at least a portion of the first epitaxial layer and doped to have a second conductivity type. The second epitaxial layer is disposed over the collector layer and doped to have the first conductivity type. The light collection region collects photo-generated charge carriers and is disposed within the second epitaxial layer. The light collection region is also doped to have the second conductivity type.04-14-2011
20110211103SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, DRIVING METHOD FOR SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device with a photodiode, a first charge accumulation region electronically connected to the photodiode, a second charge accumulation region electronically connected to the photodiode, where a charge generated in the photodiode is distributed into the first charge accumulation region and the second charge accumulation region based on an amount of charge.09-01-2011
20090213258Imaging Array with Improved Dynamic Range - An image sensor and a method for using the same are disclosed. The image sensor includes an array of pixel sensors, a signal digitizing circuit, and a digitizing controller. The array of pixel sensors includes a plurality of pixel sensors. Each pixel sensor includes a photodetector, a charge conversion circuit, and a gate transistor. The charge conversion circuit generates a voltage signal that is related to a charge on the photodiode, and the gate transistor couples the voltage signal to a bit line in response to a first signal. The signal digitizing circuit converts the voltage signal to a plurality of output digital values. Each output digital value has a different level of digitization noise. One of the output digital values is selected for output in response to an output selection signal that is generated by the digitizing controller.08-27-2009
20090244346IMAGE SENSOR AND DRIVING METHOD THEREFOR - This disclosure concerns an image sensor including: an imaging area; row selection lines; and column signal lines, wherein a pixel includes: a photodiode; a capacitor connected to the photodiode at a first node; a reset transistor connected between the first node and a first power supply; a comparator comparing the potential of the first node with a reference voltage, and outputting a result to a gate of the reset transistor; a counter connected to the comparator, counting an inversion count of an output signal from the comparator, and outputting a digital value according to the inversion count, the output signal being generated from the comparator when the potential of the first node reaches the potential of the first power supply; and a selection transistor connected between the counter and one of the plurality of column signal lines, and having a gate connected to one of the row selection lines.10-01-2009
20110149136COLUMN OUTPUT CIRCUITS FOR IMAGE SENSORS - A pixel array in an image sensor includes multiple pixels arranged in rows and columns with each column of pixels electrically connected to a column output line. A sample and hold circuit is electrically connected to each column output line. In one embodiment in accordance with the invention, each sample and hold circuit includes one capacitor for receiving and storing a signal voltage and a second capacitor for receiving and storing a reset voltage. The sample and hold circuits are divided into distinct groups, with each group including two or more sample and hold circuits. A pair of buffers is electrically connected to each distinct group. One global bus receives the signal voltages from at least a portion of buffers and another global bus receives the reset voltages from at least a portion of the other buffers. The global buses can include one or more signal lines.06-23-2011
20090322924SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE DRIVING METHOD - Photosensitive cells each includes a photodiode (12-31-2009
20100039545SOLID-STATE IMAGE-PICKUP DEVICE - Pupil correction is performed on wiring lines with a high flexibility by improving an arrangement structure of wiring layers. An image-pickup region is divided in two, the left and right sides. Regarding wiring lines at the position of a pixel that is arranged on the left side (the −X side) with respect to the center of the image-pickup region, a contact unit 02-18-2010
20100053399Analog-digital converter, analog-digital conversion method, image pickup device, method of driving the same, and camera - An analog-digital converter includes: comparators disposed to correspond to analog signals which are converted into digital signals and configured to compare a voltage value of the analog signal, which is converted into the digital signal, with a voltage value of a predetermined reference signal; counters disposed to correspond to the comparators and configured to count a count value at the time point when the comparison process of the corresponding comparator is finished; and a determiner configured to determine a time point when all the comparators finish their comparison processes.03-04-2010
20100045835IMAGING DEVICE CHIP SET AND IMAGE PICKUP SYSTEM - An imaging device chip set includes an imaging chip 02-25-2010
20100053400SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME - Disclosed herein is a solid-state imaging device including: a semiconductor layer; a charge accumulation region configured to be formed inside the semiconductor layer and serve as part of a photodiode; and a reflective surface configured to be disposed inside or under the charge accumulation region and be so formed as to reflect light that has passed through the charge accumulation region and direct the light toward a center part of the charge accumulation region.03-04-2010
20110176045COMPLEMENTARY METAL-OXIDE SEMICONDUCTOR IMAGE SENSOR, DATA READOUT METHOD THEREOF, AND ELECTRONIC SYSTEM INCLUDING THE SAME - A complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor and a pixel data readout method of the same are provided. The CMOS image sensor includes: a first readout line which outputs pixel data from a shared pixel group in an odd row of a column of a pixel array in a Bayer pattern during a horizontal period; and a second readout line which outputs pixel data from a shared pixel group in an even row of the column of the pixel array during the horizontal period, wherein pixel data output to the first and second readout lines during the horizontal period correspond to a basic Bayer pattern and pixels from which pixel data are read out in each column sequentially shifts in a column direction at each horizontal period.07-21-2011
20100134673SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE AND IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - Each pixel circuit of one type includes a transfer transistor and the like and is individually provided for and arranged in a corresponding pixel. Each pixel circuit of another type includes an amplifying transistor, a floating diffusion, a reset transistor and the like and is commonly provided for pixels of respective rows and arranged outside pixel rows.06-03-2010
20100134674AMPLIFICATION-TYPE CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - Pixels are two-dimensionally arranged into rows and columns in an image sensing region of a solid-state image sensing device, and divided into a plurality of vertical blocks. A vertical signal line is connected to each pixel column. A voltage read out from a pixel is A/D-converted and held in a holding circuit. A vertical block selection circuit outputs a vertical block selection signal in response to a horizontal sync pulse. An intra-block line selection circuit selects one pixel row in one block or simultaneously selects a plurality of pixel rows in one block, in accordance with the selection signal and a signal for setting the number of lines to be selected. A pulse selector circuit supplies a pixel driving pulse signal to a pixel row selected by the intra-block line selection circuit.06-03-2010
20100134672UNIT PIXEL INCLUDING THREE TRANSISTORS AND PIXEL ARRAY INCLUDING THE UNIT PIXELS - Provided is a unit pixel which uses three transistors and a pixel array including the unit pixel. The unit pixel includes a photodiode, a charge passing unit, a reset controller, and a voltage converter. The pixel array has a structure in which a plurality of the unit pixels according to the present invention are two-dimensionally arrayed, and includes one or more reset power supply circuits which output two or more different supply voltages in response to a pixel selection control signal. Parts of a plurality of the unit pixels share a voltage output from the reset power supply circuit.06-03-2010
20100128155Image sensors and methods of manufacturing the same - Image sensors and methods of manufacturing image sensors, the image sensors including a plurality of photoelectric conversion units formed within active regions defined in a semiconductor substrate; and a plurality of light guides having structures for guiding light incident from an external source onto the semiconductor substrate and the plurality of photoelectric conversion units, the light guides having different widths.05-27-2010
20110249163PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION DEVICE AND CAMERA - A photoelectric conversion device comprises a p-type region, an n-type buried layer formed under the p-type region, an element isolation region, and a channel stop region which covers at least a lower portion of the element isolation region, wherein the p-type region and the buried layer form a photodiode, and a diffusion coefficient of a dominant impurity of the channel stop region is smaller than a diffusion coefficient of a dominant impurity of the buried layer.10-13-2011
20110249162ANALOG TO DIGITAL CONVERSION IN IMAGE SENSORS - An image sensor has a pixel array and an input circuit. The input circuit includes a first input, a second input and two coupling capacitors. The first input receives an analog signal from a pixel of the pixel array which has a first level during a first calibration period and a second level during a second read period. The second input receives a reference ramp signal. A comparator circuit compares the ramp signal and the analog signal. The analog signal and the ramp signal are constantly read onto the coupling capacitors during both the first calibration period and the second read period. The ramp circuit begins providing the ramp signal during the second read period so as to determine the change in magnitude of the analog signal between the first calibration period and the second read period, the ramp circuit also begins providing the ramp signal during the first calibration period so as to compensate for any delay in the ramp circuit providing the ramp signal during the second read period.10-13-2011
20120120295IMAGE SENSOR, DATA OUTPUT METHOD, IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, AND CAMERA - An image sensor includes: a pixel array block configured to get image data by photoelectrically converting light; a register group configured to store information associated with processing of the image sensor; and a parallel interface configured to output the image data to outside in parallel output; wherein the parallel interface further outputs a register value group stored in the register group to outside when the image data is not being outputted to outside.05-17-2012
20120120294Solid-state imaging device and electronic apparatus - An solid-state imaging device includes a pixel region formed on a semiconductor substrate, an effective pixel region and a shielded optical black region in the pixel region, a multilayer wiring layer formed on a surface of the side opposite to a light incident side of the semiconductor substrate, a supporting substrate bonded to a surface of the multilayer wiring layer side, and an antireflection structure that is formed on the bonding surface side of the supporting substrate.05-17-2012
20090027534IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE - An image pickup device has a signal processing part configured to perform signal process for the first to third color signals. The signal processing part includes a first color generator configured to generate a fourth color signal corresponding to a reference pixel based on a ratio between a second color signal at a pixel located in vicinity of the reference pixel and a first color signal at a pixel located in vicinity of the reference pixel, a second color generator configured to generate a fifth color signal corresponding to the reference pixel based on a ratio between a third color signal at a pixel located in vicinity of the reference pixel and the first color signal at a pixel located in vicinity of the reference pixel, and a image quality converter configured to generate color signals by performing a predetermined image process based on the first to fifth color signals.01-29-2009
20110074995METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR IMAGING SYSTEMS - Imaging arrays comprising at least two different imaging pixel types are described. The different imaging pixel types may differ in their light sensitivities and/or light saturation levels. Methods of processing the output signals of the imaging arrays are also described, and may produce images having a greater dynamic range than would result from an imaging array comprising only one of the at least two different imaging pixel types.03-31-2011
20110019050SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREOF - According to one embodiment, a solid-state imaging device includes a pixel region which is configured such that a photoelectric conversion unit and a signal scanning circuit unit are included in a semiconductor substrate, and a matrix of unit pixels is disposed, and a driving circuit region which is configured such that a device driving circuit for driving the signal scanning circuit unit is disposed on the semiconductor substrate, wherein the photoelectric conversion unit is provided on a back surface side of the semiconductor substrate, which is opposite to a front surface of the semiconductor substrate where the signal scanning circuit unit is formed, and the unit pixel includes an insulation film which is provided in a manner to surround a boundary part with the unit pixel that neighbors and defines a device isolation region.01-27-2011
20100302425LINEAR DISTRIBUTED PIXEL DIFFERENTIAL AMPLIFIER HAVING MIRRORED INPUTS - A pixel circuit that partially incorporates an associated column amplifier into the pixel circuitry. By incorporating part of a mirrored amplifier into the pixel, noise from the pixel is reduced.12-02-2010
20100295980CMOS IMAGE SENSOR AND METHOD OF OPERATING THE SAME - A CMOS image sensor includes a pixel array unit, a row selection unit, and a logic circuit. The pixel array unit is used for sensing an object. The pixel array unit includes M pixels and P multiplexers wherein each of the M pixels is electrically connected to one of the P multiplexers. The row selection unit and the logic circuit are electrically connected to the P multiplexers. The row selection unit is used for generating a row selection signal. The logic circuit is used for determining a sensing region corresponding to the object wherein the sensing region includes N of the M pixels. Furthermore, the logic circuit controls Q multiplexers, which are electrically connected to the N pixels, to transmit the row selection signal to the N pixels.11-25-2010
