Using Dummy Pixels Patents (Class 348/245)
  • Patent number: 7619597
    Abstract: A method and system for programming, calibrating and driving a light emitting device display is provided. The system may include extracting a time dependent parameter of a pixel for calibration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2009
    Assignee: Ignis Innovation Inc.
    Inventors: Arokia Nathan, Gholamreza Reza Chaji, Peyman Servati
  • Patent number: 7612810
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes an image sensor configured to output image data generated by image sensing elements together with a timing signal, and an image processing unit configured to output the image data supplied from the image sensor having undergone predetermined signal processing a predetermined delay time after a timing indicated by the timing signal, the image sensor further configured to make the timing signal indicate a first timing that is at least the processing delay time earlier than a second timing indicative of a start of a valid period of the image data, and to output dummy data from the first timing to the start of the valid period of the image data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 2004
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited
    Inventors: Asao Kokubo, Hiroshi Daiku, Jun Funakoshi, Yutaka Takeda, Norihiro Yoshida
  • Patent number: 7586076
    Abstract: One or more dummy pixels of an image sensor device IC are modified to include programming circuitry that enables them to be used as non-volatile memory. Dummy pixels are non-imaging pixels that already exist in image sensor ICs and are addressable using the same circuitry that is used to address the imaging array of the IC. Therefore, there are no additional processing steps and no additional cost associated with implementing the dummy pixels or circuitry for addressing the dummy pixels in the IC. One or more of these non-imaging dummy pixels are modified to make the dummy pixels programmable to enable the pixels to store logic 1 bits and logic 0 bits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2009
    Assignee: Aptina Imaging Corporation
    Inventor: Christopher Dean Silsby
  • Patent number: 7570838
    Abstract: For compensating for misalignment of pixels at the time of reproduction in a Holographic Digital Data Storage (HDDS) system, and thereby correcting an image, a stored page-based image is detected using a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) through a one-to-one (1:1) pixel matching between data pixels and CCD detector pixels at the time of reproduction. And then, in case the misalignment of pixels occurs during the 1:1 pixel matching, an amount of the misalignment d (0?d<1) between a corresponding data pixel and a corresponding CCD detector pixel is calculated. Further, an interference influence of a neighboring pixel on the corresponding CCD detector pixel is calculated based on the calculated amount of the misalignment, to thereby correct image data of the CCD detector pixel. And last, a misalignment influence in accordance with the amount of the misalignment is compensated for, to thereby correct the image data of the CCD detector pixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Daewoo Electronics Corporation
    Inventor: Pil Sang Yoon
  • Patent number: 7570289
    Abstract: An electronic camera includes a CCD imager. A first specific evaluation area is assigned to one end in a horizontal direction of an effective area formed on an imaging surface, and a second specific evaluation area is assigned to the other end in a horizontal direction of the effective area. Also, a first clamp area is assigned in an optical black area in vicinity of the first specific evaluation area, and a second clamp area is assigned in an optical black area in vicinity of the second specific evaluation area. A luminance evaluation circuit obtains a first luminance evaluation value with respect to the first specific evaluation area and obtains a second luminance evaluation value with respect to the second specific evaluation area. In addition, a clamp circuit performs a clamping process on a raw image signal taking note of the first clamp area or the second clamp area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Akira Okasaka
  • Patent number: 7567277
    Abstract: The present invention provides an image pickup device that can accurately adjust the black level value of the effective pixel area while correcting column noise contained in pixel signals of the effective pixel area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Seijiro Inaba, Kenji Tanaka
  • Patent number: 7545418
    Abstract: An image sensor device is provided that has an uncovered imaging array of pixels and a covered global reference non-imaging array of pixels. The pixel samples of the global reference non-imaging array are used to remove noise from the pixel samples of the imaging array. The control signals and control lines that are used to sample the pixels of the imaging array are separate from and independent of the control signals and control lines that are used to sample the pixels of the global reference non-imaging array of pixels. For each row of pixels of the imaging array that is sampled, the same row of pixels of the global reference non-imaging array is sampled. The global reference row has no or very few offsets or variations to ensure that noise removal is performed effectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Inventors: Jeffery Steven Beck, Yan Ping Lim, Ray Alan Mentzer
  • Patent number: 7545427
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus, having an image sensor for sensing an image of an object and an analog-digital converter which operates at a predetermined frequency and converts an analog signal read from the image sensor to a digital signal, controls the relationship between a phase of the analog signal read from the image sensor and a phase of a timing signal for operating the analog-digital converter in accordance with the peripheral condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tatsuyuki Tokunaga
  • Patent number: 7535502
    Abstract: Disclosed is a fault tolerant CMOS image sensor that includes circuitry for identifying defective pixels and masking them during image generation. Masking may involve, in one example, replacing the output of a given pixel with an average of the output of surrounding non-faulty pixels. Thus, while image sensors may be fabricated with some number of faulty pixels, the images produced by such sensors will not have undesirable bright or dark spots. The disclosed sensor includes (a) one or more pixels (active or passive) capable of providing outputs indicative of a quantity of radiation to which each of the one or more pixels has been exposed; and (b) one or more circuit elements electrically coupled to the one or more pixels and configured to identify and correct faulty pixels in the CMOS imager. The one more pixels each include a photodiode diffusion formed in a well and a tap to power or ground also formed in the well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 19, 2009
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics, Inc.
