Patents Assigned to BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
  • Patent number: 11107847
    Abstract: A pixel sensor, an imaging array that includes such pixel sensors, and a method for operating an imaging array are disclosed. The pixel sensor includes a transfer gate that connects a photodiode to a floating diffusion node in response to a transfer signal, a reset circuit, and a controller. The reset circuit is adapted to apply either a first potential or a second potential to the floating diffusion node, the second potential being less than the first potential. The controller is configured to cause the reset circuit to apply the first potential to the floating diffusion node while the transfer gate is conducting just prior to a start of an accumulation phase, and then apply the second potential to the floating diffusion node after the transfer gate is rendered non-conducting, the second potential is less than the first potential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 19, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Stephen W. Mims, Khai Nguyen
  • Patent number: 11089244
    Abstract: An imaging array and a pixel sensor are disclosed. One of the pixel sensors in the imaging array includes a photodiode having a cathode connected to an electron storage node and an anode connected to a hole storage node. An overflow path connects the electron storage node via an overflow gate that allows electrons to leak off of the electron storage node into the overflow path if the electron storage node has a potential less than a leakage potential. A floating diffusion node is connected to the electron storage node by a transfer gate and the overflow path by an overflow path gate. A hole storage node reset gate connects the hole storage node to ground. A hole storage capacitor is connected between the hole storage node and ground, and an overflow path coupling capacitor connects the hole storage node to the overflow path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Paul G. Lim, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Publication number: 20210176414
    Abstract: An imaging array and a pixel sensor are disclosed. One of the pixel sensors in the imaging array includes a photodiode having a cathode connected to an electron storage node and an anode connected to a hole storage node. An overflow path connects the electron storage node via an overflow gate that allows electrons to leak off of the electron storage node into the overflow path if the electron storage node has a potential less than a leakage potential. A floating diffusion node is connected to the electron storage node by a transfer gate and the overflow path by an overflow path gate. A hole storage node reset gate connects the hole storage node to ground. A hole storage capacitor is connected between the hole storage node and ground, and an overflow path coupling capacitor connects the hole storage node to the overflow path.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2019
    Publication date: June 10, 2021
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Paul G. Lim, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Patent number: 10937835
    Abstract: A pixel, is provided the pixel comprising: a photodiode structure built on top of an integrated circuit generating a charge; the integrated circuit comprising at least one semiconductor material and at least one interconnect layer; the at least one interconnect layer comprises an interconnect to facilitate charge flowing into a collection node disposed in the semiconductor material; the interconnect being in contact with a doped contact diffusion disposed proximate to the collection node; a transfer transistor disposed between the collection node and a conversion node, the conversion node coupled to an active transistor; the pixel having a reset configured to reset the conversion node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Daniel McGrath
  • Patent number: 10939046
    Abstract: An apparatus for taking moving pictures, a method for taking moving pictures, and a novel pixel sensor array are disclosed. The apparatus includes a rectangular imaging array, a plurality of column processing circuits, and a controller. The rectangular imaging array is characterized by a plurality of rows and columns of UHDR pixel sensors and a plurality of readout lines, and a plurality of row select lines. Each column processing circuit is connected to a corresponding one of the plurality of readout lines. The controller causes the rectangular imaging array to measure a plurality of images of a scene that is illuminated by a pulsating light source characterized by an illumination period and a dark period. Each of the images is generated in a frame period which includes an exposure period and a dead period, the dead period being less than the dark period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2021
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Alberto M. Magnani, Christopher R. Adams, Calvin B. Ward
  • Patent number: 10863130
    Abstract: An imaging array and method for using the same that are adapted for backside illuminated imaging arrays utilizing a global shutter are disclosed. The imaging array includes a plurality of pixel sensors having an ordered array of pixel sensors. Each pixel sensor includes a main photodiode and a correction photodiode. A controller resets all of the main photodiodes at a first time that is the same for all of the pixel sensors, resets all of the correction photodiodes at a second time that is the same for all of the pixel sensors after the first time, and sequentially reads out the pixel sensors. The pixel sensor is read out at a third time that is different for different ones of the pixel sensors. A correction charge is measured that corrects for the different readout times.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2020
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Publication number: 20200335538
    Abstract: A pixel sensor, an imaging array that includes such pixel sensors, and a method for operating an imaging array are disclosed. The pixel sensor includes a transfer gate that connects a photodiode to a floating diffusion node in response to a transfer signal, a reset circuit, and a controller. The reset circuit is adapted to apply either a first potential or a second potential to the floating diffusion node, the second potential being less than the first potential. The controller is configured to cause the reset circuit to apply the first potential to the floating diffusion node while the transfer gate is conducting just prior to a start of an accumulation phase, and then apply the second potential to the floating diffusion node after the transfer gate is rendered non-conducting, the second potential is less than the first potential.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 19, 2019
