In Charge Coupled Type Sensor Patents (Class 348/249)
  • Patent number: 10475835
    Abstract: A semiconductor device structure for sensing an incident light includes a substrate, a wiring structure, and at least one passivation layer. The substrate has a device. The at least one passivation layer is disposed above the wiring structure. The at least one passivation layer includes a plurality of microstructures, and each of the microstructures has a cross-section in a shape of a triangle, trapezoid or arc. The wiring structure is disposed below the at least one passivation layer. A method for manufacturing the semiconductor device structure is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yi-Ping Pan, Hung-Jen Hsu
  • Patent number: 9993140
    Abstract: The endoscopic arrangement (10) is provided with a plurality of image sensors (11), a distal end (10a) and a proximal end (10b). Each of the image sensors is arranged to generate a proper sensor clock, which can be influenced by control electronics at the proximal end of the endoscope arrangement so that such sensor, or a plurality of such sensors, can be operated synchronously with each other or synchronously with a clock set externally. The control electronics is provided with mechanism for detecting the sensor clock and/or the sensor frame rate and/or the sensor image phase and adjusting the detected information to a reference clock.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 12, 2018
    Assignee: AWAIBA CONSULTADORIA, DESENVOLVIMENTO E COMÉRCIO DE COMPONENTES MICROELECTRÓNICOS, UNIPESSOAL, LDA
    Inventor: Martin Wany
  • Patent number: 9788709
    Abstract: An endoscope system comprising an image signal acquisition unit acquiring an image signal by imaging a subject, and an irregularity image generation unit generating an irregularity image by extracting information of irregularities on the subject, the irregularity image generation unit includes a microstructure image generation section generating a microstructure image as the irregularity image by extracting a microstructure of a body tissue surface layer from the image signal, the image signal including image signals of a plurality of colors having information of different wavelength components, the microstructure image generation section includes a first brightness signal generation section generating a brightness signal showing an average brightness of the subject based on the image signals of the plurality of colors, and a first image generation section generating the microstructure image by extracting a pixel region, in which a pixel value exceeds a fixed threshold value, of the brightness signal as a mic
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Satoshi Ozawa, Takayuki Iida
  • Patent number: 9197826
    Abstract: Charges accumulated in pixels contained in one or a plurality of readout object rows that form a partial region of a photodetecting region are selectively read out in each of the L times (L is an integer not less than 2) of imaging frames, and in each of the L times of imaging frames, resetting of charges accumulated in pixels contained in only a part of non-readout object rows is performed, as well as, resetting is performed at least once in a period of the L times of imaging frames for each of the two or more non-readout object rows. Accordingly, a control method for a solid-state imaging element capable of reducing the time required per one imaging frame and reducing load on the peripheral circuit when selectively reading out charges accumulated in pixels in a partial region of the photodetecting region is realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: HAMAMATSU PHOTONICS K.K.
    Inventors: Kazuki Fujita, Ryuji Kyushima, Harumichi Mori
  • Patent number: 9053530
    Abstract: A method for replacing image data in a destination region that is divided into sub-pieces along one or more cutting paths, which start and end at two different points on the border, and finding replacement data for the sub-pieces. The cutting paths may be determined as a function of the type of image structured at the start and the end points. The cutting paths may also be determined as a function of the area of the sub-pieces and the lengths of the cutting paths. Optionally, the destination region may be determined by a spot detection algorithm. Further optionally, the spot detection algorithm may comprise calculation of a high pass filter, or detection of areas of luminosity and border-to-volume ratios. A method for moving an image element within an image is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 27, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2015
    Assignee: Google Inc.
