With Amplifier Patents (Class 348/300)
  • Patent number: 10880504
    Abstract: An image pickup device according to an embodiment includes pixels each configured to output an analog signal based on electric charges produced in a photoelectric conversion unit and a control unit configured to control a gain applied to the analog signal to be at least a first gain and a second gain greater than the first gain in accordance with a signal value of the analog signal. Each of the pixels outputs, as the analog signal, a first signal and a second signal based on electric charges produced in the photoelectric conversion unit in a first exposure period and a second exposure period shorter than the first exposure period. The control unit controls the gain applied to the analog signal by selecting one from the first gain and the second gain in accordance with the signal value, for at least one of the first signal and the second signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Tetsuya Itano, Shoji Kono, Hideo Kobayashi, Hiroyuki Morita, Yasuhiro Oguro, Kei Ochiai
  • Patent number: 10811455
    Abstract: A semiconductor apparatus includes a stack of a first chip having a plurality of pixel circuits arranged in a matrix form and a second chip having a plurality of electric circuit arranged in a matrix form. A wiring path between a semiconductor element configuring the pixel circuit and a semiconductor element configuring the electric circuit or a positional relationship between a semiconductor element configuring the pixel circuit and a semiconductor element configuring the electric circuit is differentiated among the electric circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Hiroaki Kobayashi, Atsushi Furubayashi, Katsuhito Sakurai
  • Patent number: 10748945
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device is provided that includes a pixel array with unit pixels. Each unit pixel includes, among other things, first and second photoelectric conversion portions; an electric charge accumulating portion that accumulates charges produced by the second photoelectric conversion portion, a counter electrode of the electric charge accumulating portion being connected to a variable voltage power source; and a charge-to-voltage conversion portion. For at least a part of a time period for which charges produced by the second photoelectric conversion portion are accumulated in the electric charge accumulating portion, a drive portion that controls an operation of the unit pixel causes a voltage of the variable voltage power source to be lower than that when a signal based on the charges accumulated in the electric charge accumulating portion is read out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takumi Oka
  • Patent number: 10750107
    Abstract: A noise removing circuit includes a capacitor, a buffer circuit, and a switch. The capacitor includes a first terminal and a second terminal. The buffer circuit includes a third terminal and a fourth terminal. The switch sets the capacitor and the buffer circuit to be in one of a first state and a second state. In the first state, the first terminal is connected to the fourth terminal, a reference voltage is input to the second terminal, and the third terminal is connected to the signal source. In the second state, the first terminal is connected to the signal source, and the second terminal is connected to the third terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: OLYMPUS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Masato Osawa
  • Patent number: 10726236
    Abstract: Embodiments of the present disclosure provide a display panel, a display apparatus and a method for identifying fingerprints. The display panel comprises a first number of pixel units, arranged in a first direction and a second direction perpendicular to the first direction, and each pixel unit comprises a display element and a sensor configured to sense and identify a fingerprint. The display panel may further comprise a receiving unit, configured to receive a fingerprint signal sensed by the sensor; a controlling unit, configured to control the receiving unit to receive the fingerprint signal sensed by a second number of sensors among a first number of sensors, in response to an instruction for fingerprint identification being received, wherein any two of the second number of sensors are not adjacent to each other in the first direction and the second direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignees: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD., BEIJING BOE OPTOELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Changfeng Li, Xue Dong, Xiaochuan Chen, Haisheng Wang, Yingming Liu, Xiaoliang Ding, Shengji Yang, Weijie Zhao, Wei Liu, Pengpeng Wang
  • Patent number: 10687009
    Abstract: In an imaging device, a differential stage includes an input transistor having an input node connected to a floating diffusion portion, a first control line and a second control line are located in a plurality of sets, the first control line is connected to connection portions of some sets of the plurality of sets, and the second control line is connected to connection portions of the other sets of the plurality of sets.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hideo Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 10680029
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device having a backside illuminated structure, includes: a pixel region in which pixels each having a photoelectric conversion portion and a plurality of pixel transistors are arranged in a two-dimensional matrix; an element isolation region isolating the pixels which is provided in the pixel region and which includes a semiconductor layer provided in a trench by an epitaxial growth; and a light receiving surface at a rear surface side of a semiconductor substrate which is opposite to a multilayer wiring layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takekazu Shinohara