    Inventors: Roberto Rambaldi, Marco Tartagni, Alan H. Kramer
  • Publication number: 20090109305
    Abstract: Embodiments of a process comprising receiving a plurality of offset analog signals, each corresponding to one of a plurality of black pixels in a pixel array; obtaining a corresponding digital value for each offset analog signal; computing an average of the digital values; and computing a black-level offset that, if applied to the digital values, would make the average of the digital values equal to a target value. Also disclosed are embodiments of an apparatus comprising an analog-to-digital converter coupled to an analog channel to receive offset analog black pixel signals from the analog channel and to obtain a corresponding digital value for each offset analog signal; circuitry and logic coupled to the analog-to-digital converter to average the digital values corresponding to the black pixels and compute a black-level offset that, if applied to the digital values of the black pixels, would make the average of the digital values of the black pixels equal to a target value.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 31, 2007
    Publication date: April 30, 2009
    Inventors: Tiejun Dai, Xiaodong Luo, Xiangchen Xu
  • Patent number: 7522199
    Abstract: An imaging device provided with a read circuit in which a light-shielding region is formed in a part of an image region where a plurality of optical/electrical conversion devices is two-dimensionally arrayed in the row and column directions and which converts a optically detected signal outputted from each of the optical/electrical conversion devices for each of the column into a digital signal, comprises a storage device for storing the outputted digital signal outputted in relation with the optical/electrical conversion device in the light-shielding region and a difference calculation device for calculating a difference between the outputted digital signal in relation with the optical/electrical conversion device in a light-receiving region except the light-shielding region and a value stored in the storage device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited
    Inventors: Jun Funakoshi, Katsuyoshi Yamamoto, Asao Kokubo, Toshitaka Mizuguchi, Tsuyoshi Higuchi
  • Patent number: 7471842
    Abstract: A pixel value array is provided, which includes an examined pixel value. Several reference pixel values are each subtracted from the examined pixel value to obtain several differences. The sampling pixels of these reference pixel values are spatially adjacent to the sampling pixel of the examined pixel value. The reference and examined pixel values represent the same color. The differences are compared with a reference value. When the absolute values of the differences are all greater than the reference value, the examined pixel value is determined as being wrong.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 30, 2008
    Assignee: Via Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Don Wu, C M Chien
  • Patent number: 7443432
    Abstract: A circuit and method for correcting for power supply voltage noise using two dummy pixels in each row of pixels of an imager having a number of pixels arranged in rows and columns are described. The dummy pixels are driven by the same power supply as the active pixels but do not have the capability to sense light energy. The first dummy pixel is read at the time the active pixels in a row are reset and stores a signal in a first dummy register related to the voltage level of the power supply at the time the active pixels are reset. The second dummy pixel is read at the time the active pixels in the row are read and stores a signal in a second dummy register related to the voltage level of the power supply at the time the active pixels are read. The signals in the first storage register and second storage register can then be used to correct the signals from the active pixels in the row for the effect of noise caused by power supply voltage level fluctuations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Assignee: Digital Imaging Systems GmbH
    Inventor: Taner Dosluoglu
  • Patent number: 7432965
    Abstract: A black level correcting device includes: an A/D converting section converting a result of subtracting a feedback signal from an input pixel signal into a pixel value to be output; and a feedback controlling section generating the feedback signal and having a holding section, a feedback gain adjusting section, etc. The holding section clamps a maintaining level to the level of the feedback signal while pixel signals of OB pixels are output, and maintains and outputs the maintaining level while pixel signals of valid pixels are output. The feedback gain adjusting section multiplies the feedback signal by clamp accelerating gain in synchronization with starting readout of the pixel signals from the OB pixels. Accordingly, clamp time of the holding section is shortened, enabling stabilization of the maintaining level at a convergence level before starting readout of the pixel signals from the valid pixels. Consequently, a sag can be reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2008
    Assignee: Nikon Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshizo Mori
  • Patent number: 7427740
    Abstract: An image sensor comprises an active pixel region that includes a plurality of unit pixels arranged in a matrix pattern, a first optical black region formed adjacent to the active pixel region, wherein a plurality of shaded unit pixels are arranged therein, a drain region formed adjacent to the first optical black region, the drain region discharging excess electrons generated in the active pixel region, and a second optical black region formed adjacent to the drain region, wherein another plurality of the shaded unit pixels are arranged therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sun-Yong Park, Jun-Taek Lee