    Inventor: Nils Kokemohr
  • Publication number: 20150103213
    Abstract: A device and a method for reducing a smear effect. The device comprises an image sensing module and a smear reduction module. The image sensing module captures an image and optical black data generated from the optical area of the image sensing module. The smear reduction module searches the optical black data generated in the lower boundary of the optical black area corresponding to which generated in the upper boundary of the optical black area according to coordinates of the optical black data. Thereby, the smear reduction module can compute an offset line representing an offset of the optical black data, and the smear reduction module compensates the smear effect occurring in the image.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2014
    Publication date: April 16, 2015
    Inventors: Che-Lun Chuang, Chung-Ta Wu, Hsin-Te Wang, Yi-Hsien Lin
  • Patent number: 9007491
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus obtains a black image captured in the light-shielded state, and applies a cyclic type filter to each line in a direction parallel to the streak in the black image, reducing random noise in the first direction. The image processing apparatus deletes, from a black image obtained by applying the cyclic type filter, lines in the second direction by the group delay of the cyclic type filter. Further, the image processing apparatus generates an image having a line count corresponding to the group delay by using a final line in the second direction in the image from which lines corresponding to the group delay have been deleted. The image processing apparatus adds the generated image to the image from which lines corresponding to the group delay have been deleted, and outputs the resultant image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ogino, Yuji Koide
  • Patent number: 9001214
    Abstract: A method, system and reference target for estimating spectral data on a selected one of three spectral information types is disclosed. Spectral information types comprise illumination of a scene, spectral sensitivity of an imager imaging the scene and reflectance of a surface in the scene. The method comprises obtaining a ranking order for plural sensor responses produced by the imager, each sensor responses being produced from a reference target in the scene, obtaining, from an alternate source, data on the other two spectral information types, determining a set of constraints, the set including, for each sequential pair combination of sensor responses when taken in said ranking order, a constraint determined in dependence on the ranking and on the other two spectral information types for the respective sensor responses and, in dependence on the ranking order and on the set of constraints, determining said spectral data that optimally satisfies said constraints.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: University of East Anglia
    Inventor: Graham Finlayson
  • Publication number: 20150009370
    Abstract: An image system is provided. The system comprises: a pixel unit configured to have a plurality of pixels, each of the plurality of pixels including at least a white pixel; a crosstalk amount calculating unit configured to calculate an evaluation value of crosstalk amount included in an output signal from a pixel to be corrected in the pixel unit; a crosstalk correction coefficient calculating unit configured to calculate a crosstalk correction coefficient based on the evaluation value output from the crosstalk amount calculating unit; and a crosstalk correcting unit configured to eliminate crosstalk amount included in the output signal of the pixel to be corrected, using the crosstalk correction coefficient.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 25, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Inventor: Masanori KASAI
  • Patent number: 8917324
    Abstract: In an image capturing and processing system, a device and method is provided. The lens is made of simple lens with high diffractive materials and known strong color aberrations. The method includes the steps of: calibrating or measuring a Point Spread Function (PSF) for each color components at a set of distances, capturing image data, and calculating the image obtained using a de-convolution method based on the PSF found.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2014
    Inventor: Jennifer Jinghan Yu
  • Patent number: 8823844
    Abstract: An imaging device includes a micro lens that collects light from a subject, a light sensing element that generates a signal for performing focusing determination through phase difference detection by sensing subject light collected by the micro lens, and a light blocking portion that is disposed between the micro lens and the light sensing element and performs pupil division for the subject light by blocking a part of the subject light, wherein the light blocking portion is set such that a position of an image forming point of subject light passing through the micro lens and a position of an end portion of the light blocking portion on an entrance side become distant from each other according to a variation in image height.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2014
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Kazuhito Shimoda, Shinichi Fujii
  • Patent number: 8760543
    Abstract: In various embodiments, image sensors include an imaging array of optically active pixels, a dark-reference region of optically inactive pixels, and two light shields disposed over the dark-reference region and having openings therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 24, 2014
    Assignee: Truesense Imaging, Inc.
    Inventors: John P. McCarten, Eric J. Meisenzahl
  • Patent number: 8542300
    Abstract: Methods are disclosed for correcting vertical line streaks in an interline or full-frame CCD. The method includes the step of subtracting an overscan row from each row of a previous image or from each row of a next image, such that each row of the final image contains the same readout smear effect and such that readout overscan rows contain the same smear information as each row of the final image. The method is also described for use with frame transfer CCDs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 24, 2013
    Assignee: Gatan, Inc.
    Inventors: Paul Mooney, Chengye Mao
  • Patent number: 8462236
    Abstract: An image sensor may include a shared memory resource, which can be selectively used by a digital filter for image scaling or by a defect correction circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2013
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (R&D) Ltd.