  • Patent number: 10652476
    Abstract: To prolong an exposure time in an image pickup apparatus that combines a plurality of images. A gain processing unit increases or decreases a plurality of image signals using gains different from each other. An analog to digital conversion unit generates a plurality of image data by performing analog to digital conversion on the increased or decreased plurality of image signals. A calculation unit adds data obtained by multiplying short-time exposure data being any of the plurality of image data, by a ratio between the gains, and data among the plurality of image data that does not correspond to the short-time exposure data, and outputs the added data as long-time exposure data. A combining unit combines the short-time exposure data and the long-time exposure data at a predetermined combining ratio.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Kenichi Sano, Fumihito Yasuma, Ryo Hirono
  • Patent number: 10608037
    Abstract: This disclosure relates to image sensors and electronic apparatuses including the same. An image sensor including: a pixel area including shared pixels, wherein each of the shared pixels includes at least two photodiodes that form a group and share a floating diffusion (FD) area; and a transistor (TR) area adjacent to the pixel area, wherein the TR area includes transistor sets corresponding to the shared pixels, wherein, when a first shared pixel and a second shared pixel are arranged adjacent to each other in a first direction, a first TR set corresponding to the first shared pixel and a second TR set corresponding to the second shared pixel share a source region of a first selection TR.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2020
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Ji-Won Lee, Jeong-Jin Cho, Moo-Sup Lim, Sung-Young Seo, Hae-Won Lee
  • Patent number: 10567747
    Abstract: Provided is an imaging device including a pixel array including a plurality of pixels arranged to form a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns, each of the plurality of pixels generates signals in accordance with an incident light; a first output line and a second output line that are arranged corresponding to each of the plurality of columns of the pixel array and transmit signals output from the pixels arranged on a corresponding column; a scanning unit that drives the pixel array so as to output signals from at least two of the pixels arranged on different rows of a single column respectively to the first output line and the second output line; and an output line control unit that provide potentials that are different from each other to the first output line and the second output line, respectively, in a test mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Hidetoshi Hayashi, Atsushi Shimada
  • Patent number: 10509070
    Abstract: Disclosed are a method and a device for detecting a short circuit between adjacent micro-bumps. The method includes setting outputs of a pull-up driver and a pull-down driver of a data output circuit connected with a micro-bump to be suitable for a test type and determining whether a short circuit is generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2018
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2019
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Won-Joo Yun, Sukyong Kang, Hye-Seung Yu, Hyunui Lee
  • Patent number: 10499000
    Abstract: The present technology relates to an image sensor capable of achieving both higher S/N and higher frame rate, an electronic device, a control device, a control method, and a program. An AD converter has a comparator in which differential pairs are provided at an input stage. The differential pairs have a plurality of transistors as first transistors and second transistors paired to configure the differential pairs. The AD converter compares a level-changing reference signal with an electric signal output by a shooting unit for performing photoelectric conversion and outputting the electric signal, thereby performing AD conversion on the electric signal. The comparator is controlled such that a transistor to be operated is selected as active transistor from among the transistors depending on the amount of light incident in the shooting unit and the active transistor operates. The present technology is applicable to an image sensor for shooting an image, and the like, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2019
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2019
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Aoki
  • Patent number: 10477126
    Abstract: A pixel cell and readout circuit includes an anti-eclipse voltage clamp circuit at both the top and bottom of each column line of an array of the pixel cells. The anti-eclipse voltage clamp circuits form a row with each column in the array coupled to an anti-eclipse voltage clamp circuit. The combination of two rows of anti-eclipse voltage clamp circuits helps settle the clamp voltage more rapidly and to compensate for the increased length of the anti-eclipse voltage circuit row as well as the column line resistance due to narrow metal lines and increased numbers of pixels as well as the requirement to operate a sensor at a higher frame rate. More significantly this circuit construction can minimize vertical shading in the resulting image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2019
    Assignee: SmartSens Technology (Cayman) Co., Limited
    Inventors: Chen Xu, Yaowu Mo, Zexu Shao, Zhengmin Zhang, Weijian Ma
  • Patent number: 10419702