  • Patent number: 7408579
    Abstract: In a solid-state imaging device, bus lines are provided at both sides of an imaging area vertically to send vertical-transfer clock pulses to shunt wires disposed on or over the imaging area at both ends of the signal lines of the shunt wires. Bus lines disposed closer to a horizontal transfer register are placed at a boundary area of the imaging area and the horizontal transfer register. Since the bus lines pass through an upper layer of the boundary area, imaging performed by light receiving elements is not performed but dummy pixels having almost the same structure as the light receiving sections are disposed and vertical transfer registers are provided in the boundary area to just transfer signal charges by the vertical transfer registers with a characteristic similar to that in the imaging area to the horizontal transfer register.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2008
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Naoki Nishi
  • Patent number: 7391449
    Abstract: For each current image output from a pixel matrix, the digital words relative to at least one masked line of the matrix are processed to generate a current correction digital code. From this code, a black level compensation signal is generated and applied as an offset control on pixel signal amplification. If the current correct digital code does not differ from the code calculated for a previous image output by a predetermined amount, then the code for the previous image is instead used to generate the black level compensation signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 17, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics S.A.
    Inventor: Laurent Simony
  • Patent number: 7391454
    Abstract: An image sensor controller and methods achieve faster image reading speeds by controlling the frequency of image sensor transfer clocks ?1, ?2 in accordance with the particular output period. Such an image sensor controller includes a drive controller that supplies to a transfer section of the image sensor transfer clocks ?1, ?2 whose clock frequency during dummy pixel output periods is faster than it is during an effective pixel output period, or whose clock frequency during non-reading pixel output periods is faster than it is during a reading pixel output period. A pattern selector selects among clock patterns in a table for setting ?1, ?2 according to the output periods of the image sensor. Even when the clock frequency of ?1, ?2 changes, a transfer clock ADCK signal can be supplied at a constant clock frequency to an A/D converter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2008
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventors: Kenji Kimura, Eiji Satake
  • Patent number: 7388609
    Abstract: Rather than storing a table within a digital camera or other optical device of defective pixels within its image sensor, defective pixels are dynamically identified by comparing the output values of individual pixels under test with those of neighboring pixels. If the neighbors are all above or below the pixel under test by a defined threshold amount, the output of the pixel under test is replaced with a value calculated from the outputs of neighboring pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2008
    Assignee: Zoran Corporation
    Inventors: Victor Pinto, Diana Shaposhnik
  • Patent number: 7385636
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a plurality of pixels for capturing incident light that is converted to a signal representing an image; wherein noise is combined with a signal representing both the image and a reset level; a plurality of dark reference pixels that generate noise that substantially correspond or equally correspond to the noise in the image and reset level; and a sample and hold circuit that reads out the image signal and cancels or substantially cancels out the noise from the image signal and reset level by canceling the noise from image and reset level with the noise generated from the dark reference pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 30, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2008
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Weize Xu
  • Publication number: 20080117317
    Abstract: An active pixel sensor array includes an imaging sensor subarray, a first reference subarray positioned on a first side of the imaging sensor subarray. The first reference subarray includes a first reference column line. A second reference subarray is positioned on a second side of the imaging subarray. The second reference subarray includes a second reference column line that is electrically coupled to the first reference column line to generate a common reference signal from the first and second reference subarrays. The active pixel sensor array may be a CMOS image sensor and each reference subarray may include a plurality of column lines associated with a plurality of columns of pixels.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 17, 2006
    Publication date: May 22, 2008
    Inventor: Ray Alan Mentzer
  • Patent number: 7324072
    Abstract: A display device having a display matrix including a pixel border of width x and located around the edge locations of the matrix for improved viewability. The pixels of the border are “dummy pixels” each containing a red, a green and a blue subpixel. Each subpixel has a color filter and is manufactured with a “dummy” transistor which operates to fix open the subpixels thereby allowing a predetermined amount of “white” color brightness through the dummy pixels. The pixel border is useful for increasing viewability of characters that are displayed along the edge of the LCD matrix area in which images are generated from a frame buffer memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2008
    Assignee: Palm, Inc.