    Inventor: Justin Richardson
  • Patent number: 8456551
    Abstract: A photographing apparatus including an imaging device configured to obtain a first image of a subject captured with a long shutter exposure time and a second image of the subject captured by setting a short shutter exposure time, wherein the long exposure time is greater than the short exposure time; and a live-view generation unit configured to generate a smear-corrected third image by subtracting pixel values of the second image from the corresponding pixel values of the first image. A smear correction method of a photographing apparatus, the method including capturing a first image of a subject by setting a long electrical shutter exposure time; capturing a second image of a subject by setting a short electrical shutter exposure time; and generating a smear-corrected third image by subtracting pixel values of the second images from the corresponding pixel values of the first image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Byeong-chan Park, Sang-ryoon Son
  • Patent number: 8427559
    Abstract: The invention concerns image data processing, through noise reduction comprising the following steps: associating a learning zone (ZA) with a reference point (Pref) of the image (IM); for each variable point (PC, PC?) of the learning zone, evaluating a distance (d,d?,) between: values of points in a first window (f1) of the image, centered on the reference point, and values of points in a second window (f2, f2,), of similar format as the format of the first window and centered on the variable point; repeating said distance calculation for all the points of the learning zone as successive variable points and estimating an average value to assign to the reference point, said average being weighted on the basis of the distances evaluated for each variable point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignees: France/Ecole Normale Seperieure de Cachan, France and Universitat de les Illes Balears, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CNRS
    Inventors: Jean-Michel Morel, Bartomeu Coll, Antonio Buades
  • Patent number: 8427568
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a solid-state image pickup device, including a pixel, the pixel including: a light receiving section; a charge transfer path; a transfer electrode; a readout gate section; and a readout electrode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 23, 2013
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Takeda
  • Patent number: 8314864
    Abstract: A horizontal evaluation data generation section calculates an average value of pixel signals in a vertical optical black region based on given pixel data in the horizontal optical black region and outputs the calculated average value to an evaluation section. A vertical evaluation data generation section calculates an average value of pixel signals in a vertical optical black region based on given pixel data in the vertical optical black region and outputs the calculated average value to the evaluation section. The evaluation section outputs a gain value according to the difference between the two sent average values to a computing section. A smear information memory stores pixel signals in a line in the vertical optical black region. The computing section multiplies the pixel data stored in the smear information memory by the sent gain value, and subtracts the multiplied pixel data from the pixel data imaged by the CCD.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2012
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshihiko Yoshida, Kazuyuki Kurosawa
  • Patent number: 8253825
    Abstract: The invention concerns image data processing, through noise reduction comprising the following steps: associating a learning zone (ZA) with a reference point (Pref) of the image (IM); for each variable point (PC, PC?,) of the learning zone, evaluating a distance (d, d?,) between: values of points in a first window (f1) of the image, centered on the reference point, and values of points in a second window (f2, f?2,), of similar format as the format of the first window and centered on the variable point; repeating said distance calculation for all the points of the learning zone as successive variable points and estimating an average value to assign to the reference point, said average being weighted on the basis of the distances evaluated for each variable point.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2005
    Date of Patent: August 28, 2012
    Assignees: France/Ecole Normale Superieure de Cachan, France and Universitat de les Illes Balears, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique-CNRS
    Inventors: Jean-Michel Morel, Bartomeu Coll, Antonio Buades
  • Patent number: 8218036
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus including an image sensor that performs photoelectric conversion and outputs an image signal, a subtraction circuit that subtracts a black image signal obtained from the image sensor when the image sensor is shielded from light from a subject image signal obtained from the image sensor when the image sensor is exposed, a setting unit that sets a shooting condition, and a control unit that controls a thinning rate during thinning readout from the image sensor of the black image signal in accordance with the shooting condition set by the setting unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Taro Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 8203632
