Patents Assigned to STMicroelectronics (Research & Development), Limited
  • Patent number: 11500092
    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: December 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: Stuart McLeod
  • Patent number: 11502116
    Abstract: An imaging sensor includes a pixel array containing photodiodes, the photodiodes being isolated from one another by full thickness deep trench isolations. Row control circuitry controls which rows of the pixel array operate in an imaging mode and which rows of the pixel array operate in an energy harvesting mode, on a row by row basis. Switch circuitry selectively connects different groups of photodiodes in rows operating in the energy harvesting mode into forward biased series configurations between a voltage output line and a ground line, or into forward biased parallel configurations between the voltage output line and the ground line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: November 15, 2022
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Filip Kaklin, Jeffrey M. Raynor
  • Publication number: 20220357507
    Abstract: A photonic device includes a PCB having an integrated circuit mounted thereon, with a cap mounted to the PCB and carrying a lens positioned over the integrated circuit. The cap is formed by: an outer wall mounted to the PCB, extending upwardly from the PCB, and surrounding a portion of the integrated circuit; a first retention structure extending inwardly from the outer wall and across the integrated circuit, the first retention structure having a hole defined therein; and a second retention structure having a hole defined therein, the second retention structure being affixed within the first retention structure such that the hole in the second retention structure is axially aligned with the hole in the first retention structure. The lens is mechanically constrained within the cap between the first retention structure and the second retention structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 6, 2021
    Publication date: November 10, 2022
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventor: Joseph HANNAN
  • Patent number: 11496185
    Abstract: A method for modulating a signal including operating a circuit in a first arrangement during a first operating interval and switching the circuit between the first arrangement and a second arrangement during a first modulation interval to vary a load on the circuit to produce a first amplitude shift keying (ASK) signal. The method further includes detecting a voltage on the circuit crossing a threshold level and operating the circuit in the second arrangement during a second operating interval. The method also includes switching the circuit between the second arrangement and the first arrangement during a second modulation interval to vary the load on the circuit to produce a second ASK signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 8, 2022
    Assignees: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development Limited), STMicroelectronics Asia Pacific PTE Ltd.
    Inventors: Wenhe Zhao, Jiasheng Wang
  • Patent number: 11477431
    Abstract: A method includes emitting a pattern of transmitted light into a three-dimensional environment from an optical transmitter and receiving reflected light from the pattern of transmitted light at an optical receiver. The method includes identifying light-sensitive pixels of that are stimulated by from the pattern of reflected light and generating an up-sampled matrix with subsections that correspond to light-sensitive pixels. The method includes sparsely populating subsections of the up-sampled matrix with a pattern of non-zero entries and imaging the three-dimensional environment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2022
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: Andreas Assmann
  • Publication number: 20220317466
    Abstract: Various embodiments provide optical lenses that include phase shift layers that transmit incident light with four or more distinct phase quantizations. In one embodiment, a lens includes a substrate, a first immersion material layer on the substrate, and a plurality of anti-reflective phase shift layers on the first immersion material layer. The phase shift layers define a first anti-reflective phase shift region that transmits received light without a phase shift, a second anti-reflective phase shift region configured to transmit the received light with a first phase shift, a third anti-reflective phase shift region configured to transmit the received light with a second phase shift, and a fourth anti-reflective phase shift region configured to transmit the received light with a third phase shift. The first, second, and third phase shifts are different from one another.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 16, 2022
    Publication date: October 6, 2022
    Applicant: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: James Peter Drummond DOWNING
  • Publication number: 20220276461
    Abstract: A lens is positioned to be received by a lens holder. The lens includes a first electrical trace and the lens holder includes a second electrical trace. The first and second electrical traces form electrodes of a sense capacitor. A capacitance of the sense capacitor is sensed. From the sensed capacitance, a determination is made as to whether the lens is present and properly positioned in the lens holder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 26, 2021
    Publication date: September 1, 2022
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventor: John Kevin MOORE
  • Patent number: 11428792
    Abstract: A ToF sensor includes an array of pixels having first and second subsets of pixels, first and second pluralities of TDCs, a routing bus having first and second pluralities of bus drivers, and a controller configured to: when the first subset of pixels is active and the second subset of pixels is not active, control the first plurality of bus drivers to route events from half of the pixels of the first subset to the first plurality of TDCs and control the first and second pluralities of bus drivers to route events from the other half of the pixels of the first subset to the second plurality of TDCs, and when the first subset of pixels is not active and the second subset of pixels is active, control the first plurality of bus drivers to route events from the second subset of pixels to the first plurality of TDCs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2022
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20220271184
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is an array of pixels. Each pixel includes a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) and a transistor circuit. The transistor circuit includes a clamp transistor configured to clamp an anode voltage of the SPAD to be no more than a threshold clamped anode voltage, and a quenching element in series with the clamp transistor and configured to quench the anode voltage of the SPAD when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon. Readout circuitry is coupled to receive the clamped anode voltage from the transistor circuit and to generate a pixel output therefrom, the threshold clamped anode voltage being below a maximum voltage rating of transistors forming the readout circuitry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 2, 2022
    Publication date: August 25, 2022
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Mohammed AL-RAWHANI, Neale DUTTON, John Kevin MOORE, Bruce RAE, Elisa LACOMBE
  • Patent number: 11412590
    Abstract: A single photon avalanche diode based range detecting apparatus includes a reference array of single photon avalanche diodes configured to receive light from an illumination source via an internally coupled path. A return array of single photon avalanche diodes is configured to receive light from the illumination source via an external free space path. A calibration pulse generator is configured to generate a calibration signal pulse. Readout circuitry is configured to receive an output of the reference array via a reference signal path, an output of the return array via a return signal path, and an output of the calibration pulse generator via a calibration signal path. The readout circuitry is configured to determine a delay difference value between the reference signal path and the return signal path based on the output of the calibration pulse generator via the calibration signal path.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 7, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: John Kevin Moore, Caixin Zhuang
