Patents by Inventor Howard E. Rhodes

Howard E. Rhodes has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20130113969
    Abstract: 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.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2011
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Sohei Manabe, Keh-Chiang Ku, Vincent Venezia, Hsi-Chih Tai, Duli Mao, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Publication number: 20130113065
    Abstract: Embodiments of a semiconductor device that includes a semiconductor substrate and a cavity disposed in the semiconductor substrate that extends at least from a first side of the semiconductor substrate to a second side of the semiconductor substrate. The semiconductor device also includes an insulation layer disposed over the first side of the semiconductor substrate and coating sidewalls of the cavity. A conductive layer including a bonding pad is disposed over the insulation layer. The conductive layer extends into the cavity and connects to a metal stack disposed below the second side of the semiconductor substrate. A through silicon via pad is disposed below the second side of the semiconductor substrate and connected to the metal stack. The through silicon via pad is position to accept a through silicon via.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 3, 2011
    Publication date: May 9, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Yin Qian, Hsin-Chih Tai, Keh-Chiang Ku, Vincent Venezia, Duli Mao, Wei Zheng, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8431429
    Abstract: A method of fabricating a backside illuminated imaging sensor that includes a device layer, a metal stack, and an opening is disclosed. The device layer has an imaging array formed in a front side of the device layer, where the imaging array is adapted to receive light from a back side of the device layer. The metal stack is coupled to the front side of the device layer and includes at least one metal interconnect layer having a metal pad. The opening extends from the back side of the device layer to the metal pad to expose the metal pad for wire bonding. The method includes depositing a film on the back side of the device layer and within the opening, then etching the film to form a frame within the opening to structurally reinforce the metal pad.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2013
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsin-Chih Tai, Howard E. Rhodes, Duli Mao, Vincent Venezia, Yin Qian
  • Patent number: 8426796
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a pixel array, a bit line, a supplemental capacitance node line, and a control circuit. The pixel array includes a plurality of pixel cells each including a floating diffusion (“FD”) node and a photosensitive element coupled to selectively transfer image charge to the FD node. The bit line is coupled to selectively conduct image data output from a first group of the pixel cells. The supplemental capacitance node line is coupled to the FD node of a second group of the pixel cells different from the first group. The control circuit is coupled to the supplemental capacitance node line to selectively increase the potential at the FD node of each of the pixel cells of the second group by selectively asserting a FD boost signal on the supplemental capacitance node line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Howard E. Rhodes, Sohei Manabe
  • Publication number: 20130092982
    Abstract: Embodiments of an image sensor pixel that includes a photosensitive element, a floating diffusion region, and a transfer device. The photosensitive element is disposed in a substrate layer for accumulating an image charge in response to light. The floating diffusion region is dispose in the substrate layer to receive the image charge from the photosensitive element. The transfer device is disposed between the photosensitive element and the floating diffusion region to selectively transfer the image charge from the photosensitive element to the floating diffusion region. The transfer device includes a buried channel device including a buried channel gate disposed over a buried channel dopant region. The transfer device also includes a surface channel device including a surface channel gate disposed over a surface channel region. The surface channel device is in series with the buried channel device. The surface channel gate has the opposite polarity of the buried channel gate.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 13, 2011
    Publication date: April 18, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Gang Chen, Sing-Chung Hu, Hsin-Chih Tai, Duli Mao, Manoj Bikumandla, Wei Zheng, Yin Qian, Zhibin Xiong, Vincent Venezia, Keh-Chiang Ku, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Publication number: 20130082163
    Abstract: Techniques and architectures for providing a coating for one or more micro-lenses of a pixel array. In an embodiment, a pixel element includes a micro-lens and a coating portion extending over a surface of the micro-lens, where a profile of the coating portion is super-conformal to, or at least conformal to, a profile of the micro-lens. In another embodiment, the coating portion is formed at least in part by orienting the surface of the micro-lens to face generally downward with the direction of gravity, the orienting to allow a fluid coating material to flow for formation of the coating portion.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2011
    Publication date: April 4, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Gang Chen, Hsin-Chih Tai, Duli Mao, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8405748