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes an imaging device operable to convert an optical image input through a focus lens for adjusting focus into electric signals in each of RGB colors, a luminance signal generator operable to generate a luminance signal based on the electric signal output from the imaging device, a low-frequency filter for transmitting low-frequency components of the luminance signal output, which has a frequency lower than a predetermined frequency, a high-frequency filter for transmitting high-frequency components of the luminance signal output, which has a frequency higher than a predetermined frequency, and a processor. The processor determines if focusing is influenced by a subject with high luminance. If determining that focusing is influenced, the unit detects a focal point based on high-frequency components. If determining that focusing is not influenced, the unit detects a focal point based on low-frequency components and then based on high-frequency components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2009
    Date of Patent: June 19, 2012
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Takahiro Mitsui, Toshiyuki Miyamura
  • Patent number: 8189078
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes an image pickup device that images a photogenic subject, a drive part that drives the image pickup device in order to read out image signals from the image pickup device, a digital signal processing part in which image signals outputted from the image pickup device are inputted and processed, one image display part connected to the digital signal processing part and configured to display using one display format a processed image, another image display part connected to the digital signal processing part and configured to display using another display format the processed image and which requires more time for display processing than the time required for display processing by the one display format and an image switch-over part for switching over an image display device between the one image display part and the another image display part.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2008
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventor: Toshiaki Nakahira
  • Patent number: 8189077
    Abstract: A method for reducing smear effects of a dynamic image is for an image sensor. The image sensor converts a shot image picture into image data, and the image data is divided into an effective region, an upper optical black region (UOB), and a lower optical black region (LOB). The method includes capturing two continuous image data to serve as a first frame image and a second frame image; calculating brightness difference values between individual pixels at corresponding pixel positions of the LOB of the first frame image and the UOB of the second frame image; comparing the brightness difference values with a threshold; obtaining positions to be compensated in the UOB of the second frame image, when the UOB of the second frame image requires brightness compensation; and compensating brightness values of pixels in the effective region of the second frame image corresponding to the positions to be compensated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Altek Corporation
    Inventors: Shih-Yuan Peng, Hsin-Te Wang
  • Patent number: 8111308
    Abstract: A signal processing apparatus which is capable of performing a smear amount correction processing suitably according to change in the smear amount to suppress overcorrection of the smear amount. An output value of an image sensor and a smear amount on each of vertical lines of the image sensor are stored, respectively. An output signal value of an optical black portion on the image sensor stored in the first memory is compared with the smear amount stored in the second memory to determine a cyclic coefficient based on the comparison result. The smear amount is calculated based on the output signal value of the optical black portion on the image sensor stored in the first memory, the smear amount stored in the second memory, and the cyclic coefficient determined by the smear detection unit. A correction coefficient is calculated based on the smear amount determined by the smear amount calculating unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 7, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takeshi Suwa
  • Patent number: 7995122
    Abstract: In a solid-state image capturing device including a pixel array arranged in a row direction and a column direction orthogonal thereto, and a vertical register having a plurality of transfer electrodes which serves to read signal charges Qa, Qb, . . . generated by light receipt of each of pixels A, B, . . . and to sequentially transfer the signal charge in the column direction upon receipt of a transfer pulse, an electric potential well for a smear charge is generated and an unnecessary charge q in the vertical register is collected into the electric potential well for a smear charge before the signal charge is read from the pixels A, B, . . . onto the vertical register (a timing t707), an electric potential well for signal charge transfer is then generated and the signal charges Qa, Qb, . . . are read from the pixels A, B, . . .
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2011
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Nobuo Suzuki
  • Patent number: 7990442
    Abstract: An image pickup device having an electron multiplying-charge coupled device includes a control unit for controlling an electron multiplication factor of the electron multiplying-charge coupled device; an obtaining unit for obtaining signals output from predetermined pixels of the electron multiplying-charge coupled device; and an averaging unit for performing an inter-line averaging process of the signals obtained by the obtaining unit. The device further includes a suppression unit for performing low-level and high-level suppressions on the signal averaged by the averaging unit based on the electron multiplication factor of the electron multiplication factor control unit; an acquisition unit for acquiring image signals output from the pixels other than the predetermined pixels of the electron multiplying-charge coupled device; and a subtractor for subtracting the signal suppressed by the suppression unit from the image signals acquired by the acquisition unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2008
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2011
    Assignee: Hitachi Kokusai Electric Inc.