20100295981SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS AND ELECTRONIC INFORMATION DEVICE - In a three-TR configuration pixel, the solid-state image capturing apparatus according to the present invention is capable of securing an electric potential difference sufficiently between a signal voltage and a reset voltage at the transferring of a signal charge and performing complete transferring of the signal charge from a photoelectric conversion element to an FD section easily and stably. Each pixel section, constituting a pixel array, has a 3TR configuration including reset transistors, transfer transistors and amplifying transistors. In each row of the pixel array, provided are a level shifter for driving reset drain wiring connected to a drain of the reset transistor, with an electric potential higher than a power supply voltage, and another level shifter for driving a reset signal line connected to a gate of the reset transistor, with an electric potential higher than the power supply voltage.11-25-2010
20100295982SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND FRAME DATA CORRECTING METHOD - The present invention relates to a solid-state imaging device, etc., having a structure which enables to obtain an image with higher resolution by correcting pixel data even when any one of row selecting wirings is disconnected. A solid-state imaging device (11-25-2010
20100110256Pixel sensor array and image sensor including the same - Provided are a pixel sensor array and a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor including the same. The pixel sensor array includes a photoelectric transformation element configured to generate electric charges in response to incident light. A signal transmitting circuit is configured to output the electric charges accumulated in the photoelectric transformation element to a first node based on a first control signal, change an electric potential of the first node to an electric potential of a second signal line based on a second control signal, and output a signal sensed in the first node to a first signal line based on a third control signal. A switch element is configured to connect a supply power terminal to the second signal line based on a fourth control signal. A comparator connected to the first signal line and the second signal line and configured to compare a voltage of the signal and a voltage of a reference signal.05-06-2010
20100259662SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state imaging device includes a pixel array section including a plurality of pixels, a pixel drive line controlling driving the pixels in each row, a signal line reading an analog signal of the pixels in each column, a pixel drive unit driving the pixels to perform a readout through the pixel drive line, and a readout circuit capable of converting the analog signal into a digital signal. At least the number of pixel drive lines or the number of signal lines is more than one, and the pixels of each pixel group are connected to different lines of either the pixel drive lines or the signal lines. The pixel drive unit sequentially drives the pixels in the pixel group at shifted timings, and the readout circuit includes an analog-to-digital converter sequentially receiving analog signals from the pixel group and sequentially converting the analog signals into digital signals.10-14-2010
20100259660A/D converter, solid-state image sensing device, and camera system - An A/D converter includes: a first comparator that compares an input signal, with a first reference signal which is a ramp wave having a predetermined polarity, and that when the input signal matches the first reference signal, reverses an output signal thereof; a second comparator that compares the input signal, with a second reference signal which is a ramp wave having a different polarity from the first reference signal, and that when the input signal matches the second reference signal, reverses an output signal thereof; and a counter capable of counting up so as to measure the comparison times taken by the first comparator and second comparator, wherein when either of the output signal of the first comparator and the output signal of the second comparator is first reversed, the counter ceases a counting action.10-14-2010
20100097511HIGH EFFICIENCY CMOS IMAGE SENSOR PIXEL EMPLOYING DYNAMIC VOLTAGE SUPPLY - A global shutter compatible pixel circuit comprising a reset gate (RG) transistor is provided in which a dynamic voltage is applied to the drain of the reset gate transistor in order to reduce a floating diffusion (FD) leakage therethrough during signal hold time. The drain voltage of the reset gate transistor is held at a lower voltage than a circuit supply voltage to minimize the off-state leakage through the RG transistor, thus reducing the change in the voltage at the floating diffusion during the signal hold time. In addition, a design structure for such a circuit providing a dynamic voltage to the drain of a reset gate of a pixel circuit is also provided.04-22-2010
20100097510IMAGE PICKUP ELEMENT AND CONTROL METHOD THEREFOR, AND CAMERA - An image pickup element includes a plurality of read signal lines; a pixel unit in which a plurality of pixel circuits are arranged in a matrix form, the plurality of pixel circuits in the pixel unit being divided into groups of pixel circuits so that each of the groups is provided in a corresponding one of columns, each of the groups of pixel circuits being connected to a corresponding one of the plurality of read signal lines; and a processing unit configured to process read signals that the plurality of pixel circuits, which are divided into groups, output to the plurality of read signal lines, which are connected to the plurality of pixel circuits.04-22-2010
20110157444SUSPENDING COLUMN READOUT IN IMAGE SENSORS - An image sensor includes a two-dimensional array of pixels having multiple column outputs and an output circuit connected to each column output. Each output circuit is configured to operate concurrent sample and read operations. An analog front end (AFE) circuit processes pixel data output from the output circuits and an AFE clock controller transmits an AFE clocking signal to the AFE circuit to effect processing of the pixel data. A timing generator outputs a column address sequence that is received by a column decoder. During one or more sample operations the AFE clock controller suspends the output of the AFE clocking signal and the timing generator suspends the output of the column address sequence during the sample operation. The output of the AFE clocking signal and the column address sequence resume at the end of the sample operation.06-30-2011
20090284634SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus, comprising: a pixel section including a matrix having a plurality of pixels, each pixel including photoelectric conversion means, a storage section, transfer means, amplification means, and reset means, on a column basis, an output signal line whose one end is coupled to a constant-current source, and in which the area carrying thereon the matrix of the pixels includes a light-shielding area, a read area, and a transition area disposed between the light-shielding area and the read area; and control means for performing control to keep the potential difference between the one end and the other end of the constant-current source in a range with which the constant-current source can be operated by using the pixel signal to be output to the output signal line at the time of resetting the pixel of the transition area, when outputting the pixel signal corresponding to the incident light from the pixel of the read area.11-19-2009
20090256941Image sensor with sensing transistor having two gates and method of operating the same - Provided is an image sensor including a sensing transistor having two gates and a method of operating the image sensor. The image sensor may include a photoelectric conversion device, a sensing transistor which may have a first gate connected to a floating diffusion region in which charges generated from the photoelectric conversion region are stored and a second gate separated from the first gate, a reset transistor that may be connected to the floating diffusion region and may reset a potential of the floating diffusion region, a control voltage source that may supply a control applied to the second gate, and a column output line which may be connected to a source of the sensing transistor.10-15-2009
20110254988SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR FABRICATING THE SAME - A solid-state image sensing element (10-20-2011
20110254987CMOS IMAGE SENSOR ARRAY WITH INTEGRATED NON-VOLATILE MEMORY PIXELS - An imaging system includes an imaging array and readout circuitry. The imaging array includes image sensor pixels for capturing image data and one or more non-volatile memory (NVM) pixels for storing NVM data. The readout circuitry is coupled to the imaging array to readout the image data and the non-volatile memory data.10-20-2011
20080246869Differential readout from pixels in CMOS sensor - The present invention provides an improved pixel readout circuit that compensates for common mode noise during a read out operation. This is accomplished by using a differential readout of the signal and reset value from the desired pixel compared with the reset value from a reference pixel. In this manner common mode noise can be offset and therefore minimized. In one embodiment of the invention, the reference pixel is the nearest neighbor pixel in the same row. In another embodiment, the reference pixel is the nearest neighboring pixel in a different row.10-09-2008
20090153715PIXEL READ CIRCUITRY - A method of reading voltages from an image sensor having an array of pixels, each pixel Having at least one photodiode connectable to a storage node, the method including: controlling each pixel in a row of pixels to store and output a first voltage value at a first instance, a second voltage value at a second instance, and a third voltage value at a third instance, the first, second and third voltage values being representative of charge accumulated by the photodiodes during an integration phase; comparing the first voltage value from each pixel with a reference threshold; sampling for each pixel, based on the comparison, one of the second and third voltage values: and generating an output pixel value based on the sampled one of the second and third voltage values06-18-2009
20080266435METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DARK CURRENT AND HOT PIXEL REDUCTION IN ACTIVE PIXEL IMAGE SENSORS - A method of operating an imager pixel that includes the act of applying a relatively small voltage on the gate of a transfer transistor during a charge acquisition period. If a small positive voltage is applied, a depletion region is created under the transfer transistor gate, which creates a path for dark current electrons to be transferred to a pixel floating diffusion region. The dark electrons are subsequently removed by a pixel reset operation. If a small negative voltage is applied to the transfer gate, electrons that would normally create dark current problems will instead recombine with holes thereby substantially reducing dark current.10-30-2008
20080266434Solid-State Imaging Device, Optical Sensor and Method of Operating Solid-State Imaging Device - A solid-state imaging device and an optical sensor, which can enhance a wide dynamic range while keeping a high sensitivity with a high S/N ratio, and a method of operating a solid-state imaging device for enhancing a wide dynamic range while keeping a high sensitivity with a high S/N ratio are disclosed. An array of integrated pixels has a structure wherein each pixel comprises a photodiode PD for receiving light and generating and accumulating photoelectric charges and a storage capacitor element C10-30-2008
20100302424SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSOR - A solid-state image sensor includes a semiconductor layer having a first conductive type, diffusion layers which are arranged in the semiconductor layer, each having a second conductive type, and each includes a pixel, a pixel transistor disposed on the semiconductor layer, and an insulating layer which is disposed under the pixel transistor and which is not disposed under the diffusion layers. The pixel transistor is disposed between the other pixels different from the pixel being electrically connected to the pixel transistor.12-02-2010
20100321551ECLIPSE ELIMINATION BY MONITORING THE PIXEL SIGNAL LEVEL - An anti-eclipse circuit for an imaging sensor monitors the photo signal level output by a pixel to determine whether the photo signal corresponds to the pixel being operated at a saturated state. If so, there is a risk that the pixel may be susceptible to an eclipse distortion. When the pixel is detected as being operated in a saturated state, the anti-eclipse circuit pulls up the reset signal level previously stored in a sample and hold circuit to an appropriate voltage level in order to prevent an eclipse distortion from arising.12-23-2010
20080252764PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION APPARATUS AND IMAGE CAPTURING SYSTEM - A photoelectric conversion apparatus is disclosed. A photoelectric conversion apparatus includes a pixel array in which pixels including photoelectric conversion units are arrayed in a row direction and a column direction, a plurality of first column signal lines which are electrically connected to the pixels arrayed in the pixel array in the column direction, respectively, a plurality of column amplification units which amplify signals provided via the plurality of the first column signal lines, respectively, a power supply line which provides a power supply voltage to the plurality of column amplification units, and a plurality of second column signal lines which are electrically connected to output sides of the plurality of column amplification units, respectively. Each column amplification unit includes a current limiting unit which limits the flow of an excessive current to each of the plurality of second column signal lines.10-16-2008
20110164161METHOD OF MANUFACTURING CMOS IMAGE SENSOR USING DOUBLE HARD MASK LAYER - Disclosed is a method of manufacturing a CMOS image sensor, capable of forming silicide in a logic region and facilitating ion implantation into a pixel region while keeping a hard mask layer in a thin thickness without performing a process for removing the hard mask layer. The critical dimension is easily controlled when forming a gate pattern and the uniformity in the critical dimension of a gate photoresist pattern is improved. The method includes the steps of forming a gate conductive layer on a substrate on which a pixel region and a logic region are defined; forming a hard mask pattern on the gate conductive layer in such a manner that a thickness of the hard mask pattern in the pixel region is thicker than a thickness of the hard mask pattern in the logic region; forming a gate pattern in the pixel region and the logic region by etching the gate conductive layer using the hard mask pattern as an etching barrier; removing the hard mask pattern remaining in the logic region; and forming silicide in the logic region.07-07-2011