    Inventors: Francis James Canova, Jr., Katherine Noesen, Richard Blair
  • Patent number: 7321329
    Abstract: An electronic apparatus includes a CMOS image sensor and a signal processor operable to process an output signal from the CMOS image sensor. The CMOS image sensor includes the following elements: an imaging region; a reference signal generator operable to generate a reference signal; a comparator operable to compare the reference signal generated by the reference signal generator with a signal transmitted from the imaging region; a counter operable to count, in parallel with comparison performed by the comparator, a predetermined count clock and to hold a count value at the time of completion of comparison performed by the comparator; and a reference signal supply interface unit operable to supply the reference signal generated by the reference signal generator to a plurality of comparators via different signal lines, respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2008
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Takayuki Tooyama, Atsushi Suzuki, Noriyuki Fukushima, Yukihiro Yasui, Yoshikazu Nitta
  • Publication number: 20080012966
    Abstract: An image sensor device is provided that has an uncovered imaging array of pixels and a covered global reference non-imaging array of pixels. The pixel samples of the global reference non-imaging array are used to remove noise from the pixel samples of the imaging array. The control signals and control lines that are used to sample the pixels of the imaging array are separate from and independent of the control signals and control lines that are used to sample the pixels of the global reference non-imaging array of pixels. For each row of pixels of the imaging array that is sampled, the same row of pixels of the global reference non-imaging array is sampled. The global reference row has no or very few offsets or variations to ensure that noise removal is performed effectively.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 17, 2006
    Publication date: January 17, 2008
    Inventors: Jeffery Steven Beck, Yan Ping Lim, Ray Alan Mentzer
  • Patent number: 7304673
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a plurality of photosensitive sites which convert incident light into a charge for forming a bounded array of active imaging pixels; one or more substitutional pixels sites arranged in predetermined locations and interspersed amongst the boundary of the array of active imaging pixels; wherein the substitutional pixels are of a different design from the active imaging pixels which provides data, information or function different from the active pixels for improving performance, operation, manufacture, and/or assembly of the image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2003
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2007
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Herbert J. Erhardt, David N. Nichols
  • Patent number: 7298403
    Abstract: An image reading device ready to operate at higher speed is built as an IC chip having a plurality of processing sections, of which each has a plurality of image reading photoelectric conversion elements, a plurality of transistors for reading a photoelectric conversion signal from the image reading photoelectric conversion elements, a signal selection circuit for sequentially selecting the plurality of transistors, and a signal output line by way of which the photoelectric conversion signal is transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2007
    Assignee: Rohm Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Toshimitsu Tamagawa
  • Patent number: 7292213
    Abstract: A method and device for repairing defective pixels of a liquid crystal display panel. First, examine the liquid crystal panel to obtain the locations of defective pixels on a liquid crystal display. Next, input a pixel signal wherein the pixel signal further comprises a pixel brightness signal used to control a pixel with a first brightness according to the pixel signal. When the pixel signal is used to be inputted to the defective pixel, the pixel brightness signal of the pixel signal will be replaced by a default brightness signal wherein the default brightness signal controls the pixel with a second brightness. Of which, the second brightness, whose level of brightness is of complete darkness for instance, is dimmer than the first brightness. At last, output pixel signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2007
    Assignee: Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp.