    Inventor: Tetsuya Shibasaki
  • Patent number: 7956389
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes: a semiconductor substrate; photoelectric conversion elements; vertical charge transfer paths that transfer charges generated in photoelectric conversion elements, in a vertical direction; a horizontal charge transfer path that transfers the charges transferred in vertical charge transfer paths, in a horizontal direction orthogonal to the vertical direction; a plurality of charge accumulating sections between the vertical charge transfer paths and the horizontal charge transfer path; a plurality of electrodes disposed above the respective charge accumulating sections, the plurality of electrodes being classified into a plurality of kinds of electrodes; wirings corresponding to the respective kinds of electrodes and extending in the horizontal direction above the plurality of electrodes; and a planarizing layer disposed between the wirings and an uneven surface caused by the plurality of electrodes that are present in areas overlapping the wirings, so as to planarize the u
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2011
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventors: Hirokazu Shiraki, Katsumi Ikeda
  • Patent number: 7944489
    Abstract: A solid-state image-capturing device which has built in an image-capturing area including a light receiving element provided on a semiconductor substrate, a substrate bias circuit, and a clamp circuit for receiving output of the substrate bias circuit and applying the output of the substrate bias circuit to the semiconductor substrate in accordance with a substrate pulse, comprises a substrate bias control circuit for controlling so as to reduce an electric current of the clamp circuit during a predetermined period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Masahiro Segami, Kenji Nakayama, Isao Hirota
  • Publication number: 20110069204
    Abstract: A method and apparatus are provided for correcting image data of an image sensor. In on embodiment, a method includes receiving sensor data including image data having at least one artifact and smear sensitive data, detecting motion of one or more light sources associated with the artifact and characterizing the motion of the one or more light sources to provide a motion characteristic. The method may further include correcting at least a portion of the image data based on the smear sensitive data and the motion characteristic of the one or more light sources, wherein the correcting is responsive to vertical motion and non-vertical motion of the one or more light sources.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2010
    Publication date: March 24, 2011
    Applicant: Zoran Corporation
    Inventors: Dudi Vakrat, Haim Grosman, Assaf Weissman
  • Publication number: 20110025888
    Abstract: A multiple-stage vertical CCD, a vertical transfer section for alternately transferring the first signal containing a smear signal and image signal and the second signal containing only a smear signal to each register of vertical registers, a horizontal section for alternately outputting the first signal and the second signal from a horizontal register, and a signal subtractor for subtracting the second signal from the first signal are included. A smear correction method of gaining an image signal without smear signal by subtracting the second signal from the first signal is provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 27, 2009
    Publication date: February 3, 2011
    Applicant: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Masato Nishizawa, Kazunaga Miyake
  • Patent number: 7880783
    Abstract: A digital still camera has a CCD image sensor, which includes an active pixel area for image pickup of an image to produce image data. A black pixel area is disposed outside the active pixel area, and produces black pixel data. The image pickup apparatus includes an amplifier for adjusting white balance of the image data. A smear detection unit detects a smeared portion of a smear phenomenon in the image according to the black pixel data. A tone correction unit reduces chroma of the image in a predetermined hue area according to a smear level of the smear phenomenon determined from the black pixel data, to carry out color correction of the smeared portion for the image data after adjusting the white balance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Kousuke Irie
  • Patent number: 7804534
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device comprises: a semiconductor substrate; a plurality of photoelectric conversion elements formed in a surface portion of the semiconductor substrate in the form of a two-dimensional array so as to comprise a plurality of sets, each comprising a subset of the photoelectric conversion elements arranged in one direction; charge transfer paths each formed at a side portion of the subset of the photoelectric conversion elements to cause a signal charge of the photoelectric conversion elements be read out when a readout pulse is applied and cause the signal charge which has been read out to be transferred when a transfer pulse is applied; and an electrically conductive light shielding film which is laminated on a surface of the semiconductor substrate through an insulating layer and has openings immediately above each of the photoelectric conversion elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2010
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Masanori Nagase, Shu Takahashi, Jiro Matsuda, Mitsuru Iwata, Shinji Uya
  • Patent number: 7804539