  • Patent number: 11409031
    Abstract: An optical device is mounted to an electronic circuit having a main face with at least one light source. The optical device is made from a block which includes, for each light source, a corresponding opening that passes through the block. The opening includes a cylindrical part with a threading on an inside surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignees: STMicroelectronics (Grenoble 2) SAS, STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Frederic Fantoni, Arthur Finlay, Julien Venel, Guilhem Dubois, Marco Antonelli, Hugo Vargas Llanas, Antoine Puthon
  • Patent number: 11402263
    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 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20220239059
    Abstract: A laser diode driver circuit includes a first pair of contacts and connectors coupled to an anode of the laser diode. An inductance of each of the first pair of contacts and connectors is the same. A second pair of contacts and connectors are coupled to a cathode of the laser diode. An inductance of each of the second pair of contacts and connectors is the same. The laser diode driver circuit also includes current driving circuitry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2022
    Publication date: July 28, 2022
    Applicants: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED, STMICROELECTRONICS (GRENOBLE 2) SAS
    Inventors: Denise Tingxi LEE, Neale DUTTON, Nicolas MOENECLAEY, Jerome ANDRIOT-BALLET
  • Patent number: 11391957
    Abstract: Various embodiments provide optical lenses that include phase shift layers that transmit incident light with four or more distinct phase quantizations. In one embodiment, a lens includes a substrate, a first immersion material layer on the substrate, and a plurality of anti-reflective phase shift layers on the first immersion material layer. The phase shift layers define a first anti-reflective phase shift region that transmits received light without a phase shift, a second anti-reflective phase shift region configured to transmit the received light with a first phase shift, a third anti-reflective phase shift region configured to transmit the received light with a second phase shift, and a fourth anti-reflective phase shift region configured to transmit the received light with a third phase shift. The first, second, and third phase shifts are different from one another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventor: James Peter Drummond Downing
  • Patent number: 11387197
    Abstract: An electronic integrated circuit chip includes a semiconductor substrate with a front side and a back side. A first reflective shield is positioned adjacent the front side of the semiconductor substrate and a second reflective shield is positioned adjacent the back side of the semiconductor substrate. Photons are emitted by a photon source to pass through the semiconductor substrate and bounce off the first and second reflective shields to reach a photon detector at the front side of the semiconductor substrate. The detected photons are processed in order to determine whether to issue an alert indicating the existence of an attack on the electronic integrated circuit chip.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 12, 2022
    Assignees: STMicroelectronics (Rousset) SAS, STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Mathieu Lisart, Bruce Rae
  • Publication number: 20220196835
    Abstract: An indirect time of flight sensor includes a matrix of pixels, wherein each pixel includes at least two controllable transfer devices. First conductive lines transmit first control signals to the transfer devices, these first signals being provided by a first circuit. A device is provided for illuminating a scene that is divided into at least two first areas. The device successively illuminates each first area. The matrix is similarly divided into at least two second areas. The matrix and illumination device are disposed such that each first area corresponds to one second area. The first circuit provides different first signals to the different second areas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 21, 2021
    Publication date: June 23, 2022
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics (Grenoble 2) SAS
    Inventors: John Kevin MOORE, Neale DUTTON, Pascal MELLOT
  • Publication number: 20220190184
    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: Application
    Filed: December 9, 2021
    Publication date: June 16, 2022
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS, STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Denis RIDEAU, Dominique GOLANSKI, Alexandre LOPEZ, Gabriel MUGNY
  • Publication number: 20220187593
    Abstract: An optical module includes an optical detector, laser emitter, and first and second support structures, each carried by a substrate. An optical layer includes first and second fixed portions carried by the support structures, a movable portion affixed between the fixed portions by a spring structure, and a lens system carried by the movable portion, the lens system including an objective lens and a beam shaping lens. The optical layer includes a comb drive with a first comb structure extending from the first fixed portion to interdigitate with a second comb structure extending from the movable portion, a third comb structure extending from the second fixed portion to interdigitate with a fourth comb structure extending from the movable portion, and actuation circuitry applying voltages to the comb structures to cause the movable portion of the optical layer to oscillate back and forth between the fixed portions.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 16, 2020
    Publication date: June 16, 2022
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics S.r.l.
    Inventors: Christopher TOWNSEND, Roberto CARMINATI
  • Publication number: 20220187591
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is an optical module including a substrate, with an optical detector, laser emitter, and support structure being carried by the substrate. An optical layer includes a fixed portion carried by the support structure, a movable portion affixed between opposite sides of the fixed portion by a spring structure, and a lens system carried by the movable portion. The movable portion has at least one opening defined therein across which the lens system extends, with at least one supporting portion extending across the at least one opening to support the lens system. The optical layer further includes a MEMS actuator for in-plane movement of the movable portion with respect to the fixed portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 23, 2021
    Publication date: June 16, 2022
    Applicants: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics S.r.l.
    Inventors: Christopher TOWNSEND, Roberto CARMINATI
  • Patent number: 11353591
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a method of laser safety verification for a depth map sensor, comprising illuminating, during a first illumination phase, using a laser illumination system, a first cluster of one or more first pixels of a pixel array of the depth map sensor, while not illuminating a second cluster, different from the first cluster, of one or more second pixels of the pixel array of the depth map sensor; and detecting, during the first illumination phase, a level of illumination of the second cluster.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignees: STMICROELECTRONICS (GRENOBLE 2) SAS, STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: Christopher Townsend, Pascal Mellot