    Inventor: Chien-Ching Shen
  • Patent number: 7271833
    Abstract: Intentionally defective pixels, whose number exceeds a storage capacity of a memory for defect correction, are formed in a predetermined pattern in an image pickup device. There is a plurality of patterns of the defective pixels, each being unique to each camera (image pickup device). An ID of the camera for specifying the pattern is read and defect pattern data corresponding to the ID of the camera is retrieved. Image data is read and the intentionally defective pixels are corrected based on the retrieved defect pattern data. Since the number of the intentionally defective pixels exceeds the storage capacity of the memory for defect correction, the image data cannot be reproduced in a normal manner when the defect pattern data corresponding to the pattern of the intentionally defective pixels cannot be retrieved. Thus, the image pickup device of the camera cannot be used in another image pickup apparatus by a third party.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2007
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventors: Koji Kubota, Naoki Kubo
  • Patent number: 7256383
    Abstract: An optical sensor circuit has a first optical sensor that outputs a signal according to the amount of received light on an opened light-receiving surface, a second optical sensor that is provided near the first optical sensor and outputs a signal according to the amount of received light on a shielded light-receiving surface, and a difference calculating circuit that calculates a difference between the output signal of the first optical sensor and the output signal of the second optical sensor and outputs the difference.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 14, 2007
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Tokuro Ozawa
  • Patent number: 7235773
    Abstract: A system and method for calibration and compensation of a visual sensor system. The visual sensor system includes dark pixels adjacent active pixels on a CCD imaging array, which provide dark current data corresponding to image response data. Concurrently, the temperature of the focal plane of the CCD is measured by one or more temperature sensors disposed on the array. Concurrently, the temperature of a circuit board including a processor is measured by one or more temperature sensors arranged on the circuit board. The image response data, dark current data, and circuit board and focal plane temperatures are used to compensate the image response data.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 12, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2007
    Assignee: ITT Manufacturing Enterprises, Inc.
    Inventor: John W. Newman
  • Patent number: 7196725
    Abstract: In an X-ray film image reading apparatus, dark output distribution data of a CCD line sensor is corrected by using correction data. In order to suppress the influence of random noises on the correction data, a dark distribution correction data calculation circuit 10 calculates an average value or mode value of dark distribution outputs of all or some pixels of a CCD line sensor or a dark distribution output of the CCD line sensor subjected to a spatial low-pass filtering process, and stores it in a dark distribution memory as correction data. Next, a light source is turned on, and a subtractor subtracts the stored correction data from an output of the line sensor read from an X-ray film while the light source is turned on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2007
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akio Saigusa, Hitoshi Inoue
  • Patent number: 7154078
    Abstract: The present invention provides an improved column readout circuitry and method of operation which minimizes substrate and other common mode noise during a read out operation. The circuit improves the consistency of the pixel to pixel output of the pixel array and increases the dynamic range of the pixel output. This is accomplished by obtaining a differential readout of the reset signal and integrated charge signal from a desired pixel along with the reset signal and charge signal from a reference circuit. In this manner common mode noise can be minimized by a combination of signals from the desired and reference pixels in the sample and hold aspect of the column circuitry. In one exemplary embodiment of the invention, a 3T pixel arrangement is used. In another exemplary embodiment, a 4T arrangement is used. Additional exemplary embodiments provide differential column readout circuitry that can be used with any two signal sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: December 26, 2006
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Sandor L. Barna, Alex Krymski
  • Patent number: 7151568
    Abstract: A displacement sensor comprising an imaging unit and an image processing unit. The imaging unit comprises a two dimensional imaging device and a drive control unit. The two dimensional imaging device includes a group of light receiving pixels arranged in a matrix so as to correspond to a field of view of a standard imaging unit, a plurality of vertical shift registers corresponding to different columns of the pixels, and a horizontal register for receiving the outputs of the vertical shift registers from top stages thereof, a photosensitive pixel region being defined in a prescribed horizontal band having a sufficiently narrower width than that would be provided by the total number of horizontal lines and interposed between a front optically black pixel region and a back optically black pixel region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2006
    Assignee: Omron Corporation
    Inventors: Masahiro Kawachi, Michitoshi Okada, Koji Shimada, Hitoshi Oba, Satoshi Yoneda
  • Patent number: 7148524
