Patents Assigned to STMicroelectronics (Research & Development), Limited
  • Patent number: 11949035
    Abstract: A single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) includes a PN junction in a semiconductor well doped with a first type of dopant. The PN junction is formed between a first region doped with the first type of dopant and a second region doped with a second type of dopant opposite to the first type of dopant. The first doped region is shaped so as to incorporate local variations in concentration of dopants that are configured, in response to a voltage between the second doped region and the semiconductor well that is greater than or equal to a level of a breakdown voltage of the PN junction, to generate a monotonic variation in the electrostatic potential between the first doped region and the semiconductor well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2021
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2024
    Assignees: STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS, STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Denis Rideau, Dominique Golanski, Alexandre Lopez, Gabriel Mugny
  • Patent number: 11945124
    Abstract: In certain embodiments, a method includes accessing image information for a scene in a movement path of a mobile robot. The image includes image information for each of a plurality of pixels of the scene, the image information comprising respective intensity values and respective distance values. The method includes analyzing the image information to determine whether to modify the movement path of the mobile robot. The method includes initiating, in response to determining according to the image information to modify the movement path of the mobile robot, sending of a command to a drive subsystem of the mobile robot to modify the movement path of the mobile robot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2024
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: James M. Hanratty, Jeffrey M. Raynor
  • Publication number: 20240106419
    Abstract: A system-on-a-chip (SOC) within a package includes a reference generator, a matching circuit, a programmable current generator, a PWM controller, an overvoltage/undervoltage detector receiving a high voltage from a third output pad, a multiplexer passing an input signal to a second output pad, and a SPAD receiving the high voltage. Switching circuitry includes a first switch between the reference generator and an input of the programmable current generator, a second switch between the input of the current generator and the output of the matching circuit, a third switch between the reference generator and an input of the matching circuit, a fourth switch between an output of the current generator and a tap of a ladder within the overvoltage/undervoltage detector, a fifth switch between an output of the current generator and the first output pad, and a sixth switch between the output of the PWM controller and the first output pad.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 28, 2022
    Publication date: March 28, 2024
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Neale DUTTON, Steven COLLINS
  • Patent number: 11913831
    Abstract: An optical sensor includes at least one photodetector configured to be reverse biased at a voltage exceeding a breakdown voltage by an excess bias voltage. At least one control unit is configured to adjust the reverse bias of the at least one photodetector. A method of operating an optical sensor is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2022
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2024
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20240061083
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises an array of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. Each of the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers is configured to be a source of light. The apparatus also comprises an optical arrangement configured to receive light from a plurality of the vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers and to output a plurality of light beams.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 26, 2023
    Publication date: February 22, 2024
    Applicant: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: Christopher TOWNSEND, Thineshwaran GOPAL KRISHNAN, James Peter Drummond DOWNING, Kevin CHANNON
  • Publication number: 20240063235
    Abstract: An electronic device includes a stack of a first level having a SPAD, a second level having a quench circuit for said SPAD, and a third level having a circuit for processing data generated by said SPAD. A method for making the device includes: a) forming of the first level; b) bonding, on the first level, by molecular bonding, of a stack of layers including a semiconductor layer; and c) forming the quench circuit of the second level in the semiconductor layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2023
    Publication date: February 22, 2024
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS, STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Francois GUYADER, Sara PELLEGRINI, Bruce RAE
  • Publication number: 20240045511
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to a three-dimensional interactive display system. The system detects a position of a user (e.g., the user's finger or hand) or an optical emitter device, along three different dimensions. In a case where the system detects a position of a user's finger, the user wears a passive device having angled surfaces on his or her finger to improve detection of the user's finger. In a case where the system detects the optical emitter device, the user holds the optical emitter device or wears the optical emitter device similar to the passive device. The optical emitter device emits light, and the system tracks the optical emitting device by detecting the light emitted by the optical emitter device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 31, 2023