    Abstract: Embodiments of an apparatus comprising a pixel array comprising a plurality of macropixels. Each macropixel includes a pair of first pixels each including a color filter for a first color, the first color being one to which pixels are most sensitive, a second pixel including a color filter for a second color, the second color being one to which the pixels are least sensitive and a third pixel including a color filter for a third color, the third color being one to which pixels have a sensitivity between the least sensitive and the most sensitive, wherein the first pixels each occupy a greater proportion of the light-collection area of the macropixel than either the second pixel or the third pixel. Corresponding process and system embodiments are disclosed and claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2013
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Yin Qian, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Publication number: 20130069188
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention relate to a camera assembly including a rear-facing camera and a front-facing camera operatively coupled together (e.g., bonded, stacked on a common substrate). In some embodiments of the invention, a system having an array of frontside illuminated (FSI) imaging pixels is bonded to a system having an array of backside illuminated (BSI) imaging pixels, creating a camera assembly with a minimal size (e.g., a reduced thickness compared to prior art solutions). An FSI image sensor wafer may be used as a handle wafer for a BSI image sensor wafer when it is thinned, thereby decreasing the thickness of the overall camera module. According to other embodiments of the invention, two package dies, one a BSI image sensor, the other an FSI image sensor, are stacked on a common substrate such as a printed circuit board, and are operatively coupled together via redistribution layers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 16, 2011
    Publication date: March 21, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Gang Chen, Ashish Shah, Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Publication number: 20130033627
    Abstract: Embodiments are disclosed of an apparatus comprising a color filter arrangement including a set of color filters. The set of color filters includes a pair of first color filters, each having first and second hard mask layers formed thereon, a second color filter having the first hard mask layer formed thereon, and a third color filter having no hard mask layer formed thereon. Other embodiments are disclosed and claimed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 3, 2011
    Publication date: February 7, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Gang Chen, Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8357984
    Abstract: An array of pixels is formed using a substrate, where each pixel has a substrate having a backside and a frontside that includes metalization layers, a photodiode formed in the substrate, frontside P-wells formed using frontside processing that are adjacent to the photosensitive region, and an N-type region formed in the substrate below the photodiode. The N-type region is formed in a region of the substrate below the photodiode and is formed at least in part in a region of the substrate that is deeper than the depth of the frontside P-wells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2013
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Sohei Manabe, Vincent Venezia, Hsin-Chih Tai, Hidetoshi Nozaki, Yin Qian, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8354699
    Abstract: A transistor of a pixel cell for use in a CMOS imager with a low threshold voltage of less than about 0.4 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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 15, 2013
    Assignee: Round Rock Research, LLC
    Inventor: Howard E. Rhodes
  • Publication number: 20130009043
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a pixel array, a bit line, a supplemental capacitance node line, and a control circuit. The pixel array includes a plurality of pixel cells each including a floating diffusion (“FD”) node and a photosensitive element coupled to selectively transfer image charge to the FD node. The bit line is coupled to selectively conduct image data output from a first group of the pixel cells. The supplemental capacitance node line is coupled to the FD node of a second group of the pixel cells different from the first group. The control circuit is coupled to the supplemental capacitance node line to selectively increase the potential at the FD node of each of the pixel cells of the second group by selectively asserting a FD boost signal on the supplemental capacitance node line.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 14, 2012
    Publication date: January 10, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Howard E. Rhodes, Sohei Manabe
  • Publication number: 20130001661
    Abstract: Embodiments of a process for forming a photodetector region in a CMOS pixel by dopant implantation, the process comprising masking a photodetector area of a surface of a substrate for formation of the photodetector region, positioning the substrate at a plurality of twist angles, and at each of the plurality of twist angles, directing dopants at the photodetector area at a selected tilt angle. Embodiments of a CMOS pixel comprising a photodetector region formed in a substrate, the photodetector region comprising overlapping first and second dopant implants, wherein the overlap region has a different dopant concentration than the non-overlapping parts of the first and second implants, a floating diffusion formed in the substrate, and a transfer gate formed on the substrate between the photodetector and the transfer gate. Other embodiments are disclosed and claimed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Publication date: January 3, 2013