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device including a plurality of light receiving sections; a pixel area vertical transfer register section for transferring, column by column, charges generated by the plurality of light receiving sections; a dummy area vertical transfer register section for transferring, column by column in the vertical direction, the charges which have been transferred by the pixel area vertical transfer register section, the dummy area vertical transfer register section providing a control such that the transfer of the charges of at least one of the plurality of columns is performed in the same manner as the charges in the other columns in one case, and in a different manner from the transfer of the charges in the other columns in another case; and a horizontal transfer register section for transferring, in a horizontal direction, the charges which have been transferred from the dummy area vertical transfer register section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 12, 2006
    Assignee: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takehiko Ozumi
  • Patent number: 7084912
    Abstract: A technique for the reduction of coherent row-wise and column-wise fixed-pattern noise in MOS image sensing systems. An array of reference pixels is associated with each row of imaging pixels. The output of each imaging pixel is coupled through a respective imaging column amplifier to a column multiplexer, thereby constituting an imaging pixel signal. In one embodiment, the output of each of a number of reference pixels is coupled to a respective reference column amplifier and from there to a reference multiplexer. The reference multiplexer effects a pseudorandom selection from the outputs of the reference column amplifiers to form a reference signal. The reference signal and the column output are differentially coupled to the remainder of the analog signal path. Synthesis of the reference signal as described above distributes row-wise and column-wise noise randomly, thereby mitigating the effects of coherent noise and enhancing image quality.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Inventor: Yuen-Shung Chieh
  • Patent number: 7081608
    Abstract: An imager in which two adjacent pixels share row and reset lines and a row selection circuitry while the output transistors of the two pixels are configured as a differential amplifier. In operation, both pixels are reset at the same time, causing differential reset signals to be output from the amplifier. The charge from the first pixel is readout and a differential pixel signal for the first pixel is output from the amplifier. Because the reset and pixel signals are differential signals generated within the pixels, they are free from common-mode noise. Correlated double sampling can be used to obtain the pixel output value, which is also free from common-mode noise, from the differential reset and pixel signals. The second pixel may be readout in the same manner. Because the two pixels are sharing circuitry, the pixels have decreased fill factor and complexity as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2006
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Nikolai E. Bock
  • Patent number: 7050098
    Abstract: In processing an image signal output from an image sensing unit which includes a plurality of image sensing regions constructing one frame and a plurality of output terminals in one-to-one correspondence with the plurality of image sensing regions, and which outputs, from each of the plurality of output terminals, an image signal pertaining to image sensing in a corresponding image sensing region and a dummy image signal concerning the corresponding image sensing region, offset differences between a plurality of image signals output from the plurality of output terminals are reduced on the basis of a plurality of dummy image signals output from the plurality of output terminals. The plurality of dummy image signals are independent of electric charge obtained from photoelectric converters of the image sensing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2006
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yusuke Shirakawa, Shinichi Hagiwara
  • Patent number: 7002498
    Abstract: The analog demultiplexer (FIG. 6) includes an input amplifier (A1), and output amplifiers (AMP1–AMPN). The output and inverting (?) input of amplifiers (AMP1–AMPN) are connected by a respective capacitor (C1–CN). Switches (S1a, S1b, etc.) connect the output of amplifier (A1) to the inverting input of one of (AMP1–AMPN). Switches (S2a, S2b, etc.) connect the output of one of (AMP1–AMPN) to the non-inverting input of the amplifier A1. Switches (S2a, S2b, etc.) and (S1a, S1b, etc.) open and close together in pairs. With feedback from the output of (AMP1–AMPN) through (A1), the gain and any offset of (AMP1–AMPN) is divided down by the gain of (A1). Amplifier (A1) has capacitors (CS1 and CS2) connected to its inputs. Switch (S50) connects the inverting input of amplifier (A1) to its output, and switch (S40) connects the non-inverting input of (A1) to a voltage reference (VREF) matching (VREF) applied to (AMP2). Switches (S30) and (S35) connect (CS1) and (CS2) to the demultiplexer input (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2006
    Assignee: Elantec Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventor: Chor-Yin Chia
  • Patent number: 6980242