    Publication date: October 22, 2020
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Stephen W. Mims, Khai Nguyen
  • Patent number: 10742219
    Abstract: A frequency divider includes a circuit that receives an input clock signal having a period T on an input port thereof and generates an output clock signal on an output port thereof having a period MT in response to a control signal specifying M is disclosed. Here, M is a positive integer and all transitions between logical one and logical zero in the output clock signal occur at integer multiples of T. In one embodiment, the circuit includes a module string having characterized by N identical modules connected in series to form a string of modules. Each module is configured such that when the clock signal having period T is input to the first module, the output clock signal having a period of MT is output from the last module, where M can have any value between one and a maximum number that depends on N.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2020
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Khai Nguyen, Andrew C. Ng
  • Publication number: 20200228731
    Abstract: A low-noise amplifier is disclosed. The amplifier includes a signal amplifier having an amplifier signal output, a first filter capacitor, a buffer amplifier having a buffer amplifier input and a buffer amplifier output; and a switching network. The first filter capacitor has first and second terminals. The second terminal is connected to a power rail. The amplifier signal output is connected to the buffer amplifier input by a first direct current path and the buffer amplifier output to the first terminal of the first filter capacitor by a second direct current path during a first time period. The amplifier signal output is connected directly to the first terminal of the first filter capacitor by a third direct current path during a second time period, and the amplifier signal output to the first terminal of the first filter capacitor through a resistor during a third time period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2017
    Publication date: July 16, 2020
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Publication number: 20200161374
    Abstract: A pixel, is provided the pixel comprising: a photodiode structure built on top of an integrated circuit generating a charge; the integrated circuit comprising at least one semiconductor material and at least one interconnect layer; the at least one interconnect layer comprises an interconnect to facilitate charge flowing into a collection node disposed in the semiconductor material; the interconnect being in contact with a doped contact diffusion disposed proximate to the collection node; a transfer transistor disposed between the collection node and a conversion node, the conversion node coupled to an active transistor; the pixel having a reset configured to reset the conversion node.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 21, 2018
    Publication date: May 21, 2020
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventor: Robert Daniel McGrath
  • Publication number: 20200150229
    Abstract: A LIDAR system and a method for operating a LIDAR system are disclosed. The LIDAR system broadly includes a transmitter that that emits a light pulse in response to a launch signal, a receiver that detects light pulses and determines a time of arrival for each detected light pulse; and a controller that generates an ordered sequence of frames. The controller generates a launch signal at the start of each frame and records information specifying a time of arrival relative to the start time for all light pulses received by the receiver until a stop time. After the stop time, the controller waits for the interframe delay time before generating another launch signal. The interframe delay time is different for each frame in the sequence of frames. The controller determines a distance between the transmitter and an object from the recorded information.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 7, 2018
    Publication date: May 14, 2020
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Alberto M. Magnani, Calvin B. Ward
  • Patent number: 10641870
    Abstract: A LIDAR system and a method for operating a LIDAR system are disclosed. The LIDAR system broadly includes a transmitter that that emits a light pulse in response to a launch signal, a receiver that detects light pulses and determines a time of arrival for each detected light pulse; and a controller that generates an ordered sequence of frames. The controller generates a launch signal at the start of each frame and records information specifying a time of arrival relative to the start time for all light pulses received by the receiver until a stop time. After the stop time, the controller waits for the interframe delay time before generating another launch signal. The interframe delay time is different for each frame in the sequence of frames. The controller determines a distance between the transmitter and an object from the recorded information.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Alberto M. Magnani, Calvin B. Ward
  • Publication number: 20190355782
    Abstract: An imaging array and method for using the same are disclosed. The imaging array includes a plurality of pixel sensors connected to a bit line, each pixel sensor includes a photodetector that includes a photodiode, a floating diffusion node, and a buffer connected to the floating diffusion node that produces a pixel output signal having a voltage that is a monotonic function of a voltage on the floating diffusion node. Each pixel sensor also include an overflow capacitor connected to the photodiode by an overflow transfer gate that allows photocharge in excess of a predetermined charge to flow onto the overflow capacitor. The charge accumulated on the photodiode and the overflow capacitor are combined to provide an improved dynamic range for the pixel sensors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2017
    Publication date: November 21, 2019
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, R. Daniel McGrath
  • Patent number: 10484618