20080239124SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, SIGNAL PROCESSING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device is disclosed. The device includes: a pixel array unit in which unit pixels including photoelectric conversion elements are two-dimensionally arranged and a first signal and a second signal are outputted to a signal line as a pixel signal; a signal processing unit including a variable gain amplifier, and an analog/digital converter; a signal supply unit supplying a reference signal; plural memory units holds the reference signal passed through the signal processing unit so as to correspond to the plural gains respectively when the variable gain amplifier is set at the plural gains respectively; and a correction unit subtracting the reference signal held in the plural memory units from the pixel signal outputted from each unit pixel in an active pixel area of the pixel array unit and passed through the signal processing unit when the variable gain amplifier is set at the plural gains respectively.10-02-2008
20120229684IMAGE SENSOR WITH RAISED PHOTOSENSITIVE ELEMENTS - An image sensor having a pixel array comprises periphery elements formed over a substrate, an oxide layer formed over the periphery elements, an epitaxial layer formed in an opening in the oxide layer in a pixel array area, and a plurality of photosensitive elements of the pixel array formed in the epitaxial layer. Formation of an initial metallization layer occurs after the formation of the photosensitive elements in the epitaxial layer. The photosensitive elements can thus be formed in the epitaxial layer at a higher level within an image sensor stack than that of the initial metallization layer. This advantageously allows stack height and pixel size to be reduced, and fill factor to be increased. The image sensor may be implemented in a digital camera or other type of digital imaging device.09-13-2012
20090066826Image sensor having a ramp generator and method for calibrating a ramp slope value of a ramp signal - An apparatus and method for calibrating a ramp slope value of a ramp signal to increase the accuracy of the slope of the ramp signal used within CMOS image sensors. An image sensor includes an active pixel sensor (APS) array, a ramp signal generator and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC). The APS array is configured to generate a reset signal and an image signal for a pixel of a selected row of the APS array. The ramp signal generator is configured to generate a ramp signal, a ramp slope value of the ramp signal being adjusted based on a slope control signal. The ADC is configured to generate a digital code based on the ramp signal and a difference between the reset signal and the image signal.03-12-2009
20110096219IMAGE SENSOR PACKAGE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME - An image sensor package includes a substrate, an image sensor chip, a plurality of metal wires and an encapsulant. The substrate has an upper face, a lower face and a plurality of connecting pads arranged on the upper face. The image sensor chip has an active surface, a back surface opposite to the active surface and a plurality of bonding pads arranged on the active surface. The metal wires electrically connect the bonding pads of the image sensor chip to the connecting pads of the substrate. The transparent cover is arranged above the image sensor chip. A gap is formed between the transparent cover and the image sensor chip. The encapsulant is disposed around the transparent cover and the metal wires, and is used for sealing the metal wires and fixing the transparent cover above the image sensor chip.04-28-2011
20110080511IMAGE SENSORS AND METHODS OF FABRICATING THE SAME - An image sensor and a method of fabricating the same are provided. The image sensor includes a substrate having a pixel region including a plurality of unit pixels and a non-pixel region, at least one first well in the non-pixel region, an interconnect structure on a first side of the substrate, and a base well in the non-pixel region and between the first well and a second side of the substrate.04-07-2011
20110080510IMAGE TAKING DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - An image sensor includes a plurality of pixels, a plurality of sense circuits, and a count circuit. Each sense circuit is configured to read out electrical signals from at least one pixel associated with the sense circuit in order to generate data representing whether or not photons have been received by the sense circuit. The count circuit is in communication with a sense circuit selected from the plurality of sense circuits. The count circuit is configured to provide integration results for the pixels associated with the sense circuits based on the data received from the sense circuits.04-07-2011
20110080512ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL CONVERTER FOR IMAGE SENSORS - An analog-to-digital (ADC) converter is disclosed that uses aspects of a single-slope ramp ADC, but with jump steps in the ramp voltage to increase speed. A look-ahead controller can cause a ramped voltage level to jump step and detect the number of analog input signals impacted due to the jump step. If the detected number is below a predetermined threshold, the ramp can be maintained from the new voltage level after the jump. If the detected number is above the predetermined threshold, the ramped voltage level can be returned to its original voltage level and trajectory. Thus, jump steps can be used to increase speed, but dynamic testing can be performed to ensure that error rates due to the jump step are minimized.04-07-2011
20100110258IMAGE SENSOR AND METHOD OF DRIVING TRANSFER TRANSISTOR OF IMAGE SENSOR - Provided is a 4-transistor CMOS image in which a driving condition or a pixel structure is changed so that a transfer transistor in a pixel operates in a pinch-off condition during reset and transfer operations in order to reduce dark current and fixed-pattern noise caused by a change in an operation condition of the transfer transistor and inter-pixel characteristic discrepancy. The image sensor includes a photosensitive pixel including a transfer transistor for transferring photon-induced charges created in a photodiode; and a voltage control unit for controlling a turn-on voltage applied to a gate of the transfer transistor to be lower than a floating diffusion node voltage plus the threshold voltage of the transfer transistor during a partial or entire section of a turn-on section of the transfer transistor such that the transfer transistor operates in a pseudo pinch-off mode.05-06-2010
20100194954Multiplexed Read-out Architecture for CMOS Image Sensors - This invention targets improvement in CMOS sensors using a multiplexed read-out architecture in which pixels are output at the pixel V08-05-2010
20100079648DRIVING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A driving method of a solid-state imaging apparatus including multiple reference level supplying units each arranged correspondingly to a predetermined number of signal holding units, to supply a reference level to an output node of the signal holding unit through the selecting unit, wherein the method includes steps of: performing a clamping operation for sampling and holding the signal in the signal holding unit, by terminating turn ON pulses to be supplied to the selecting units successively in separate timings, one for each one of the selecting units, or one for each group of the selecting units while the reference level is supplied from the reference level supplying unit to the output node; and performing an operation of selecting the signal holding units through the selecting units, by supplying the turn ON pulses successively to the selecting units, to read out the signals successively from the signal holding units selected.04-01-2010
20100066883SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME - A solid-state imaging device includes plural photosensitive elements 03-18-2010
20100066882SOLID-STATE IMAGE CAPTURING ELEMENT AND ELECTRONIC INFORMATION DEVICE - A solid-state image capturing element according to the present invention includes a pixel array section, in which a well layer is disposed above a semiconductor substrate or a semiconductor region and a plurality of photoelectric conversion elements for performing a photoelectric conversion on and capturing an image of image light from a subject are arranged in a two dimensional array in the well layer, where a high concentration well layer is disposed between the well layer and the semiconductor substrate or the semiconductor region, the high concentration well layer being a same conductivity type as the well layer and having a higher impurity concentration than that of the well layer.03-18-2010
20110261242IMAGING DEVICE MODULE - An imaging device module includes an imaging device including a light incident plane on which light is incident, and a reverse face disposed on an opposite side of the light incident plane; and a thermal conductive sheet provided on the reverse face for dissipating heat generated from the imaging device.10-27-2011
20100194953DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING A REFERENCE SIGNAL - A device that includes a pixel array, an interfacing circuit and a sample and hold circuit. The interfacing circuit directs to at least one pixel of the pixel array a sampled voltage that is outputted from the sample and hold circuit. The sample and hold circuit includes an NMOS transistor, a bootstrap circuit, a capacitor, sample phase switches and hold phase switches. During the sample phase the source of the NMOS transistor receives the input voltage; the gate of the NMOS transistor receives, from the bootstrap circuit a gate voltage that exceeds a supply voltage and a capacitor of the sample and hold circuit is charged to the input voltage to provide the sampled voltage. During a hold phase the capacitor stores the sampled voltage; the gate, source and drain of the NMOS transistor are maintained at the same potential and the source of the NMOS transistor is disconnected from an input port through which the input voltage was provided.08-05-2010
20100194952DEVICE AND METHOD FOR PROVIDING A REFERENCE SIGNAL - A device that includes: a pixel array and a sample and hold circuit configured to provide sampled current to the pixel array; 08-05-2010
20110187912SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING THE SAME - A solid state imaging device according to an embodiment includes a light sensing part which conducts photoelectric conversion on incident light. The solid state imaging device includes a ferroelectric layer including an organic compound on a surface of the light sensing part on which light is incident. The solid state imaging device includes a transparent electrode formed on the ferroelectric layer.08-04-2011
20110187911SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device is provided, which includes a pixel region in which pixels including a photoelectric conversion section and a plurality of pixel transistors are arranged. In the solid-state imaging device, a transfer transistor of the pixel transistors includes: a transfer gate electrode extended in a surface of the substrate formed on the surface of a semiconductor substrate; and a transfer gate electrode buried in the substrate which is electrically insulated from the transfer gate electrode extended in a surface of the substrate and is embedded in the inside of the semiconductor substrate in the vertical direction through the transfer gate electrode extended in a surface of the substrate.08-04-2011
20110187910Solid-state imaging device and imaging apparatus - A solid-state imaging device includes: a pixel array section having an effective pixel region formed by a plurality of pixels which are disposed in the form of a matrix, each of which includes a photoelectric conversion device and a transistor reading out an electric charge obtained by photoelectric conversion at the photoelectric conversion device, and which are illuminated by light and a light-shielded pixel region formed by a plurality of pixels which are shielded from light; a row scan section selecting and controlling each row of pixels of the pixel array section to output a signal from each of the pixels of the selected row of pixels to a column signal line provided in association with the row of pixels; and an A-D conversion section converting the signal output from the signal line into a digital signal.08-04-2011
20110187909METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR CMOS IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - Method and system for manufacturing CMOS image sensing device with reduced blooming. The method includes a step for providing a substrate material. The substrate material can be characterized by a first dimension and a second dimension. In addition, the method includes a step for defining an active region on the substrate material. The active region is characterized by a third dimension and a fourth dimension. The method further includes a step for defining a non-active region on the substrate material. The non-active region is different from the active region. The non-active region is characterized by a fifth dimension and a sixth dimension, the non-active region including a silicon material. The method includes a step for defining a depletion region within the active region. In addition, the method includes a step for forming an n-type region positioned above the depletion region.08-04-2011
20110149137SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE - According to one embodiment, a solid state imaging device includes a pixel region to be used for generating pixels, a black reference region provided outside the pixel region, and a dummy region provided between the black reference region and the pixel region, and including a light shielding pattern configured to shield the black reference against light coming from the pixel region.06-23-2011
20090174802Image Sensor and Method for Reading Out Pixels of the Image Sensor - Image sensor, which comprises a plurality of pixels arranged as a pixel array with rows and columns and at least one read-out arrangement for reading out the pixels row by row. The columns are grouped into blocks with a certain number N of columns. Each read-out arrangement comprises N column read out circuits and an addressing circuit for with at least two groups of addressing lines for addressing the blocks. The blocks are selectively addressed by the groups of addressing lines in a way that a read-out sequence of blocks addressed by the groups is continuous across all blocks.07-09-2009
20090174801METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IDENTIFICATION AND CORRECTION OF ABERRANT PIXELS IN AN IMAGE SENSOR - An apparatus and method for identifying aberrant pixels in an image sensor. The apparatus includes a light sensitive element configured to detect a first signal value representing a first level of an incident light and a light sensitive region separate from the light sensitive element configured to detect a second signal value representing a second level of the incident light. Comparing circuitry is configured to compare the first signal value and the second signal value and to output a signal indicating the pixel is an aberrant pixel if the first and second signal values differ by more than a maximum threshold value or less than a minimum threshold value in a threshold value range.07-09-2009