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Yin Qian, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8338856
    Abstract: A backside illuminated (“BSI”) complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (“CMOS”) image sensor includes a photosensitive region disposed within a semiconductor layer and a stress adjusting layer. The photosensitive region is sensitive to light incident on a backside of the BSI CMOS image sensor to collect an image charge. The stress adjusting layer is disposed on a backside of the semiconductor layer to establish a stress characteristic that encourages photo-generated charge carriers to migrate towards the photosensitive region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2012
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsin-Chih Tai, Howard E. Rhodes, Wei Zheng, Vincent Venezia, Yin Qian, Duli Mao
  • Publication number: 20120313197
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention describe providing high dynamic range imaging (HDRI or simply HDR) to an imaging pixel by coupling a floating diffusion node of the imaging pixel to a plurality of metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) capacitance regions. It is understood that a MOS capacitance region only turns “on” (i.e., changes the overall capacitance of the floating diffusion node) when the voltage at the floating diffusion node (or a voltage difference between a gate node and the floating diffusion node) is greater than its threshold voltage; before the MOS capacitance region is “on” it does not contribute to the overall capacitance or conversion gain of the floating diffusion node. Each of the MOS capacitance regions will have different threshold voltages, thereby turning “on” at different illumination conditions. This increases the dynamic range of the imaging pixel, thereby providing HDR for the host imaging system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2011
    Publication date: December 13, 2012
    Inventors: Gang Chen, Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8329497
    Abstract: A backside illuminated imaging sensor includes a semiconductor layer and an infrared detecting layer. The semiconductor layer has a front surface and a back surface. An imaging pixel includes a photodiode region formed within the semiconductor layer. The infrared detecting layer is disposed above the front surface of the semiconductor layer to receive infrared light that propagates through the imaging sensor from the back surface of the semiconductor layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Yin Qian, Howard E. Rhodes, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Duli Mao
  • Patent number: 8330195
    Abstract: 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.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2012
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Vincent Venezia, Ashish Shah, Rongsheng Yang, Duli Mao, Yin Qian, Hsin-Chih Tai, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Publication number: 20120302000
    Abstract: A technique for fabricating an image sensor including a pixel circuitry region and a peripheral circuitry region includes fabricating front side components on a front side of the image sensor. A dopant layer is implanted on a backside of the image sensor. A anti-reflection layer is formed on the backside and covers a first portion of the dopant layer under the pixel circuitry region while exposing a second portion of the dopant layer under the peripheral circuitry region. The first portion of the dopant layer is laser annealed from the backside of the image sensor through the anti-reflection layer. The anti-reflection layer increases a temperature of the first portion of the dopant layer during the laser annealing.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 3, 2012
    Publication date: November 29, 2012
    Applicant: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Yin Qian, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8318529
    Abstract: A technique for fabricating an image sensor including a pixel circuitry region and a peripheral circuitry region includes fabricating front side components on a front side of the image sensor. A dopant layer is implanted on a backside of the image sensor. A anti-reflection layer is formed on the backside and covers a first portion of the dopant layer under the pixel circuitry region while exposing a second portion of the dopant layer under the peripheral circuitry region. The first portion of the dopant layer is laser annealed from the backside of the image sensor through the anti-reflection layer. The anti-reflection layer increases a temperature of the first portion of the dopant layer during the laser annealing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Duli Mao, Hsin-Chih Tai, Vincent Venezia, Yin Qian, Howard E. Rhodes
  • Patent number: 8319301
    Abstract: An image sensor includes at least one photosensitive element disposed in a semiconductor substrate. Metal conductors may be disposed on the semiconductor substrate. A filter may be disposed between at least two individual metal conductors and a micro-lens may be disposed on the filter. There may be insulator material disposed between the metal conductors and the semiconductor substrate and/or between individual metal conductors. The insulator material may be removed so that the filter may be disposed on the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2012
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hsin-Chih Tai, Duli Mao, Vincent Venezia, WeiDong Qian, Ashish Shah, Howard E. Rhodes