    Abstract: A method of driving a solid-state imaging device is provided. The solid-state imaging device includes: a semiconductor substrate; a plurality of photoelectric converting elements arranged in a two-dimensional array on a light-receiving surface of the semiconductor substrate; and a charge transfer path disposed along each of columns of photoelectric converting elements, the charge transfer path reading out charges detected at each of photoelectric converting elements in a column of the photoelectric converting elements and transferring the charges, the photoelectric converting elements in the column thereof comprising two groups, each containing every other photoelectric converting element. Charges are read out from the two groups into the charge transfer path at a time difference between the two groups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 28, 2010
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventor: Shunsuke Tanaka
  • Patent number: 7796170
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes an imaging unit, a charge control unit, and a horizontal transfer unit. The imaging unit includes a plurality of pixels arranged into a matrix for performing photoelectric conversion, and a plurality of vertical transfer units arranged in columns for vertically transferring signal charges of the plurality of pixels on a column-by-column basis. In a predetermined operation mode, a predetermined number of columns greater than one are used as a unit, and the charge control unit stops transferring charges from a vertical transfer unit in a predetermined column of the predetermined number of columns, and adds the signal charges transferred from the vertical transfer units in the two or more remaining columns of the predetermined number of columns to output the added signal charges. The horizontal transfer unit horizontally transfers the signal charges output from the charge control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Hirota
  • Patent number: 7733393
    Abstract: A horizontal evaluation data generation section calculates an average value of pixel signals in a vertical optical black region based on given pixel data in the horizontal optical black region and outputs the calculated average value to an evaluation section. A vertical evaluation data generation section calculates an average value of pixel signals in a vertical optical black region based on given pixel data in the vertical optical black region and outputs the calculated average value to the evaluation section. The evaluation section outputs a gain value according to the difference between the two sent average values to a computing section. A smear information memory stores pixel signals in a line in the vertical optical black region. The computing section multiplies the pixel data stored in the smear information memory by the sent gain value, and subtracts the multiplied pixel data from the pixel data imaged by the CCD 5.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2010
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Toshihiko Yoshida, Kazuyuki Kurosawa
  • Patent number: 7710473
    Abstract: A smear-correcting device that corrects a smear of an image signal from a CCD having photoelectric conversion elements including a smear-correcting photoelectric conversion element, is provided and includes: a determining section determining whether a smear component is contained in an image signal from the photoelectric conversion elements other than the smear-correcting photoelectric conversion element, based on a corresponding smear-correcting signal from the smear-correcting photoelectric conversion element; a section correcting the smear of the image signal determined to contain the smear component, based on the corresponding smear-correcting signal; and an output section that outputs an image signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2010
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventor: Yoshihiro Sato
  • Publication number: 20100103293
    Abstract: A horizontal evaluation data generation section calculates an average value of pixel signals in a vertical optical black region based on given pixel data in the horizontal optical black region and outputs the calculated average value to an evaluation section. A vertical evaluation data generation section calculates an average value of pixel signals in a vertical optical black region based on given pixel data in the vertical optical black region and outputs the calculated average value to the evaluation section. The evaluation section outputs a gain value according to the difference between the two sent average values to a computing section. A smear information memory stores pixel signals in a line in the vertical optical black region. The computing section multiplies the pixel data stored in the smear information memory by the sent gain value, and subtracts the multiplied pixel data from the pixel data imaged by the CCD.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 1, 2009
    Publication date: April 29, 2010
    Applicant: CASIO COMPUTER CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Toshihiko YOSHIDA, Kazuyuki Kurosawa
  • Publication number: 20100085451
    Abstract: A signal processing apparatus which is capable of performing a smear amount correction processing suitably according to change in the smear amount to suppress overcorrection of the smear amount. An output value of an image sensor and a smear amount on each of vertical lines of the image sensor are stored, respectively. An output signal value of an optical black portion on the image sensor stored in the first memory is compared with the smear amount stored in the second memory to determine a cyclic coefficient based on the comparison result. The smear amount is calculated based on the output signal value of the optical black portion on the image sensor stored in the first memory, the smear amount stored in the second memory, and the cyclic coefficient determined by the smear detection unit. A correction coefficient is calculated based on the smear amount determined by the smear amount calculating unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 2, 2009
    Publication date: April 8, 2010
    Applicant: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Takeshi Suwa
  • Publication number: 20100066873