    Abstract: An imaging array having a plurality of pixel sensors connected to a bit line is disclosed. Each pixel sensor includes a capacitive overflow pixel sensor characterized by an overflow capacitor having a switching terminal, and a floating diffusion node, a buffer amplifier that connects the floating diffusion node to a bit line in response to row select signal, and a switch that connects the switching terminal to either ground or a boost voltage. The imaging array also includes a switch controller that controls the switch and is connected to the bit line, the switch controller determining a voltage on the bit line, the switch controller connecting the switching terminal to the boost voltage during an exposure of the pixel sensor to light and to either ground or the boost voltage during a readout of charge stored on the overflow capacitor depending on the voltage on the bit line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Paul G. Lim, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Patent number: 10469781
    Abstract: A power distribution network is disclosed. The power distribution can be applied to imaging arrays and other circuits that include a large number of conductors that must be driven such that the conductors are biased such that substantially the same current flows in each conductor. The power distribution network includes a plurality of bit lines and a first power connection network. Each bit line is connected to a different location on a first power bus, which is divided into a plurality of first conducting segments. Each first conducting segment is connected to a plurality of the bit lines. Each bit line includes a constant current source that causes a bias current to flow in the bit line and through the first power bus. The first power connection network includes a plurality of conducting paths that connect a corresponding one of the first conducting segments to a first power rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Khai Nguyen, Peter Bartkovjak
  • Publication number: 20190335130
    Abstract: An imaging array and method for using the same that are adapted for backside illuminated imaging arrays utilizing a global shutter are disclosed. The imaging array includes a plurality of pixel sensors having an ordered array of pixel sensors. Each pixel sensor includes a main photodiode and a correction photodiode. A controller resets all of the main photodiodes at a first time that is the same for all of the pixel sensors, resets all of the correction photodiodes at a second time that is the same for all of the pixel sensors after the first time, and sequentially reads out the pixel sensors. The pixel sensor is read out at a third time that is different for different ones of the pixel sensors. A correction charge is measured that corrects for the different readout times.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2017
    Publication date: October 31, 2019
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Chenguang Gong, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Publication number: 20190166291
    Abstract: An apparatus for taking moving pictures, a method for taking moving pictures, and a novel pixel sensor array are disclosed. The apparatus includes a rectangular imaging array, a plurality of column processing circuits, and a controller. The rectangular imaging array is characterized by a plurality of rows and columns of UHDR pixel sensors and a plurality of readout lines, and a plurality of row select lines. Each column processing circuit is connected to a corresponding one of the plurality of readout lines. The controller causes the rectangular imaging array to measure a plurality of images of a scene that is illuminated by a pulsating light source characterized by an illumination period and a dark period. Each of the images is generated in a frame period which includes an exposure period and a dead period, the dead period being less than the dark period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Publication date: May 30, 2019
    Applicant: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Alberto M. Magnani, Christopher R. Adams, Calvin B. Ward
  • Patent number: 10277838
    Abstract: An imaging array and method for fabricating the same are disclosed. The imaging array includes a semiconductor substrate having a plurality of VIS pixel sensors and a plurality of SWIR readout circuits fabricated therein. An insulating layer is deposited on the semiconductor substrate. The insulating array has wells overlying the SWIR pixel sensors. A plurality of SWIR photodiodes are deposited in the wells. Each SWIR photodiode is located in a corresponding one of the wells and is connected by an electrically conducting path with the SWIR readout circuit underlying the SWIR photodiode. An electrically conducting transparent electrode overlying the SWIR photodiodes is connected to each of the SWIR photodiodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Xinqiao Liu, Boyd Fowler
  • Patent number: 10237501
    Abstract: The present invention includes an imaging apparatus that includes a two dimensional array of pixel sensors. Each pixel sensor includes a main photodiode, an autofocus photodiode, and a microlens that concentrates light onto the main photodiode and the autofocus photodiode. The imaging array of pixel sensors includes first and second autofocus arrays of pixel sensors, the pixel sensors in the first autofocus array of pixel sensors having the autofocus photodiodes positioned such that each autofocus photodiode receives light preferentially from one half of the microlens in that pixel sensor, and the pixel sensors in the second autofocus array of pixel sensors having each autofocus photodiode positioned such that each autofocus photodiode receives light preferentially from the other half of the microlens in that pixel sensor. The autofocus photodiodes can be constructed from the parasitic photodiodes associated with the floating diffusion nodes in each pixel sensor or conventional photodiodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Bo Mu, Alberto M. Magnani
  • Patent number: 10200644
    Abstract: An imaging array having a plurality of pixel sensors connected to a bit line is disclosed. Each pixel sensor includes a first photodetector having a photodiode, a floating diffusion node, and an amplifier. The floating diffusion node is characterized by a parasitic photodiode and parasitic capacitance. The amplifier amplifies a voltage on the floating diffusion node to produce a signal on an amplifier output. The first photodetector also includes a bit line gate that connects the amplifier output to the bit line in response to a row select signal and a voltage dividing capacitor having a first terminal connected to the floating diffusion node and a second terminal connected to a drive source that switches a voltage on the second terminal between a drive potential different from ground and ground in response to a drive control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Paul G. Lim, Stephen W. Mims