    Abstract: A solid-state image sensing device comprising a photoelectric converter portion, a solid-state image sensor, and a controlling means. The photoelectric converter portion has a plurality of photoelectric converters arranged in two dimensions on a semiconductor substrate. The solid-state image sensor vertically transfers charges, transferred from the photoelectric converter portion, at separate times of first transfer and second transfer. Further, the photoelectric converter portion has a vertical transfer portion, in which first and fourth gates are provided for odd-numbered photoelectric converters, and second and third gates are provided for even-numbered photoelectric converters, and a horizontal transfer portion for horizontally transferring charges transferred from the vertical transfer portion. The controlling means supplies the vertical transfer portion with vertical transfer pulses and the horizontal transfer portion with horizontal transfer pulses.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2005
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Hiromasa Funakoshi, Ryoji Asada, Kazumasa Motoda
  • Patent number: 6970193
    Abstract: An image pickup apparatus including: CCD image pickup device; a correction reference signal generating section for generating a correction reference signal for correcting effective image signals of the image pickup device from output signals of a vertical optical black pixel portion of the image pickup device; an image signal correcting section for subtracting the correction reference signal from an effective image signal; and CCD driver having a plurality of drive modes for driving the image pickup device to read pixel charges as output signals; wherein, when generating the reference signal, said correction reference signal generating section performs different types of reference signal generation processing corresponding to the plurality of drive modes of the CCD driver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2005
    Assignee: Olympus Optical Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masami Kidono, Hideaki Yoshida
  • Patent number: 6961029
    Abstract: A display device having a display matrix including a pixel border of width x and located around the edge locations of the matrix for improved viewability. In particular, the border can be several pixels wide, e.g., 1<x<5. In one embodiment, the border is two pixels wide and surrounds a liquid crystal display (LCD) matrix area in which images are generated from a frame buffer memory. In one embodiment, the pixels of the border are “dummy pixels” each containing a red, a green and a blue subpixel. Each subpixel has a color filter and is manufactured with a “dummy” transistor which operates to fix open the subpixels thereby allowing a predetermined amount of “white” color brightness through the dummy pixels. In one implementation, the brightness amount is approximately 80–95 percent of the saturation brightness for the display screen.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2005
    Assignee: Palm, Inc.
    Inventors: Francis James Canova, Jr., Katherine Noesen, Richard Blair
  • Patent number: 6919551
    Abstract: The present invention provides an improved column readout circuitry and method of operation which minimizes substrate and other common mode noise during a read out operation. The circuit improves the consistency of the pixel to pixel output of the pixel array and increases the dynamic range of the pixel output. This is accomplished by obtaining a differential readout of the reset signal and integrated charge signal from a desired pixel along with the reset signal and charge signal from a reference circuit. In this manner common mode noise can be minimized by a combination of signals from the desired and reference pixels in the sample and hold aspect of the column circuitry. In one exemplary embodiment of the invention, a 3T pixel arrangement is used. In another exemplary embodiment, a 4T arrangement is used. Additional exemplary embodiments provide differential column readout circuitry that can be used with any two signal sources.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2005
    Assignee: Micron Technology Inc.
    Inventors: Sandor L. Barna, Alex Krymski
  • Patent number: 6903768
    Abstract: In a solid state image sensor device comprising a cell area wherein unit cells each having photoelectric diodes are arranged in a matrix form on a semiconductor substrate, the cell area being composed of a photo-sensitive pixel region for sensing an image, and an optical black pixel region for defining an optical black level, and a vertical shift register for selecting the unit cells of the image sensing cell array, in a group along each of horizontal lines, and vertical signal lines, each of which reads each of signals from the unit cells selected by turning on an address register by means of the vertical shift register, the vertical signal lines in the optical black pixel region are connected with each other through a wiring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2005
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Shinji Ohsawa, Yukio Endo, Yoshitaka Egawa
  • Patent number: 6897800
    Abstract: The analog demultiplexer (FIG. 6) includes an input amplifier (A1), and output amplifiers (AMP1-AMPN). The output and inverting (?) input of amplifiers (AMP1-AMPN) are connected by a respective capacitor (C1-CN). Switches (S1a, S1b, etc.) connect the output of amplifier (A1) to the inverting input of one of (AMP1-AMPN). Switches (S2a, S2b, etc.) connect the output of one of (AMP1-AMPN) to the non-inverting input of the amplifier A1. Switches (S2a, S2b, etc.) and (S1a, S1b, etc.) open and close together in pairs. With feedback from the output of (AMP1-AMPN) through (A1), the gain and any offset of (AMP1-AMPN) is divided down by the gain of (A1). Amplifier (A1) has capacitors (CS1 and CS2) connected to its inputs. Switch (S50) connects the inverting input of amplifier (A1) to its output, and switch (S40) connects the non-inverting input of (A1) to a voltage reference (VREF) matching (VREF) applied to (AMP2). Switches (S30) and (S35) connect (CS1) and (CS2) to the demultiplexer input (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2005
    Assignee: Elantec Semiconductor, Inc.