20100026867SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE AND IMAGE SIGNAL OUTPUT CIRCUIT - A pixel signal obtained by imaging with a solid-state image sensor element can be output selectably either in n bits or in a bit number of an integral multiple of n in synchronization with an output clock. A clock converting unit (02-04-2010
20100026866SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, METHOD FOR MANUFACTURING SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes, in a semiconductor substrate, a pixel portion provided with a photoelectric conversion portion, which photoelectrically converts incident light to obtain an electric signal and a peripheral circuit portion disposed on the periphery of the pixel portion, wherein a gate insulating film of a MOS transistor in the peripheral circuit portion is composed of a silicon oxynitride film, a gate insulating film of a MOS transistor in the pixel portion is composed of a silicon oxynitride film, and an oxide film is disposed just above the photoelectric conversion portion in the pixel portion.02-04-2010
20100026865IMAGE SENSOR HAVING MULTIPLE SENSING LAYERS - An image sensor includes a first sensor layer having a first array of pixels and a second sensor layer having a second array of pixels. Each pixel of the first and second arrays has a photodetector for collecting charge in response to incident light, a charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism, and a transfer gate for selectively transferring charge from the photodetector to the charge-to-voltage mechanism. The first and second sensor layers each have a thicknesses to collect light with a first and second preselected ranges of wavelengths, respectively. A circuit layer is situated below the first sensor layer and has support circuitry for the pixels of the first and second sensor layers, and interlayer connectors are between the pixels of the first and second layers and the support circuitry.02-04-2010
20100020217SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA - The solid-state imaging device having pixels that are arranged in rows and columns and convert optical signals to electric signals to output the electric signals as voltage signals includes column signal lines each provided for a corresponding one of the columns and transmitting, in the direction of the columns, voltage signals outputted from the pixels, current sources each provided for and connected to a corresponding one of the column signal lines, column amplification circuits each provided for a corresponding one of the column signal lines and amplifying the voltage signals transmitted through the column signal lines, a current-source ground potential supply line supplying the current sources with ground potential, and a column amplification circuit ground potential supply line supplying the column amplification circuits with ground potential. The current-source ground potential supply line and the column amplification circuit ground potential supply line are interconnected at positions corresponding to the columns.01-28-2010
20090147119OPTICAL SENSOR CIRCUIT AND IMAGE SENSOR - An optical sensor circuit has a photodiode PD, a MOS transistor Q06-11-2009
20100245644VARIABLE DYNAMIC RANGE PIXEL SENSOR CELL, DESIGN STRUCTURE AND METHOD - A pixel sensor cell including a column circuit, a design structure for fabricating the pixel sensor cell including the column circuit and a method for operating the pixel sensor cell including the column circuit are predicated upon the measurement of multiple reference data point and signal data point pairs from a floating diffusion at a variable capacitance. The variable capacitance is provided by excluding or including a transfer gate transistor capacitance in addition to a floating diffusion capacitance. Such a variable capacitance provides variable dynamic ranges for the pixel sensor cell including the column circuit.09-30-2010
20100289936BUFFER CIRCUIT, IMAGE SENSOR CHIP COMPRISING THE SAME, AND IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE - A buffer circuit includes: first and second cascode constant current sources (11-18-2010
20110304758HIGH SPEED IMAGING THROUGH IN-PIXEL STORAGE - Disclosed are a system, a method and an apparatus of high speed imaging through in-pixel storage. In one embodiment, an image sensor includes an event sensor to detect events in a process. In addition, the image sensor includes an in-pixel storage to increase an event capture rate of the events through a separation of an event capture operation from other operations of the image sensor.12-15-2011
20120038810IMAGE CAPTURING APPARATUS - An image capturing apparatus includes: an image sensor including image sensing pixels that generate a signal for image generation, and focus detection pixels dividing the pupil region of an imaging lens into pupil regions and generating a signal for phase difference detection by photoelectrically converting object images from the pupil regions obtained by the division; a switching unit that switches between an all-pixel readout mode in which signals from all of the multiple pixels are read out and a thinning readout mode in which the signals of the multiple pixels are thinned and read out; and a control unit that, in the case where the mode has been switched by the switching unit to the thinning readout mode, controls the accumulation of charges in imaging rows used for image generation and focus detection rows including the focus detection pixels independent from each other.02-16-2012
20120038811METHODS FOR ENHANCING QUALITY OF PIXEL SENSOR IMAGE FRAMES FOR GLOBAL SHUTTER IMAGING - The image qualify of an image frame from a CMOS image sensor array operated in global shutter mode may be enhanced by dispersing or randomizing the noise introduced by leakage currents from floating drains among the rows of the image frame. Further, the image quality may be improved by accounting for time dependent changes in the output of dark pixels in dark pixel rows or dark pixel columns. In addition, voltage and time dependent changes in the output of dark pixels may also be measured to provide an accurate estimate of the noise introduced to the charge held in the floating drains. Such methods may be employed individually or in combination to improve the quality of the image.02-16-2012
20100225796DOUBLE DATA RATE (DDR) COUNTER, ANALOG-TO-DIGITAL CONVERTER (ADC) USING THE SAME, CMOS IMAGE SENSOR USING THE SAME AND METHODS IN DDR COUNTER, ADC AND CMOS IMAGE SENSOR - In a double data rate (DDR) counter and counting method used in, for example, an analog-to-digital conversion in, for example, a CMOS image sensor and method, a first stage of the counter generates a least significant bit (LSB) of the value in the counter. The counter includes at least one second stage for generating another bit of the value in the counter. An input clock signal is applied to a data input of the first stage and a clock input of the second stage.09-09-2010
20090135284Image sensor with a gated storage node linked to transfer gate - A CMOS imaging system with increased charge storage of pixels yet decreased physical size, kTC noise and active area. A storage node is connected to the transfer gate and provides a storage node for a pixel, allowing for kTC noise reduction prior to readout. The pixel may be operated with the shutter gate on during the integration period to increase the amount of time for charge storage by a pixel.05-28-2009
20110317055SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, CAMERA MODULE, AND IMAGING METHOD - According to one embodiment, a third optical black portion is arranged in parallel with a first optical black portion in a row direction and in parallel with a second optical black portion in column direction. At least one of the vertical line correction circuit and the horizontal line correction circuit adds/subtracts arithmetic average of the third black level signal generated by the third optical black portion.12-29-2011
20120044398CMOS SENSOR WITH LOW PARTITION NOISE AND LOW DISTURBANCE BETWEEN ADJACENT ROW CONTROL SIGNALS IN A PIXEL ARRAY - A CMOS image sensor includes a pixel array including a plurality of unit pixels with individual rows of unit pixels being coupled to respective row control signal lines, and a buffer including plural row control signal drivers. Each driver is coupled to a respective one of the row control signal lines and is configured to provide a row control signal pulse to a respective row control signal line in response to an input pulse when the row control signal line is in an active state and to bias the row control signal line at a ground voltage when the respective row control signal line is in an inactive state. Each driver has a first drive capability when the row control signal line is in the active state and a second drive capability greater than the first drive capability when the row control signal line is in an inactive state.02-23-2012
20100188546DUAL CONVERSION GAIN GATE AND CAPACITOR AND HDR COMBINATION - A pixel circuit having a shared control line for providing two control signals to the pixel array. One control line is used to provide a control signal to both a high dynamic range circuit and a dual conversion gain circuit to two pixel circuits. The pixel circuits each contain two pixel cells that have separate photo-conversion devices but share readout circuitry.07-29-2010
20120002092LOW NOISE ACTIVE PIXEL SENSOR - A vertically-integrated active pixel sensor includes a sensor layer connected to a circuit layer. At least one pixel region on the sensor layer includes a photodetector and a charge-to-voltage converter. At least one pixel region on the circuit layer consists of a source follower input transistor. A connector connects the charge-to-voltage converter to a gate of the source follower input transistor. The connector is used to transfer a signal from the charge-to-voltage converter to the source follower input transistor.01-05-2012
20120008033SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A solid-state image pickup device and a camera system in which: (1) counters are organized into a counter group and a memory group on a column-by-column basis; (2) in each column, the individual counters are cascade-connected between individual bits; (3) switches are provided at bit output portions of the individual counters; (4) connecting sides of the individual switches are commonly connected to a column-signal transfer line, and output sides of the switches are shared with the other individual bits; (5) inputs of memories (latch circuits), which store digital data for horizontal transfer, share the column-signal transfer line; and (6) outputs of the memories corresponding to the individual bits are connected via switches to data transfer signal lines wired so as to be orthogonal to the column-signal transfer line.01-12-2012
20120008032SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus includes a comparison section comparing a pixel signal from a pixel with a ramp signal and outputting a comparison signal. A measurement section starts counting in synchronism with the ramp signal and continues the counting until a signal supplied thereto reverses to measure comparison time. A comparator output controlling section interposed between the output of the comparison section and the input of the measurement section stops, if a pixel signal value exceeds a predetermined value determined based on a tanning phenomenon when the counting is started, the counting when the comparison signal is supplied to the measurement section to reverse the comparison signal, but supplies, if the pixel signal value does not exceed the predetermined value, a signal which is not reversed within a measurement period to the measurement section to continue the counting during the measurement period.01-12-2012
20090219427IMAGE SENSOR AND IMAGE DATA PROCESSING METHOD - An image sensor and a method for processing image data, can reduce a large proportion of data signals corresponding to high illumination and a small proportion of data signals corresponding to low illumination in order to generate an image just like the original, by adjusting the reset sampling period pertaining to the data signals outputted from a unit pixel. The image sensor includes a first switch which is operated by a reset sampling signal for sampling reset voltage when a voltage drop in an image data signal occurs, in which the image data signal is applied from a picture element part, a first capacitor for storing the reset voltage applied from the first switch, a second switch which is operated by a data sampling signal for sampling data voltage after completion of the voltage drop in the image data signal, a second capacitor for storing the data voltage from the second switch, and an image data processing circuit equipped with a comparator for comparing the reset voltage with the data voltage.09-03-2009
20120013780OPTICAL BLACK PIXEL CELL READOUT SYSTEMS AND METHODS - This is generally directed to systems and methods for reading optical black pixel cells. For example, in some embodiments, the columns of a pixel array can be shunted together during an optical black pixel readout phase of the imaging system. This may, for example, help improve correction of column fixed pattern noise or other noise. In some embodiments, the column may be shunted together during the optical black pixel readout phase of the imaging system and not shunted during other phases of the imaging system (e.g., when reading values from active pixel cells, barrier pixel cells, etc). In some embodiments, circuitry for providing the column shunting can be implemented as an independent block of the imaging system. In other embodiments, this circuitry can be implemented within other blocks of the imaging system. As an illustration, the shunting circuitry can be implemented within a VLN block of the imaging system.01-19-2012
20090153716SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid state imaging device is provided and includes: a semiconductor substrate a photoelectric conversion element including a pair of electrodes and a photoelectric conversion layer sandwiched between the pair of electrodes; a signal output circuit including an MOS transistor for outputting a signal responsive to an electric charge generated by the photoelectric conversion layer; a first electric charge storage section which is provided in the semiconductor substrate and in which the electric charge generated by the photoelectric conversion layer is directly stored; a second electric charge storage section provided in the semiconductor substrate and connected to a gate of an output transistor in the signal output circuit; and an electric charge transfer section that transfers the electric charge, stored in the first electric charge storage section, to the second electric charge storage section.06-18-2009
20090027531PIXEL MIXTURE METHOD - The present invention provides a pixel mixture method for mixing multiple pixels in a high-pixel solid-state image sensing device capable of obtaining a high-definition image while reducing the number of the readout pixels in an imaging device having the high-pixel solid-state image sensing device with a color filter array (CFA).01-29-2009
20090021625Solid-State Imaging Device - According to the present invention, as a structure of a pixel section (01-22-2009
