Patents by Inventor Neale Dutton

Neale Dutton 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: 20220357435
    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: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2022
    Publication date: November 10, 2022
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20220316943
    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: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2022
    Publication date: October 6, 2022
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, 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: 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
  • 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
  • Patent number: 11353828
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a method includes: providing a gray-coded time reference to a time-to-digital converter (TDC); receiving an event from an event signal; latching the gray-coded time reference into a memory upon reception of the event signal; and updating a time-of-flight (ToF) histogram based on the latched gray-coded time reference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventors: John Kevin Moore, Neale Dutton
  • Patent number: 11349042
    Abstract: A pixel includes a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) having a cathode coupled to a high voltage supply through a quenching element, with the SPAD having a capacitance at its anode formed from a deep trench isolation, with the quenching element having a sufficiently high resistance such that the capacitance is not fully charged when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon. The pixel includes a clamp transistor configured to be controlled by a voltage clamp control signal to clamp voltage at an anode of the SPAD when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon to be no more than a threshold clamped anode voltage, and readout circuitry coupled to receive the clamped anode voltage from the clamp transistor and to generate a pixel output therefrom. The threshold clamped anode voltage is below a maximum operating voltage rating of transistors forming the readout circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Mohammed Al-Rawhani, Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore, Bruce Rae, Elsa Lacombe
  • Patent number: 11336076
    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: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2022
    Assignees: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED, STMICROELECTRONICS (GRENOBLE 2) SAS
    Inventors: Denise Lee, Neale Dutton, Nicolas Moeneclaey, Jerome Andriot-Ballet
  • Patent number: 11303859
    Abstract: An image projection device, such as a pico projector or LCD projector, includes image projection circuitry configured to generate a light beam having a power. The image projection circuitry projects the light beam onto and focuses the light beam on a projection surface located an imaging distance from the image projection circuitry. A time-of-flight sensor is configured to sense the imaging distance between the image projection circuitry and the projection surface and to generate an imaging distance signal indicating the sensed imaging distance. Control circuitry is coupled to the image projection circuitry and to the time-of-flight sensor and is configured to adjust the power and the focus of the light beam based upon the imaging distance signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2022
    Assignees: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited, STMicroelectronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, Xiaoyong Yang, Kevin Channon
  • Publication number: 20220011160
    Abstract: A sensor has plurality of pixels arranged in a plurality of rows and columns with row control circuitry for controlling which one of said rows is activated and column control circuitry for controlling which of said pixels in said activated row is to be activated. The column circuitry has memory configured to store information indication as to which of the pixels are defective, wherein each of the pixels has a photodiode and a plurality of transistors which control the activation of the photodiode. A first transistor is configured to be controlled by a column enable signal while a second transistor is configured to be controlled by a row select signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 27, 2021
    Publication date: January 13, 2022
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventor: Neale DUTTON
  • Publication number: 20210382172
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a time of flight sensing module that includes a reflected laser light detector formed on a printed circuit board, and a plurality of laser modules positioned about a periphery of the reflected laser light detector. Each laser module includes an interposer substrate vertically spaced apart from the printed circuit board, at least one laser diode carried by the interposer substrate, and a diffuser spaced apart from the interposer substrate and over the at least one laser diode. A lens may be positioned over the reflected laser light detector, and the plurality of laser modules are positioned about the periphery of the lens.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2020
    Publication date: December 9, 2021
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Neale DUTTON, Christopher TOWNSEND
  • Publication number: 20210382152
    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: Application
    Filed: June 8, 2020
    Publication date: December 9, 2021
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20210351777
    Abstract: An electronic device includes a time-of-flight unit with a laser emitting ranging light toward a scene, and a detector detecting ranging light reflected from the scene. The detector includes photodetection regions of macropixels. Each macropixel includes photodiodes, and OR logic circuitry receiving outputs of photodiodes as input and generating a detection signal. Each macropixel has output combining logic, and selection circuitry selectively passing the detection signal to the output combining logic or to output combining logic of a neighboring macropixel. The output combining logic has inputs coupled to the selection circuitry and the selection circuitry of the neighboring macropixel, and generates an output signal by logically combining outputs of the selection circuitry and the selection circuitry of the neighboring macropixel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 19, 2021
    Publication date: November 11, 2021
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Bruce RAE, Neale DUTTON
  • Patent number: 11137285
    Abstract: A sensor has plurality of pixels arranged in a plurality of rows and columns with row control circuitry for controlling which one of said rows is activated and column control circuitry for controlling which of said pixels in said activated row is to be activated. The column circuitry has memory configured to store information indication as to which of the pixels are defective, wherein each of the pixels has a photodiode and a plurality of transistors which control the activation of the photodiode. A first transistor is configured to be controlled by a column enable signal while a second transistor is configured to be controlled by a row select signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2021
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT) LIMITED
    Inventor: Neale Dutton
  • Publication number: 20210302550
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a method includes: receiving a first plurality of digital codes from a 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 lower fine histogram depth is lower or equal to a lower coarse peak depth, and where a higher fine histogram depth is higher or equal to a higher coarse peak depth.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2020
    Publication date: September 30, 2021
    Inventors: Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore
  • Publication number: 20210302917
    Abstract: In an embodiment, a method includes: providing a gray-coded time reference to a time-to-digital converter (TDC); receiving an event from an event signal; latching the gray-coded time reference into a memory upon reception of the event signal; and updating a time-of-flight (ToF) histogram based on the latched gray-coded time reference.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 15, 2021
    Publication date: September 30, 2021
    Inventors: John Kevin Moore, Neale Dutton
  • Patent number: 11095289
    Abstract: An electronic device includes at least one photodetection block, where the at least one photodetection block includes a plurality of macropixels arranged into an array. Each macropixel includes an array of photodiodes, with logic circuitry coupled to outputs of the array of photodiodes and configured to generate a detection signal as a function of logically combining the outputs of the array of photodiodes. Each macropixel has associated therewith selection circuitry configured to selectively pass the detection signal to output combining logic or to output combining logic of at least one neighboring macropixel of the plurality thereof. The output combining logic has inputs coupled to the selection circuitry and to the selection circuitry of the at least one neighboring macropixel, and is configured to generate an output detection signal as a function of logically combining outputs of the selection circuitry and the selection circuitry of the at least one neighboring macropixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Bruce Rae, Neale Dutton
  • Publication number: 20210193859
    Abstract: A pixel includes a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) having a cathode coupled to a high voltage supply through a quenching element, with the SPAD having a capacitance at its anode formed from a deep trench isolation, with the quenching element having a sufficiently high resistance such that the capacitance is not fully charged when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon. The pixel includes a clamp transistor configured to be controlled by a voltage clamp control signal to clamp voltage at an anode of the SPAD when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon to be no more than a threshold clamped anode voltage, and readout circuitry coupled to receive the clamped anode voltage from the clamp transistor and to generate a pixel output therefrom. The threshold clamped anode voltage is below a maximum operating voltage rating of transistors forming the readout circuitry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Publication date: June 24, 2021
    Applicant: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Mohammed AL-RAWHANI, Neale DUTTON, John Kevin MOORE, Bruce RAE, Elisa LACOMBE