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes an imaging device operable to convert an optical image input through a focus lens for adjusting focus into electric signals in each of RGB colors, a luminance signal generator operable to generate a luminance signal based on the electric signal output from the imaging device, a low-frequency filter for transmitting low-frequency components of the luminance signal output, which has a frequency lower than a predetermined frequency, a high-frequency filter for transmitting high-frequency components of the luminance signal output, which has a frequency higher than a predetermined frequency, and a processor. The processor determines if focusing is influenced by a subject with high luminance. If determining that focusing is influenced, the unit detects a focal point based on high-frequency components. If determining that focusing is not influenced, the unit detects a focal point based on low-frequency components and then based on high-frequency components.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 9, 2009
    Publication date: March 18, 2010
    Inventors: Takahiro MITSUI, Toshiyuki Miyamura
  • Publication number: 20100045830
    Abstract: An image capturing device employing an image sensor including a light receiving element and a transfer path for transferring charge obtained by exposing the light receiving element to light, comprises: a control unit for causing the image sensor to output an image signal the image signal including charge accumulated at the transfer path as a result of the photoelectric effect of the transfer path and not including charge accumulated at the light receiving element of the image sensor: and an output unit that subtracts the image signal outputted by the image sensor from an image signal including charge accumulated at the light receiving element of the image sensor and charge accumulated at the transfer path as the result of the photoelectric effect of the transfer path, and outputs a moving image using an image signal for after subtraction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 12, 2009
    Publication date: February 25, 2010
    Applicant: Casio Computer Co. Ltd.
    Inventor: Masami YUYAMA
  • Publication number: 20090322914
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes a smear detection unit configured to detect the amount of smear from an image signal, a smear correction unit configured to execute smear correction based on the detected amount of smear, and an image processing unit configured to execute image processing based on the detected amount of smear.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 24, 2009
    Publication date: December 31, 2009
    Applicant: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Akiharu Ito
  • Patent number: 7630104
    Abstract: Provided is an image sensor capable of outputting an image signal in accordance with a data loading position of a signal processing IC. In the image sensor that can arbitrarily select the start position of an output signal of a first photoelectric conversion element, a first input terminal of a scanning circuit of a photoelectric conversion circuit is connected to a selector circuit of a signal start position, and the selector circuit is controlled by a start signal through a start signal terminal and a delay circuit according to an external control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2006
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Seiko Instruments Inc.
    Inventor: Masahiro Yokomichi
  • Patent number: 7630007
    Abstract: According to the invention, a driving method for a solid-state imaging device includes: a first holding step of holding electric charges which cause smear and are obtained from incident light in a first holding unit, in a previous field period which appears temporally earlier than a predetermined field; a second holding step of holding signal charges obtained from the incident light in a second holding unit, in the predetermined field period; a first equalization step of equalizing electric charges which cause smear and are obtained from the incident light in a subsequent field period which appears later than the predetermined field and the electric charges which cause smear and are held by the first holding unit; and a first subtraction step of subtracting the electric charges which cause smear and are equalized in the first equalization step from the signal charges which are held by the second holding unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2007
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2009
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventor: Ichiro Murakami
  • Patent number: 7616239
    Abstract: A method for driving a charge-transfer type solid-state image pick-up device, wherein the charge-transfer type solid-state image pick-up device comprises: high sensitivity photoelectric conversion elements for executing photoelectric conversion with relatively high sensitivity; low sensitivity photoelectric conversion elements for executing photoelectric conversion with relatively low sensitivity; and vertical transfer channels for transferring signal charges from said high sensitivity photoelectric conversion elements and said low sensitivity photoelectric conversion elements, the method comprising a charge transfer step of individually reading/transferring first signal charges from said high sensitivity photoelectric conversion elements and second signal charges from said low sensitivity photoelectric conversion elements onto said vertical transfer channels, without executing a high speed charge transfer operation for the vertical transfer channels after exposure of said solid-state image pick-up device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Fujifilm Corporation
    Inventors: Atsuhiko Ishihara, Masakatsu Kubota, Masaya Tamaru
  • Patent number: 7616246