20120154657SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device including a photoelectric conversion portion; a floating diffusion region; a transfer gate electrode made of an n-type semiconductor; a sidewall made of an n-type semiconductor formed on the photoelectric conversion portion side of the transfer gate electrode with an insulating film therebetween; and a sidewall made of an insulating layer formed on the floating diffusion region side of the transfer gate electrode.06-21-2012
20120154655SUSPENDING COLUMN ADDRESSING IN IMAGE SENSORS - An image sensor includes a two-dimensional array of pixels having multiple column outputs and an output circuit connected to each column output. Each output circuit is configured to operate concurrent sample and read operations. A timing generator outputs a column address sequence that is received by a column decoder that is electrically connected to each output circuit. The timing generator suspends the output of the column address sequence during a sample operation and resumes the output of the column address sequence at the end of the sample operation.06-21-2012
20120154656SOLID-STATE IMAGING ELEMENT, DRIVING METHOD, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging element is disclosed which includes: a pixel array portion configured to have a plurality of unit pixels arrayed two-dimensionally, the unit pixels being furnished with a photoelectric conversion portion, a transfer section, and a reset section, the transfer section being configured to transfer electrical charges accumulated in the photoelectric conversion portion to a charge retention portion, the reset section being configured to reset the electrical charges of the charge retention portion; and a drive control section configured to control the driving of the unit pixels; wherein the drive control section controls the driving of the unit pixels in such a manner that prior to the charge transfer by the transfer section, the reset section resets the electrical charges of the charge retention portion in increments of a plurality of rows of the unit pixels, the plurality of rows being not adjacent to one another.06-21-2012
20090153717CMOS ACTIVE PIXEL SENSOR WITH A SAMPLE AND HOLD CIRCUIT HAVING MULTIPLE INJECTION CAPACITORS AND A FULLY DIFFERENTIAL CHARGE MODE LINEAR SYNTHESIZER WITH SKEW CONTROL - An CMOS active pixel sensor (APS) imaging system include circuitry to compensate for different analog offset levels from the CMOS pixel array. More specifically, the compensation is performed in the analog (charge) domain. A digital correction value, which may be measured as part of the operation or testing of the CMOS APS system, is provided to a offset correction block circuit, to generate an analog electrical signal. The analog electrical signal is supplied to a sample-and-hold circuit including a charge amplifier. The signal read from the pixel array, after conditioning through an analog signal chain, is also supplied to the charge amplifier, which has a linear transfer function and outputs the compensated signal.06-18-2009
20120105698SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - A MOS type solid state imaging device having unit pixels, each having a photodiode a transfer transistor for transferring the signal of the photodiode to a floating node, an amplifier transistor for outputting the signal of the floating node to a vertical signal line, and a reset transistor for resetting the floating node. A gate voltage of the reset transistor is controlled by three values of a power source potential (for example 3V), a ground potential (0V), and a negative power source potential (for example −1V).05-03-2012
20110090385IMAGING DEVICE - Charge generated in a photodiode is properly split for difference processing. An imaging element is constituted by a semiconductor such that a charge accumulation portion is connected to a light receiving portion using a buried photodiode and charge is split from the charge accumulation portion by a plurality of gates and is accumulated. An imaging device includes a control device performing control so as to accumulate charge that is generated by a photoelectric conversion at an exposure cycle synchronous with the light emission of a light source. The exposure cycle includes a first period for receiving reflection light from a subject illuminated by light from the light source and a second period for receiving light from the subject illuminated by an environmental light not including the light from the light source. The imaging device includes a charge accumulation region connected to each photoelectric conversion region, a first charge storage region for receiving charge generated in the photoelectric conversion regions during the first period via the charge accumulation portion, and a second charge storage region for receiving charge generated in the photoelectric conversion regions during the second period via the charge accumulation portion.04-21-2011
20110102657SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE, MANUFACTURING METHOD THEREOF, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A semiconductor device having a first semiconductor section including a first wiring layer at one side thereof; a second semiconductor section including a second wiring layer at one side thereof, the first and second semiconductor sections being secured together with the respective first and second wiring layer sides of the first and second semiconductor sections facing each other; a conductive material extending through the first semiconductor section to the second wiring layer of the second semiconductor section and by means of which the first and second wiring layers are in electrical communication; and an opening, other than the opening for the conductive material, which extends through the first semiconductor section to the second wiring layer.05-05-2011
20120300106SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, AND IMAGE PICKUP SYSTEM USING SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - A solid-state image pickup apparatus includes a photoelectric conversion unit, a charge storage unit, and a floating diffusion unit, all disposed on a semiconductor substrate. The solid-state image pickup apparatus further includes a first gate electrode disposed on the semiconductor substrate and extending between the photoelectric conversion unit and charge storage unit, and a second gate electrode disposed on the semiconductor substrate and extending between the charge storage unit and the floating diffusion unit. The solid-state image pickup apparatus further includes a light shielding member including a first part and a second part, wherein the first part is disposed over the charge storage unit and at least over the first gate electrode or the second gate electrode, and the second part is disposed between the first gate electrode and the second gate electrode such that the second part extends from the first part toward a surface of the semiconductor substrate.11-29-2012
20100245646SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A solid state imaging device 09-30-2010
20100245649SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND METHOD FOR DRIVING THE SAME IN A NUMBER OF MODES - A system and method for driving a solid-state image pickup device including a pixel array unit including unit pixels. Each unit pixel includes a photoelectric converter, column signal lines and a number of analog-digital converting units. The unit pixels are selectively controlled in units of rows. Analog signals output from the unit pixels in a row selected by the selective control though the column signal lines are converted to digital signals via the analog-digital converting units. The digital signals are added among a number of unit pixels via the analog-digital converting units. The added digital signals from the analog-digital converting units are read. Each unit pixel in the pixel array unit is selectively controlled in units of arbitrary rows, the analog-distal converting units being operable to performing the converting in a (a) normal-frame-rate mode and a (b) high-frame-rate mode in response to control signals.09-30-2010
20120127355DRIVING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS AND SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging apparatus comprises a pixel portion including a plurality of pixels, wherein each pixel including a photoelectric conversion portion, an accumulation portion for accumulating the charge, a first transfer portion connecting the photoelectric conversion portion to the accumulation portion, a second transfer portion connecting the accumulation portion to a floating diffusion portion, and a third transfer portion connecting the photoelectric conversion portion to a power source, and wherein, from a state where no potential barrier is formed in the second transfer portion, a potential barrier is formed in the second transfer portion under a condition that a potential barrier is formed in the first transfer portion and no potential barrier is formed in the third transfer portion, and then a potential barrier is formed in the third transfer portion, thereby the operation of accumulating charges in the pixels is started.05-24-2012
20100208115SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSOR - A pixel area with a two-dimensional array of pixels (08-19-2010
20110181765IMAGING DEVICE - A circuit unit is formed on a supporting member, and a solid state imaging element is formed on the circuit unit. Also, a lens mechanism is provided on a front surface of the solid state imaging element. The solid state imaging element, the circuit unit and the lens mechanism are mounted in a frame body. In addition, photoelectric conversion elements are attached to the outside of the frame body. Each of the photoelectric conversion elements is configured to have almost no light reception sensitivity to the light wavelength region of more than 300 nm and have sensitivity to the light wavelength region of 300 nm or less. The photoelectric conversion element thus configured can sense particularly flames, electric sparks and the like among ultraviolet light.07-28-2011
20120133812SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS AND DRIVING METHOD THEREOF - A solid state imaging apparatus of less fixed pattern noises and less shading comprises an imaging area wherein a plurality of pixel circuits are arranged in two dimensionally, and each of the pixel circuits includes a plurality of photoelectric conversion elements each for generating an electric charge by a photoelectric conversion and for accumulating the electric charge, a single floating diffusion portion for accumulating the charge, a plurality of transfer switches for transferring the electric charges respectively from the plurality of photoelectric conversion elements to the single floating diffusion portion and an amplifying transistor for amplifying a voltage corresponding to the electric charge accumulated by the floating diffusion portion, wherein the plurality of transfer switches transfers the electric charges from the plurality of photoelectric conversion elements sequentially to the floating diffusion portion while maintaining the amplifying transistors at the activation state.05-31-2012
20090059048IMAGE SENSOR WITH HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE IN DOWN-SAMPLING MODE - An image sensor has an array of photo-sensitive pixels and supports a line-by-line read out of rows. In a normal resolution each row has the same nominal gain and exposure time. In a down-sampling mode the exposure times of the rows are varied according to an alternating sequence having at least two different exposure times. During down-sampling, raw pixel data from rows with different exposure times is combined to simultaneously achieve down-sampling and a high dynamic range.03-05-2009
20080211952SOLID STATE IMAGE PICK-UP DEVICE AND CAMERA USING THE SOLID STATE IMAGE PICK-UP DEVICE - To suppress an influence exerted on an output video signal due to a high frequency noise from a scanning circuit. In a solid state image pick-up device including horizontal scanning circuits, and a vertical scanning circuit having a lower driving frequency than those of the horizontal scanning circuits which are arranged so as to be adjacent to different side portions of a square chip, pads are arranged at side portions of the chip, except for the side portions on the sides where the horizontal scanning circuits are arranged. The pads include pads through which a voltage or a ground potential is applied to active elements of pixels of a pixel region, pads through which voltages are inputted to amplifiers, and pads through which output signals of the amplifiers are outputted to the outside of the chip.09-04-2008
20100271525Integrated AD converter, solid state imaging device, and camera system - An integrated AD converter includes: a comparator comparing an input voltage with a reference voltage with a ramp waveform whose voltage value linearly changes with time; a high-bit counter triggered by inversion of an output signal of the comparator to start or stop an operation of counting for every cycle of a main clock signal; a time quantizer latching phase information at a timing at which the output signal is inverted using a plurality of clock signals including main clock signals of different phases, and decodes a value of the latched phase information to thereby output lower bits with a resolution higher than a clock cycle; and a regulating unit synchronizing the output signal with the main clock signal, and determines timings of starting and stopping the operation of the high-bit counter and a value for latching the phase information of the main clock signal using a signal resulting from the synchronization.10-28-2010
20120075514Hybrid Camera Sensor for Night Vision and Day Color Vision - A hybrid imaging array and method for using the same is disclosed. The image array includes a low-light imaging array and a color imaging array. The two imaging arrays can be utilized separately or in conjunction with one another. The low-light imaging array is optimized for night vision or situations in which the light levels are too low to allow a conventional color image to be formed by the color imaging array. The color imaging array is optimized for daylight or color photography. The low-light imaging array can be utilized in conjunction with the color imaging array to provide a color image with reduced noise.03-29-2012
20100020216DEVICE FOR DETECTING AN IMAGE OF A NONPLANAR SURFACE - An image sensing device for detecting an image of a nonplanar surface includes a plurality of pixels configured to detect the image of the nonplanar surface. The plurality of pixels are associated with a plurality of pixel pitches. The plurality of pixels are positioned to maintain a constant image resolution of the nonplanar surface for the plurality of pixels, based on the plurality of pixel pitches associated with the plurality of pixels.01-28-2010
20120224089SOLID STATE IMAGING APPARATUS - While a drain power source of a reset transistor and a drain power source of an amplifying transistor are separated, the load of drain power source can be reduced by sharing a drain diffusion layer of the reset transistor and a drain diffusion layer of the amplifying transistor by adjacent cells in sharing pixel units. Further, an efficient pixel layout is provided by reducing the number of routing wires.09-06-2012