    Publication date: February 8, 2024
    Applicant: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: Jeff M. RAYNOR
  • Publication number: 20240045126
    Abstract: The present disclosure is directed to a device configured to act as a flood illuminator and a dot projector. The device utilizes a dual channel light source configured to switch between first and second polarizations, and a polarization sensitive metaoptic that outputs dot projection and flood illumination in response to receiving the first polarization and the second polarization, respectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 4, 2022
    Publication date: February 8, 2024
    Applicant: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: Kevin CHANNON, Enrico Giuseppe CARNEMOLLA
  • Patent number: 11892568
    Abstract: A depth map sensor includes a first array of first pixels, each first pixel having a first photodetector associated with a pixel circuit that comprises a plurality of first bins for accumulating events. A clock source is configured to generate a plurality of phase-shifted clock signals. A first circuit has a plurality of first output lines coupled to the first array of first pixels. The first circuit is configured to receive the plurality of phase-shifted clock signals. The first circuit includes a first block and a second block. The first block is configured to propagate the plurality of phase-shifted clock signals to the second block during a first period determined by a first enable signal and the second block configured to select to which of the plurality of first output lines each of the plurality of phase-shifted clock signals is applied.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2024
    Assignees: STMICROELECTRONICS (GRENOBLE 2) SAS, STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: Ivelina Hristova, Pascal Mellot, Neale Dutton
  • Patent number: 11885878
    Abstract: In an embodiments, a method for operating a time-of-flight (ToF) ranging array includes: illuminating a field-of-view (FoV) of the ToF ranging array with radiation pulses; receiving reflected radiation pulses with a plurality of single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) in a region of interest (ROI) of the ToF ranging array, the plurality of SPADs arranged in a plurality of SPAD clusters; determining an ambient count of ambient light events generated by SPADs of a first SPAD cluster of the plurality of SPAD clusters; and gating an output of the first SPAD cluster based on the ambient count.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2022
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2024
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: Stuart McLeod
  • Patent number: 11885915
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a method includes: receiving a first plurality of digital codes from a time-to-digital converter (TDC); TDC; generating a coarse histogram from the first plurality of digital codes; detecting a peak coarse bin from the plurality of coarse bins; after receiving the first plurality of digital codes, receiving a second plurality of digital codes from the TDC; and generating a fine histogram from the second plurality of digital codes based on the detected peak coarse bin, where a fine histogram depth range is narrower than a coarse histogram depth range, where a lowest fine histogram depth is lower or equal to a lowest coarse peak depth, and where a highest fine histogram depth is higher or equal to a highest coarse peak depth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2020
    Date of Patent: January 30, 2024
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20240014341
    Abstract: A device includes a single photon avalanche diode in a portion of a substrate, wherein the portion has an octagonal profile. The octagonal profile is delimited by a wall forming an octagonal contour around the portion. The device further includes an array of diodes, wherein each diode is located in a corner between four adjacent single photon avalanche diodes. Each single photon avalanche diode further includes a doped anode region. A shallow trench isolation is formed in each doped anode region. A polysilicon line forming a resistor is supported at the upper surface of the shallow trench isolation.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2023
    Publication date: January 11, 2024
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS
    Inventors: Isobel NICHOLSON, Sara PELLEGRINI, Dominique GOLANSKI, Alexandre LOPEZ
  • Publication number: 20240011828
    Abstract: An optical sensor includes pixels. Each pixel has a photodetector. A readout circuit performs a process over an exposure time where the photodetector is connected to a reverse bias voltage supply to reset a voltage across the photodetector, and the photodetector is disconnected from the reverse bias voltage supply until that the voltage across the photodetector decreases in response to received ambient light. An ambient light level is then determine an based on a number of times the voltage across the photodetector is reset over the exposure time.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 20, 2023
    Publication date: January 11, 2024
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics (Grenoble 2) SAS