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes an imaging unit, a charge control unit, and a horizontal transfer unit. The imaging unit includes a plurality of pixels arranged into a matrix for performing photoelectric conversion, and a plurality of vertical transfer units arranged in columns for vertically transferring signal charges of the plurality of pixels on a column-by-column basis. In a predetermined operation mode, a predetermined number of columns greater than one are used as a unit, and the charge control unit stops transferring charges from a vertical transfer unit in a predetermined column of the predetermined number of columns, and adds the signal charges transferred from the vertical transfer units in the two or more remaining columns of the predetermined number of columns to output the added signal charges. The horizontal transfer unit horizontally transfers the signal charges output from the charge control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 24, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 10, 2009
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Isao Hirota
  • Publication number: 20090190009
    Abstract: A solid-state image capturing apparatus includes: an insulation substrate including an external lead terminal; a solid-state image capturing element fixed on the insulation substrate and including a microlens; and a transparent glass member positioned above the insulation substrate for sealing the solid-state image capturing element fixed on the insulation substrate, and an electrode of the solid-state image capturing element and the external lead terminal of the insulation substrate being connected by a wire, wherein the transparent glass member is positioned in such a manner that a hollow space is formed between a microlens of the solid-state image capturing element and the transparent glass member, and wherein portions of the insulation film, the solid-state image capturing element and the wire, which are exposed in the hollow space, are all covered with a protective film.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 13, 2009
    Publication date: July 30, 2009
    Applicant: Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takayuki Kawasaki
  • Publication number: 20090147108
    Abstract: A CCD solid-state image sensor alternately outputs, pixel by pixel, N (where N is an integer of 2 or more) lines of image signal and a line of smear signal for correcting the N lines of image signal by switching an output line from one to another. an AD conversion section performs an AD conversion on the output signal from the CCD solid-state image sensor. A smear data separation section separates smear data from the sensor output data output from the AD conversion section and converts the separated smear data to corrective smear data corresponding to each image data. A subtraction circuit performs a smear correction by subtracting, from each image data, the corrective smear data corresponding to the image data. Smear correction is appropriately performed even if a high-brightness object moves.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 5, 2008
    Publication date: June 11, 2009
    Inventors: Yoshinori Okura, Yukihiro Tanizoe, Tomoharu Miyake
  • Patent number: 7508432
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a plurality of pixels for converting incident photons into electrical charge; an overflow drain to draw off excess charge from at one or more of the pixels; a mechanism for summing charge from two or more of the pixels; a first network of resistive devices generating a first overflow drain voltage where at least one of the resistive devices has, in parallel, a fuse that can be opened in response to an external stimulus to provide the optimum overflow drain voltage for pixel anti-blooming protection and saturation signal level for when a plurality of pixels are summed together; and a second network of resistive devices connected to the first network of resistive devices generating a second overflow drain voltage where the second overflow drain voltage is a fraction of the first overflow drain voltage and the second overflow drain voltage provides the optimum overflow drain voltage for pixel anti-blooming and saturation signal level for when none or substantially none of the plurality o
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2009
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventors: Christopher Parks, John P. McCarten
  • Publication number: 20090021612
    Abstract: A method for obtaining image data from an image sensor array including the steps of: providing an image sensor array having a first component subset of panchromatic pixels for integrating charge and a second component subset of color pixels for integrating charge; reading pixel charge to produce pixel signals from the first component subset of the panchromatic pixels while exposing the second component subset of color pixels and digitizing and storing the first component subset signals; and reading pixel charge to produce pixel signals from the second component subset of color pixels that were exposed for at least a portion of time during the reading of pixel signals from the first component subset of the panchromatic pixels and digitizing and storing the second component subset signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 20, 2007
    Publication date: January 22, 2009
    Inventors: John F. Hamilton, JR., John T. Compton
  • Patent number: 7428013
    Abstract: PDs and vertical CCDs are formed on CCD. A control unit drives the CCD by one of a first image pickup mode for executing an exposure and reading the electric charges on the vertical CCDs and transferring those, and a second image pickup mode for setting an electric charge sweep-out period in which the electric charges are swept out by applying a plurality of vertical shift clocks to the vertical CCDs within a period from a time when a transfer period in which the electric charges obtained by exposing the PDs are read on the vertical CCDs and transferred those is terminated up to a time when a next transfer period is started.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Casio Computer Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takeshi Tsukagoshi, Tomohiko Murakami