20090027533SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND METHOD OF DRIVING THE SOLID STATE IMAGING DEVICE - A row scanner selects an arbitrary row in an pixel array unit. Per-column AD converters separately convert voltage signals respectively outputted from a column of a plurality of unit pixels in the selected arbitrary row into digital signals. A column scanner sequentially outputs the digital signals by a column-scanning operation thereof. An AD conversion result adjuster judges whether or not the digital signals reach a predetermined judgment value or the status equivalent to the digital signals reaching the predetermined judgment value is generated, and fixes the digital signals to digital pixel values set in accordance with the predetermined judgment value when a result of the judgment is positive.01-29-2009
20090021624Camera module back-focal length adjustment method and ultra compact components packaging - The present invention relates to methods of manufacturing ultra-compact camera modules, adjusting them, post production, to precise focal point settings, and sealing the precisely aligned assembly to maintain the focal point. Also, the invention specifically relates to ultra-compact camera module apparatuses.01-22-2009
20090021627HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE CASCADED INTEGRATION PIXEL CELL AND METHOD OF OPERATION - A cascaded imaging storage system for a pixel is disclosed for improving intrascene dynamic range. Charges accumulated in a first capacitor spill over into a second capacitor when a charge storage capacity of the first capacitor is exceeded. A third capacitor may also be provided such that charges accumulated by said second capacitor spill over into the third capacitor when the charge storage capacity of the second capacitor is exceeded.01-22-2009
20090021626SOLID STATE IMAGING APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR FABRICATIG THE SAME - A semiconductor device of the present invention includes a substrate; an imaging region which is formed at part of the substrate and in which photoelectric conversion cells including photoelectric conversion sections are arranged in the form of an array; a control-circuit region which is formed at part of the substrate and in which the imaging region is controlled and a signal from the imaging region is outputted; and a copper-containing interconnect layer formed above the substrate and made of a material containing copper. Furthermore, a first anti-diffusion layer and a second anti-diffusion layer are formed, as anti-diffusion layers for preventing the copper from diffusing into each photoelectric conversion section, on the photoelectric conversion section and the copper-containing interconnect layer, respectively.01-22-2009
20090021623Systems, methods and devices for a CMOS imager having a pixel output clamp - Embodiments of a pixel read out circuit in an imager device is described. The pixel read out circuit includes an output node that is connected to a plurality of pixel cells. An output signal from a selected one of the plurality of pixel cells is applied to the output node. The pixel read out circuit also includes a clamp-out circuit that limits the magnitude of the output signal to a voltage determined by the voltage of a reference signal to prevent the output signal from reaching a level that might exceed the dynamic range of analog circuitry receiving the output signal.01-22-2009
20120081589IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - An imaging device includes: a pixel array section functioning as a light receiving section which includes photoelectric conversion devices and in which a plurality of pixels, which output electric signals when photons are incident, are disposed in an array; a sensing circuit section in which a plurality of sensing circuits, which receive the electric signals from the pixels and perform binary determination regarding whether or not there is an incidence of photons on the pixels in a predetermined period, are arrayed; and a determination result integration circuit section having a function of integrating a plurality of determination results of the sensing circuits for the respective pixels or for each pixel group, wherein the determination result integration circuit section derives the amount of photon incidence on the light receiving section by performing photon counting for integrating the plurality of determination results in the plurality of pixels.04-05-2012
20120081588PIXEL SENSOR CELL WITH HOLD NODE FOR LEAKAGE CANCELLATION AND METHODS OF MANUFACTURE AND DESIGN STRUCTURE - A reference pixel sensor cell (e.g., global shutter) with hold node for leakage cancellation, methods of manufacture and design structure is provided. A pixel array includes one or more reference pixel sensor cells dispersed locally throughout active light sensing regions. The one or more reference pixel sensor cells provides a reference signal used to correct for photon generated leakage signals which vary by locality within the active light sensing regions.04-05-2012
20120268637CAPTURING REFLECTED LIGHT FROM A SAMPLING SURFACE - A mechanism is disclosed for capturing reflected rays from a surface. A first and second lens aligned along a same optical center axis are configured so that a beam of light collimated parallel to the lens center axis directed to a first side, is converged toward the lens center axis on a second side. A first light beam source between the first and second lenses directs a light beam toward the first lens parallel to the optical center axis. Second light beam source(s) on the second side of the first lens, direct a light beam toward a focal plane of the first lens at a desired angle. An image capturing component, at the second side of the second lens, has an image capture surface directed toward the second lens to capture images of the light reflected from a sample capture surface at the focal plane of the first lens.10-25-2012
20100245645Solid-state image pickup apparatus and electronic apparatus - A solid-state image pickup apparatus includes a photoelectric converter, a wiring portion, a micro lens, and an adjustment film. The photoelectric converter is formed on a light incident side in a substrate. The wiring portion is formed on a side of the substrate that is opposite to the light incident side. The micro lens is formed on a light incident side of the photoelectric converter. The adjustment film adjusts variation of a light reception sensitivity in the photoelectric converter with respect to a wavelength of light that enters the photoelectric converter through the micro lens, and the adjustment film is formed between the photoelectric converter and the micro lens.09-30-2010
20100231771METHODS AND APPARATUS FOR HIGH DYNAMIC OPERATION OF A PIXEL CELL - A pixel circuit providing high dynamic operation, and methods of operating the pixel circuit providing for high dynamic operation. Methods include a lateral overflow and a double exposure mode, and a pixel output signal is determined according to whether a photosensor of the pixel circuit is saturated.09-16-2010
20100231770SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE - A solid-state image sensing device has a plurality of pixels, a read-out circuit for reading out electric signals obtained by the photoelectric conversion element, and a signal processing unit for performing signal processing for the electric signal read out from the read-out circuit. The plurality of pixels include a first pixel having a transparent film, a plurality of second pixels each having a first color filter, a plurality of third pixels each having a second color filter, and a plurality of fourth pixels each having a third color filter. The signal processing unit has a color acquisition unit for acquiring a white pixel value and first to third color pixel values, an edge judgment unit, a color separation unit and a single color pixel calculation unit.09-16-2010
20120327282SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, METHOD OF DRIVING THE SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device including a photoelectric conversion portion, plural signal lines including a transfer signal line to which a transfer signal for reading signal charge accumulated in the photoelectric conversion portion to a floating diffusion region is input, a driver circuit inputting desired signals into the plural signal lines, and a terminal circuit connected to a side opposite to a side of the transfer signal line where the driver circuit is connected and to which a control signal for securing the transfer signal line at a constant voltage is input before a desired signal of is input to the signal line adjacent to the transfer signal line.12-27-2012
20120092540SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE - A solid-state image pickup device includes a voltage supply circuit configured to supply a voltage to load MOS transistors provided to vertical output lines and columnar signal-processing circuits. The voltage supply circuit includes a first amplifier circuit configured to amplify a predetermined voltage supplied to an input part thereof from a voltage generator and to output an amplified voltage to a voltage supply wire, and a sample-and-hold circuit including a sampling switch provided on a path between the voltage generator and the input part and a hold capacitor configured to hold the voltage sampled by the sampling switch.04-19-2012
20100177232VOLTAGE BIASING CIRCUIT AND DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM HAVING THE SAME - A voltage biasing circuit includes a metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) transistor, a voltage control circuit controlling a voltage between a gate and a source of the MOS transistor to operate the MOS transistor in a sub-threshold range, and a capacitor connected to the MOS transistor. The voltage biasing circuit may further include a voltage buffer connected between the voltage control circuit and the MOS transistor.07-15-2010
20100149395ACTIVE PIXEL SENSOR WITH A DIAGONAL ACTIVE AREA - An imaging device formed as a CMOS semiconductor integrated circuit having two adjacent pixels in a row connected to a common column line. By having adjacent pixels of a row share column lines, the CMOS imager circuit eliminates half the column lines of a traditional imager allowing the fabrication of a smaller imager. The imaging device also may be fabricated to have a diagonal active area to facilitate contact of two adjacent pixels with the single column line and allow linear row select lines, reset lines and column lines.06-17-2010
20130016264SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING APPARATUSAANM Ono; ToshiakiAACI Ebina-shiAACO JPAAGP Ono; Toshiaki Ebina-shi JP - A solid-state image sensing apparatus, comprising, a pixel portion, a conversion portion including a first group and a second group each of which includes at least one analog/digital conversion unit to convert an analog signal of the pixel portion into a digital signal, and a clock supply unit including a first clock buffer and a second clock buffer connected in series for propagation of a clock signal, wherein each of the analog/digital conversion units includes a comparison unit and a counter unit, the comparison unit compares the analog signal with a comparison reference potential, the counter unit measures a time from the start of the comparison to the change of the comparison result, each of the first clock buffer and the second clock buffer corrects a duty ratio of a clock signal by using a differential circuit.01-17-2013
20130016265QUAD-CORE IMAGE PROCESSOR FOR FACIAL DETECTION - A quad-core processor for a hand held device with a CMOS image sensor to capture a scene. The quad-core processor has an image sensor interface for receiving data from the CMOS image sensor and four processing units for simultaneously processing the data. The image sensor and the four processing units being incorporated onto a single chip and the processing units are configured to detect faces within the scene.01-17-2013
20110157447PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION DEVICE METHOD FOR PRODUCING PHOTOELECTRIC CONVERSION DEVICE AND IMAGE PICKUP SYSTEM - A photoelectric conversion device includes a photoelectric conversion region having a plurality of photoelectric conversion elements and a first MOS transistor configured to read a signal in response to an electric charge of each photoelectric conversion element; and a peripheral circuit region having a second MOS transistor configured to drive the first MOS transistor and/or amplify the signal read from the photoelectric conversion region, the photoelectric conversion region and the peripheral circuit region being located on the same semiconductor substrate, wherein an impurity concentration in a drain of the first MOS transistor is lower than an impurity concentration in a drain of the second MOS transistor.06-30-2011
20110157446IMAGE SENSOR AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME, AND SENSOR DEVICE - An image sensor is provided. The image sensor includes a photoelectric conversion portion including a light receiving element; and a well region defined by a wall structure that is formed integrally on the photoelectric conversion portion, wherein the well region is positioned to correspond to the light receiving element of the photoelectric conversion portion. An image sensor device and methods of manufacture are also provided.06-30-2011
20110157445SEMICONDUCTOR DEVICE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THE SAME, AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A semiconductor device comprising a first semiconductor section including a first wiring layer at one side thereof, a second semiconductor section including a second wiring layer at one side thereof, the first and second semiconductor sections being secured together with the respective first and second wiring layer sides of the first and second semiconductor sections facing each other, a conductive material extending through the first semiconductor section to the second wiring layer of the second semiconductor section and by means of which the first and second wiring layers are in electrical communication.06-30-2011
20130021511SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, METHOD FOR DRIVING SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE, AND IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - A solid-state image pickup device includes a pixel array section including an effective pixel region, an optical black pixel region, and a pixel region between the effective pixel region and the optical black pixel region; a vertical drive section which performs driving so that signals of pixels of the pixel region disposed at a side of the effective pixel region in a vertical direction are skipped and signals of pixels of the effective pixel region and the optical black pixel region are read; and a horizontal drive section which performs driving so that, from among the pixels selected by the vertical drive section, the signals of the pixels of the pixel region disposed at a side of the effective pixel region in a horizontal direction are skipped and the signals of the pixels of the effective pixel region and the optical black pixel region are read.01-24-2013