    Inventors: Jeffrey M. RAYNOR, Sophie TAUPIN, Jean-Jacques ROUGER, Pascal MELLOT
  • Publication number: 20240014342
    Abstract: A device includes a single photon avalanche diode in a substrate and a resistor. The resistor is provided resting on an insulating trench located in a doped anode region of the single photon avalanche diode.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 10, 2023
    Publication date: January 11, 2024
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS
    Inventors: Sara PELLEGRINI, Dominique GOLANSKI, Alexandre LOPEZ
  • Publication number: 20230411928
    Abstract: An optical element is positioned in a holder over a laser light source. The optical element includes an electrical trace that is coupled between first and second pads. A sensing circuit that is also coupled to the first and second pads performs a voltage/current sensing operation to detect displacement of the optical element and control enablement of the laser light source.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 15, 2022
    Publication date: December 21, 2023
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Steven COLLINS, Graeme STORM, Supriya Raveendra HEGDE
  • Patent number: 11843008
    Abstract: An electronic device includes a stack of a first level having a SPAD, a second level having a quench circuit for said SPAD, and a third level having a circuit for processing data generated by said SPAD. A method for making the device includes: a) forming of the first level; b) bonding, on the first level, by molecular bonding, of a stack of layers including a semiconductor layer; and c) forming the quench circuit of the second level in the semiconductor layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 11, 2021
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2023
    Assignees: STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS, STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Francois Guyader, Sara Pellegrini, Bruce Rae
  • Patent number: 11830459
    Abstract: An embodiment method of measuring ambient light comprises generating, by an ambient light sensor associated with a screen which alternates between first phases in which light is emitted and second phases in which no light is emitted by the screen, a first signal representative of an intensity of light received by the ambient light sensor during the first and second phases; comparing the first signal with a threshold intensity value; and controlling a timing of an ambient light measurement by the light sensor based on the comparison.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2022
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2023
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: Jeffrey M. Raynor
  • Publication number: 20230375679
    Abstract: A time-of-flight system includes an emitter-circuit generating and directing pulses of light toward a target, and a receiver-circuit including a photodetector coupled between a bias node and a sensing node to detect pulses that have reflected off the target, a comparison circuit comparing a sense voltage at the sensing node to a reference, a timing measurement circuit measuring elapsed time between generation of a given pulse and detection thereof after reflection off the target, and a programmable current sink that sinks a current from the sensing node equal to a portion of a photocurrent generated by the photodetector due to detection of ambient light. A timing-generation circuit synchronizes generation of the pulses and measurement of elapsed time by the timing circuit. A processor adjusts a magnitude of the current sunk from the sensing node based upon output of the comparison circuit when the emitter circuit is deactivated.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 17, 2022
    Publication date: November 23, 2023
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventor: Neale DUTTON
  • Publication number: 20230375680
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to a time-of-flight sensor including, on a same base substrate, a light emitter configured to emit light into an image scene, a reference sensor configured to detect light emitted by the light emitter, and a signal reception sensor array separated from the light emitter by an optical barrier. The optical barrier is configured to prevent light emitted by the light emitter from directly reaching the signal reception sensor array, with the signal reception sensor array being configured to detect light reflected by the image scene. The reference sensor and the signal reception sensor array are based on semiconductor nanoparticles.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2023
    Publication date: November 23, 2023
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics (Grenoble 2) SAS
    Inventors: Neale DUTTON, Jonathan STECKEL
  • Patent number: 11822014
    Abstract: A method can be used for controlling pixel scanning within a range detector. A spatially controllable point light source generates a first series of light source pulses associated with a first spatial direction. The first series of light source pulses are generated during a first time period. The spatially controllable point light source generates a second series of light source pulses associated with a second spatial direction. The second series of light source pulses are generated during a second time period that overlaps with the first time period so that the second series of light source pulses are started during the first series of light source pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2023
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, Sarrah Moiz Patanwala