    Inventor: Chor-Yin Chia
  • Patent number: 6885397
    Abstract: A process for correcting noise level of an image detector including photosensitive points arranged in rows and in columns. Within each row, the points are distributed into detector points and into corrector points. The detector points deliver a measurement value dependent on a luminous cue to which they are exposed. The corrector points deliver a dark value serving in the correction of the measurement values. Within at least one row, the detector points are distributed into at least two groups and the measurement values are corrected with a first or a second correction value depending on the group from which they originate. Such a process may find application to digitized-image detectors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 1998
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2005
    Assignee: Trixell S.A.S.
    Inventor: Thierry Ducourant
  • Publication number: 20040233305
    Abstract: A shading correction circuit of the present invention includes an image pickup device having photo detectors arranged on its receptive surface, and a shading correction part for performing shading correction on an output signal of the image pickup device. The image pickup device has an effective pixel area and an upper optical black part. The shading correction part has a correction coefficient generating part and a correction processing part. The correction coefficient generating part thereof extracts shading variation according to an output of the upper optical black part, and generates a correction coefficient for the shading variation. The correction processing part thereof performs shading correction on an image signal by using the correction coefficient generated by the correction coefficient generating part.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 12, 2004
    Publication date: November 25, 2004
    Applicant: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Akihiko Morishita
  • Patent number: 6774941
    Abstract: The reduced signal-to-noise ratio of colored pixels that results from a lower conversion efficiency is eliminated by utilizing a programmable gain amplifier which individually applies a gain to the output of each colored pixel so that the maximum signal level of each colored pixel is matched to the maximum input range of an A/D converter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1999
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2004
    Assignee: National Semiconductor Corporation
    Inventors: David Michael Boisvert, Andrew Kenneth John McMahon
  • Publication number: 20040150730
    Abstract: An electronic device controller includes an image sensor controller that controls an image sensor having an effective pixel region and a dummy pixel region, and a servo controller that performs servo control on a drive device that drives a carriage on which the image sensor is mounted. The servo controller performs the servo control based on servo control information (for speed control, initial position detection) read by some or all of the dummy pixel region of the image sensor. Alternatively, the servo control may be performed based on servo control information read by one or more separate sensors mounted on the carriage with the image sensor. Moreover, speed servo control may be performed according to speed control ranges based on servo control information for each speed range.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 18, 2003
    Publication date: August 5, 2004
    Inventors: Eiji Satake, Kenji Kimura
  • Patent number: 6768512
    Abstract: A method of bad pixel correction for an image sensor. The image sensor has a plurality of rows, and each row includes at least one dark pixel on both ends of the row and valid pixels. The method comprises the steps of inserting a dummy value with a bad pixel flag into a first in first out (FIFO), wherein the dummy value is used for replacing a value of the dark pixel; determining whether a control signal is asserted, wherein the control signal is used for indicating that a current pixel is the valid pixels when the control signal is asserted; writing the values of the valid pixels into the FIFO when the control signal is asserted; determining whether the control signal is deasserted; and inserting a dummy value with a bad pixel flag into the FIFO when the control signal is deasserted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2004
    Assignee: Vanguard International Semiconductor Corp.
    Inventor: Ming-Tsun Hsieh
  • Patent number: 6750912
    Abstract: A shared output visible imager pixel array combines a high optical fill factor with low read noise. A relatively small group of pixels are connected to a relatively short common bus line. An amplifier located in close proximity with the pixels is connected to the common bus line and shared among the pixels. By reducing the amount of amplifier circuitry associated with each pixel, the optical fill factor is increased. Also, since the bus line is relatively short, the bus capacitance is much lower relative to the traditional passive-pixel designs. On average, the transistor count per pixel can be less than two, for large arrays.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: ESS Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: William E. Tennant, Lester Kozlowski, Alfredo Tomasini