20080252763Spatial noise reduction in CMOS imagers - The spatial, so-called: “fixed-pattern” noise of matrix image sensors is reduced via on-line normalization of each pixel's photo-transmission to its own average reset noise. Said normalization is performed per each frame anew.10-16-2008
20090046189Method and apparatus providing shared pixel straight gate architecture - Methods and apparatuses using four-way-shared readout circuits to increase pixel fill factor.02-19-2009
20080231738IMAGE SENSOR, SINGLE-PLATE COLOR IMAGE SENSOR, AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - An image sensor includes an imaging area including a plurality of cells arrayed in a matrix on a semiconductor substrate, each of the cells including an avalanche photodiode, the avalanche photodiode including: an anode region buried in an upper portion of the semiconductor substrate; a cathode region buried in the upper portion of the semiconductor substrate separated from the anode region in a direction parallel to the surface of the semiconductor substrate; and an avalanche multiplication region defined between the anode and cathode regions, the avalanche multiplication region having an impurity concentration less than the anode and cathode regions; wherein depths of the anode and cathode regions from the surface of the semiconductor substrate are different from each other.09-25-2008
20080231737Dual storage node pixel for CMOS sensor - A sensor includes control circuitry and a pixel having a photo site, a first storage node and a second storage node. The control circuitry operates to transfer a first collected signal produced by light from a first image from the photo site to the first storage node during a first period, to transfer a second collected signal produced by light from a second image from the photo site to the second storage node during a second period that follows the first period and to transfer the first and second collected signals out of the pixel during a third period that follows the second period. The first storage node includes a first capacitor and a first reset gate coupled directly between the first capacitor and a reset voltage. The second storage node includes a second capacitor and a second reset gate coupled directly between the second capacitor and the reset voltage.09-25-2008
20080225150Multi junction APS with dual simultaneous integration - A new kind of pixel is formed of two floating diffusions of different sizes and different conductivity type. The two floating diffusions have different image characteristics, and hence form a knee-shaped slope.09-18-2008
20080225149Column sample-and-hold cell for CMOS APS sensor - A sample and hold readout circuit, and method of operation which minimizes fixed pattern noise during a read out operation. The circuit improves the consistency of the pixel to pixel output of the pixel array and increases the dynamic range of the pixel output. This is accomplished by eliminating the crowbar between the storage elements in the sample and hold circuit. Switches are added to isolate the sample and hold circuit from the column line coupled to the pixel array and to short the front plates of the capacitors together. Activating these switches allows the signals stored in the sample and hold circuit to be transferred downstream without the use of a crowbar switch.09-18-2008
20080225148REDUCED PIXEL AREA IMAGE SENSOR - An image sensor that includes a plurality of pixels disposed on a substrate, each pixel includes at least one photosensitive region that collects charges in response to incident light; a charge-to-voltage conversion node for sensing the charge from the at least one photosensitive region and converting the charge to a voltage; an amplifier transistor having a source connected to an output node, having a gate connected to the charge-to-voltage conversion node and having a drain connected to at least a portion of a power supply node; and a reset transistor connecting the output node and the charge-to-voltage conversion node.09-18-2008
20080218621High intrascene dynamic range NTSC and PAL imager - The invention provides a new method and apparatus for NTSC and PAL image sensors which employs fusion of adjacent row pixel charge samples to generate image data for a row. A variety of fusion schemes are possible for fusing the pixel signals from the adjacent rows. The rows of pixels are scanned so that each scan takes an odd row signal sample and, in some cases, an adjacent even row signal sample when specified conditions are met. One sampled row of the two adjacent rows integrate an image with a first integration period while the other adjacent row integrates an image with a second integration period.09-11-2008
20080218620ULTRA LOW NOISE CMOS IMAGER - A column buffer for use with a pixel cell array includes an amplifier coupled to three read-out circuits in parallel providing a signal corresponding to accumulated photon-generated charge in a pixel cell plus noise, a reset level plus noise, and a pedestal level, respectively. These three signals are used to generate an ultra-low noise signal D09-11-2008
20120249851ECLIPSE DETECTION USING DOUBLE RESET SAMPLING FOR COLUMN PARALLEL ADC - An imager includes a column line connected to a pixel array for providing a pixel output signal. The pixel output signal is sampled during reset and readout phases. An analog-to-digital converter (ADC), which is coupled to the column line, samples the pixel output signal and provides a digital output signal. The ADC is configured to sample the pixel output signal twice, during the reset phase, in order to detect eclipse in the pixel output signal. The ADC includes a comparator, sequentially operated by a reset control, for comparing a first pixel output voltage and a second pixel output voltage, respectively, during the reset phase. The comparator is configured to provide an output bit indicating detection of an eclipse, based on a difference between the first and second pixel output voltages.10-04-2012
20100085457SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - A plurality of image pickup areas is disposed in a semiconductor substrate so as to be separate from one another. Disposed in each of the image pickup areas are rows and columns of unit pixels, each of which includes a photoelectric conversion part and signal scanning circuit parts. Formed on the image pickup areas of the semiconductor substrate and opposite a interconnect layer formed on the semiconductor substrate are optical image formation lenses used for forming object images. Further, between the image pickup areas on the semiconductor substrate is a driving circuit area in which driving circuits are formed for driving the signal scanning circuit parts.04-08-2010
20130113972SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND IMAGING APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes a photoelectric conversion layer, a MOS transistor circuit. The photoelectric conversion layer is formed over a semiconductor substrate. The MOS transistor circuit reads out a signal corresponding to charges generated in the photoelectric conversion layer and then collected, and that is formed in the semiconductor substrate, the charges having a given polarity. The MOS transistor circuit includes a charge accumulation portion, a reset transistor, and an output transistor. The charge accumulation portion is electrically connected with the photoelectric conversion layer. The reset transistor resets a potential of the charge accumulation portion to a reset potential. The output transistor outputs a signal corresponding to the potential of the charge accumulation portion. The reset transistor and the output transistor have carriers whose polarity is opposite to the given polarity. In the MOS transistor circuit, following formula (1) is satisfied: GND05-09-2013
20130113971SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSOR AND IMAGE CAPTURE DEVICE INCLUDING THE SENSOR - In an embodiment, an image sensor includes pixels arranged in columns and rows, read signal lines connected to pixels arranged in the row direction. Each pixel is read in either a first exposure time or in a second exposure time shorter than the first exposure time. Each of a first type of read signal lines is connected to a group of pixels associated with the first exposure time, and each of a second type of read signal lines is connected to a group of pixels associated with the second exposure time. In two vertically adjacent horizontal pixel lines, the first type of read signal line is shared by two horizontally adjacent pixels associated with the first exposure time, and the second type of read signal line is shared by two horizontally adjacent pixels associated with the second exposure time.05-09-2013
20130093934A/D CONVERTER, SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - An A/D converter includes: plural comparators to which reference voltages as ramp waves different from each other are supplied, which are configured to compare the supplied reference voltages with an analog input signal; and plural latches arranged so as to correspond to the plural comparators, which are configured to count comparison time of the corresponding comparators, to stop counting when an outputs of the comparator is inverted and to store the count value, wherein the plural reference voltages are offset by an arbitrary voltage at the same time point.04-18-2013
20130113970METHOD FOR STROBOSCOPICALLY EXAMINING REPEATING PROCESSES AND ARRANGEMENT FOR PERFORMING SAID METHOD - Apparatus for examining vocal folds and a method for operating said arrangement that avoid the large fluctuations in the image brightness of the camera system and thus the flickering, which is unpleasant for the user, is provided. The apparatus comprises a stroboscopic light source, a camera control unit having a camera head, a microphone, an optical waveguide, and an optical assembly, wherein the stroboscopic light source has a signal-conducting connection to the camera control unit, and the camera head is placed on the optical assembly, wherein the camera head and the microphone have signal-conducting connections to the camera control unit, and the optical assembly is connected to the light source by means of the optical waveguide.05-09-2013
20130113969METHOD, APPARATUS AND SYSTEM FOR PROVIDING IMPROVED FULL WELL CAPACITY IN AN IMAGE SENSOR PIXEL - Techniques and mechanisms for improving full well capacity for pixel structures in an image sensor. In an embodiment, a first pixel structure of the image sensor includes an implant region, where a skew of the implant region corresponds to an implant angle, and a second pixel structure of the image sensor includes a transfer gate. In another embodiment, an offset of the implant region of the first pixel structure from the transfer gate of the second pixel structure corresponds to the implant angle.05-09-2013
20130128088SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP ELEMENT AND CAMERA SYSTEM HAVING MECHANISM FOR CANCELING POTENTIAL DROP ON SIGNAL LINE - A pixel driving portion 05-23-2013
20130147999A/D CONVERSION CIRCUIT, SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSOR, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - An A/D conversion circuit in which a counter is made to be capable of performing counting at both edges of a clock, up/down count values can be switched while the up/down count values are held, and the duty of the counting operation is difficult to be distorted even with the both-edge counting, a solid-state image sensor, and a camera system.06-13-2013
20110249164IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - This invention provides an image pickup device comprising a plurality of pixels each including a photoelectric conversion unit, a semiconductor area to which a signal from the photoelectric conversion unit is transferred, a transfer switch for transferring the signal from the photoelectric conversion unit to the semiconductor area, and a read unit for reading out the signal from the semiconductor area, and a drive circuit for outputting a first level at which the transfer switch is set in an OFF state, a second level at which the transfer switch is set in an ON state, and a third level between the first level and the second level, wherein the drive circuit controls to hold the third level for a predetermined time while the transfer switch is changing from the ON state to the OFF state.10-13-2011
20130148000SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - The MOS solid-state imaging device includes: pixels arrayed two-dimensionally; first column signal lines; first holding circuit units each of which corresponds to one of the first column signal lines and holds electrical signals that are transmitted from the pixels through one of the first column signal lines; and first difference circuit units that each output a difference between one of the electrical signals in the reset state and one of the electrical signals in the light-received state that are held by one of the first holding circuit units, in which the first holding circuit units each include pixel-wise holding circuits, the number of which is identical to the number of the pixels provided for the corresponding one of the first column signal lines, the pixel-wise holding circuits being able to hold electrical signals in the reset state of the pixels and electrical signals in the light-received state of the pixels.06-13-2013
20090160989Low noise readout apparatus and method with snapshot shutter and correlated double sampling - A low noise readout apparatus and method for CMOS image sensors having a photosensitive element configured to collect charge when light strikes the photosensitive element, a reset gate adjacent the photosensitive element and configured to drain excess charge from the photosensitive element, a first electrode, a second electrode and a third electrode, in series and adjacent the photosensitive element, the first electrode actuated to transfer a signal charge from the photosensitive element to the first electrode, the second electrode actuated to transfer the signal charge from the first electrode to the second electrode, the third electrode actuated to transfer the signal charge from the second electrode to the third electrode and onto a sense node, and a readout circuit coupled to the sense node, the readout circuit measures a voltage corresponding to the signal charge transferred to the sense node.06-25-2009
20110234876IMAGE SENSOR WITH DOUBLE CHARGE TRANSFER FOR LARGE DYNAMIC RANGE AND METHOD OF READING - The invention relates to image sensors with active pixels.09-29-2011
20110234875SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE - According to one embodiment, a solid-state imaging device includes first and second pixel portions, first and second transfer transistors, first and second accumulation portions, an element isolation region, first and second amplifier transistors, and a first and second signal lines. The first and second pixel portions include photoelectric conversion elements, respectively. The first and second transfer transistors transfer first and second charges photoelectrically converted by the first and second pixel portions, respectively. The first and second accumulation portions are interposed between the first and second pixel portions, and accumulate the first and second charges, respectively. The element isolation region is interposed between the first and second accumulation portions. The first and second amplifier transistors amplify voltages generated in accordance with the first and second charges accumulated in the first and second accumulation portions, respectively. The first and second signal lines output signal voltages amplify by the amplifier transistors, respectively.09-29-2011
20110279722IMAGE SENSOR - The invention relates to an image sensor, in particular to a CMOS image sensor, for digital cameras, having a plurality of pixels arranged in rows and columns, wherein the respective pixel comprises: a light sensitive detector element to generate electrical charge from incident light during an exposure procedure, a readout node, a transfer gate to which a transfer control pulse can be applied to allow a charge transfer from the detector element to the readout node, and a reset device to reset a charge present in the readout node to a reference value. The image sensor furthermore has a control device for the control of the transfer gate and of the of the reset device of the respective pixel. The control device is designed so that the respective pixel is read out in a plurality of readout steps during the ongoing charge generation in a single exposure procedure, and indeed such that a respective transfer control pulse is applied to the transfer gate for each of the plurality of readout steps and a respective readout result is then produced; wherein the reset device is activated between the transfer control pulses of the respective exposure procedure; and wherein only the last transfer control pulse enables a complete charge transfer of the respective charge present in the detector element to the readout node.11-17-2011
20110285890CAMERA MODULE - A camera module has a lens unit including a lens, a first chip having an image region on which an image is formed from light having passed through the lens unit, a housing enclosing side surfaces of the lens unit and the first chip, a second chip and at least one printed circuit board. The chips are mounted to the at least one printed circuit board.11-24-2011
20110310282SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - A solid-state imaging device includes a substrate and a photoelectric conversion region. The substrate has a charge accumulation region. The photoelectric conversion region is provided on the substrate. The photoelectric conversion region is configured to generate signal charges to be accumulated in the charge accumulation region. The photoelectric conversion region comprises a material that is not transparent.12-22-2011
20130188078IMAGE SENSOR, OPERATING METHOD THEREOF, AND PORTABLE DEVICE HAVING THE SAME - An image sensor includes a photo detector for accumulating charges in response to an incident light, a storage unit for storing the charges, a first transmission gate for transmitting the charges from the photo detector to the storage unit, a second transmission gate for transmitting the charges from the storage unit to the floating diffusion node, a reset gate for resetting the floating diffusion node in response a reset gate signal, and a coupling circuit connected between the reset gate and the storage unit.07-25-2013
20130188079SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSOR, SIGNAL PROCESSING METHOD AND ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - There is provided a solid-state image sensor including pixels each at least including light receiving parts receiving light to generate charge, a transfer part transferring the charge accumulated in the light receiving parts, and memory parts holding the charge transferred via the transfer part, and a predetermined number of elements shared by the plurality of pixels, the predetermined number of elements being for outputting a pixel signal at a level corresponding to the charge, wherein one or some of the plurality of pixels is/are a correction pixel(s) outputting a correction pixel signal used for correcting a pixel signal outputted from pixels other than the one or some of the plurality of pixels, and one or some of the predetermined number of elements is/are formed on a wiring layer side of the light receiving parts included in the correction pixel(s).07-25-2013
20110317056IMAGING ELEMENT AND IMAGING DEVICE - Disclosed herein is an imaging element including a pixel array section, a first current source, a first ground line, a first switch, a first capacitive element, a second switch, and a current control circuit.12-29-2011
20120019699Solid-State Imaging Device - A trace control unit 01-26-2012
20120019698SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP DEVICE AND CAMERA SYSTEM - Provided is a solid-state image pickup device including a pixel section arranged with multiple pixel circuits in matrix having functions for converting an optical signal to an electrical signal and for accumulating the electrical signal depending on an exposure time, and a pixel driving section capable of driving through a control line to reset, accumulate, transfer, and output signal electric charge of the pixel section. The pixel section may have a pixel shared structure arranged with one selection control line, one reset control line, and multiple transfer control lines, including a readout-pixel section and an unread-pixel section in its entirety. The pixel driving section includes a pixel control section where an unread-pixel is normally fixed in a reset state. When reading a readout-pixel in a shared relationship, if its address is selected or a selection signal becomes active, the unread-pixel reset-state is cancelled to turn into an unread state.01-26-2012
20120019697Solid-state imaging device and camera system - A solid-state imaging device includes: a pixel section in which pixels performing photoelectric conversion are arranged in a matrix shape; and a pixel signal reading section that has an AD conversion section which reads pixel signals through pixel units from the pixel section and performs analog digital (AD) conversion. The pixel signal reading section includes comparators each of which compares a reference signal, which is a ramp wave, with read analog signal potentials of pixels in a corresponding column, counter latches each of which is disposed to correspond to each of the comparators, is able to count a comparison time of the corresponding comparator, stops the count when an output of the corresponding comparator is inverted, and retains a corresponding count value, and an adjustment section that performs offset adjustment on the reference signal for each row on which the AD conversion is performed.01-26-2012
20130194471SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSOR AND CAMERA SYSTEM - Provided is a solid-state image sensor including a pixel array portion formed from a two-dimensional array of ordinary imaging pixels each having a photoelectric conversion unit and configured to output an electric signal obtained through photoelectric conversion as a pixel signal, and focus detection pixels for detecting focus. The focus detection pixels include at least a first focus detection pixel and a second focus detection pixel each having a photoelectric conversion unit and configured to transfer and output an electric signal obtained through photoelectric conversion to an output node. The first focus detection pixel and the second focus detection pixel share the output node. The first focus detection pixel includes a first photoelectric conversion unit, and a first transfer gate for reading out an electron generated through photoelectric conversion in the first photoelectric conversion unit to the shared output node.08-01-2013
20130194474SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS, IMAGE PICKUP SYSTEM, AND DRIVING METHOD OF THE SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS - An apparatus includes a pixel array in which pixels for outputting an analog signal are arranged in a matrix, vertical output lines each of which is connected to pixels in a same column, A/D conversion units, which are individually connected to the vertical output lines, for converting the analog signal into a digital signal, and a constant current supply unit for supplying a constant current to the A/D conversion units. Each of the A/D conversion units includes an integration unit for integrating the constant current, a comparison unit for comparing the integrated constant current with the analog signal and outputting a comparison signal, and a digital signal storage unit for storing a digital signal corresponding to the comparison signal. The integration unit includes an input capacitor for receiving the constant current. The comparison unit is connected to the constant current supply unit via the input capacitor.08-01-2013
20130194473SOLID-STATE IMAGE PICKUP APPARATUS AND METHOD OF PRODUCING THE SAME - In a solid-state image pickup apparatus, a first insulating film continuously extends over at least part of a photoelectric conversion element and at least part of a gate electrode and further protrudes into a region above part of a floating diffusion region. A second insulating film is disposed above the first insulating film. The first insulating film has a higher dielectric constant than the second insulating film. An end of a part of the first insulating film protruding beyond an end of the gate electrode into the region above the floating diffusion region is located at a distance of 0.25 μm or less from an end, on a side of the floating diffusion region, of the gate electrode.08-01-2013
20130194472SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE, DRIVING METHOD AND ELECTRONIC DEVICE - There is provided a solid-state image pickup device including a pixel area in which a plurality of pixels are arranged. The pixels include an accumulation section accumulating a charge acquired by photoelectric conversion, a plurality of detection sections detecting the charge accumulated in the accumulation section, a connection separation control section controlling connection or separation of the detection sections, an output section outputting a first signal corresponding to a potential of each detection section in a separation state in which the connection separation control section separates the detection sections, or outputting a second signal corresponding to a potential of each detection section in a connection state in which the connection separation control section connects the detection sections, and an output selection section selecting whether to output the first signal from the output section or output the second signal from the output section, based on a value of the first signal.08-01-2013
20120038809DIFFERENTIAL COLUMN ADC ARCHITECTURES FOR CMOS IMAGE SENSOR APPLICATIONS - Circuits, methods, and apparatus that provide differential-input, single-slope, column-parallel analog-to-digital converter (ADC) architectures for use in high-resolution CMOS image sensors (CIS) are described. A column ADC is coupled with a column of a pixel array and configured to convert a pixel signal level to a corresponding digital output value according to a ramp generator output. Each pixel is configured to output a pixel reset level and a pixel signal level at different operating stages, and the ramp generator output includes a ramp reset level and a ramp signal level at the same or different at different operating stages. The pixel and ramp outputs are used to differentially drive a comparator stage of the column ADC, for example, to reduce power supply noise.02-16-2012
20130201376SOLID-STATE IMAGING DEVICE AND DRIVING METHOD AS WELL AS ELECTRONIC APPARATUS - A solid-state imaging device includes first and second sets of pixels. The first pixels have light reception elements and a discharging unit that discharges charge corresponding to light received by the first pixels. The second pixels have corresponding light reception elements but are covered with a light shielding film. Signals stored in the second light reception elements are read to a next stage when the discharging units corresponding to the first light reception elements are enabled.08-08-2013
20130201375A/D CONVERTER, SOLID-STATE IMAGE SENSING DEVICE, AND CAMERA SYSTEM - An A/D converter includes: a first comparator that compares an input signal, with a first reference signal which is a ramp wave having a predetermined polarity, and that when the input signal matches the first reference signal, reverses an output signal thereof; a second comparator that compares the input signal, with a second reference signal which is a ramp wave having a different polarity from the first reference signal, and that when the input signal matches the second reference signal, reverses an output signal thereof; and a counter capable of counting up so as to measure the comparison times taken by the first comparator and second comparator, wherein when either of the output signal of the first comparator and the output signal of the second comparator is first reversed, the counter ceases a counting action.08-08-2013
20120086844CIRCUIT AND PHOTO SENSOR OVERLAP FOR BACKSIDE ILLUMINATION IMAGE SENSOR - A method of operation of a backside illuminated (BSI) pixel array includes acquiring an image signal with a first photosensitive region of a first pixel within the BSI pixel array. The image signal is generated in response to light incident upon a backside of the first pixel. The image signal acquired by the first photosensitive region is transferred to pixel circuitry of the first pixel disposed on a frontside of the first pixel opposite the backside. The pixel circuitry at least partially overlaps the first photosensitive region of the first pixel and extends over die real estate above a second photosensitive region of a second pixel adjacent to the first pixel such that the second pixel donates die real estate unused by the second pixel to the first pixel to accommodate larger pixel circuitry than would fit within the first pixel.04-12-2012
20120086842SOLID-STATE IMAGE-PICKUP DEVICE, METHOD FOR DRIVING SOLID-STATE IMAGE-PICKUP DEVICE, AND IMAGE-PICKUP APPARATUS - A CMOS image sensor in which column-parallel ADCs are mounted. Reference voltages Vref04-12-2012
20130208161Portable Magnifying Apparatus Having Multi Angular Positioned Handle - Provided is a portable magnifying apparatus that can be easily carried around. More particularly, provided is a portable magnifying apparatus which is conveniently used for users either left-handed or right-handed and has a multi angular positioned handle that can be manipulated without putting strain on the wrist.08-15-2013
20130208162DRIVING METHOD OF SOLID-STATE IMAGING APPARATUS AND CAMERA SYSTEM - Provided is a method of driving a solid-state imaging apparatus including discharging a signal charge from a photoelectric transducer, by turning on a transfer section and turning on a reset section, at a first timing, in a shutter operation for starting an accumulation of the signal charge for the photoelectric transducer while a selection section is turned off, boosting a floating diffusion section, by turning on the transfer section and turning off the reset section, at a second timing which follows the first timing and taking in an electric signal output to an output signal line by a peripheral circuit section, in a state in which the transfer section is turned on, and generating a pixel signal from the taken in signal.08-15-2013

Patent applications in class Including switching transistor and photocell at each pixel site (e.g., "MOS-type" image sensor)