    Abstract: Provided is an imaging apparatus, including: a vertical scanning circuit configured to output the reset signal and the image signal sequentially from each of a plurality of pixels by selecting the plurality of pixels sequentially; and an amplifier unit configured to output a plurality of image signals obtained by amplifying one image signal that is output from one of the plurality of pixels at a plurality of gains including a first gain and a second gain, in which, in a reading period, which is a period between selection of a first pixel by the vertical scanning circuit out of the plurality of pixels and subsequent selection of a second pixel out of the plurality of pixels, a number of times the amplifier unit is reset is less than a number of the plurality of amplified image signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2017
    Date of Patent: September 17, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Tomoya Onishi, Shin Kikuchi
  • Patent number: 10348987
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a solid-state imaging device, an AD converter, and an electronic apparatus that improve a crosstalk characteristic. The AD converter includes a comparator that compares the pixel signal with the reference signal, a pixel signal side capacitor, and a reference signal side capacitor. The pixel signal side capacitor and the reference signal side capacitor are formed such that a first parasitic capacity and a second parasitic capacity are substantially the same. The present technology is applicable to a CMOS image sensor, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yusuke Ikeda, Daijiro Anai, Rei Yoshikawa
  • Patent number: 10341592
    Abstract: A pixel is included, the pixel including a photoelectric conversion portion configured to convert incident light to a charge by photoelectric conversion and accumulate the charge, a charge transfer unit configured to transfer the charge generated in the photoelectric conversion portion, a diffusion layer to which the charge is transferred through the charge transfer unit, the diffusion layer having a predetermined storage capacitance, a conversion unit configured to convert the charge transferred to the diffusion layer to a pixel signal, and connection wiring configured to connect the diffusion layer and the conversion unit. The connection wiring is connected to the diffusion layer and the conversion unit through contact wiring extending in a vertical direction with respect to a semiconductor substrate on which the diffusion layer is formed and is formed closer to the semiconductor substrate than other wiring provided in the pixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2019
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Takeshi Yanagita, Masaaki Takizawa, Yuuji Nishimura, Shinichi Arakawa, Yuugo Nakamura, Yohei Chiba
  • Patent number: 10321080
    Abstract: A pixel output level control device may include: a pixel output level control unit suitable for controlling a pixel output level of a pixel signal of a pixel for reducing the time required for settling the pixel signal during a specific period; and a pixel output level retention unit suitable for maintaining the pixel output level of the pixel signal during the specific period to a fixed value, according to control of the pixel output level control unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 12, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 11, 2019
    Assignee: SK hynix Inc.
    Inventors: Tae-Hoon Kim, Woong-Hee Lee
  • Patent number: 10313610
    Abstract: Methods, systems, computer-readable media, and apparatuses for dynamic pixel binning are presented. In one example, an image sensor system includes a plurality of sensor elements; a plurality of floating diffusion regions in communication with the plurality of sensor elements, each floating diffusion region of the plurality of floating diffusion regions configured to be selectively enabled; and at least one comparison circuit coupled to at least two floating diffusion regions of the plurality of floating diffusion regions, the comparison circuit configured to: receive input signals from the two floating diffusion regions, compare the input signals, and output a comparison signal based on the comparison of the input signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 4, 2019
    Assignee: QUALCOMM Incorporated
    Inventors: Zhengming Fu, Soo Youn Kim, Jan Christian Huber
  • Patent number: 10283552
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device having a backside illuminated structure, includes: a pixel region in which pixels each having a photoelectric conversion portion and a plurality of pixel transistors are arranged in a two-dimensional matrix; an element isolation region isolating the pixels which is provided in the pixel region and which includes a semiconductor layer provided in a trench by an epitaxial growth; and a light receiving surface at a rear surface side of a semiconductor substrate which is opposite to a multilayer wiring layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 7, 2019
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takekazu Shinohara
  • Patent number: 10277856
    Abstract: A pixel portion includes a first pixel array in which a plurality of photoelectric conversion reading parts of first pixels are arranged in a matrix, a holding part array in which a plurality of signal holding parts of first pixels are arranged in a matrix, and a second pixel array in which a plurality of photoelectric conversion reading parts of second pixels are arranged in a matrix, wherein, at the time of a rolling shutter mode, readout signals of the photoelectric conversion reading parts of the first pixels and the second pixels are immediately output to a first vertical signal line without following a bypass route and, at the time of a global shutter mode, held signals of the signal holding parts of the first pixels are output to a second vertical signal line. Due to this, a solid-state imaging device can prevent complication of the configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: BRILLNICS INC.
    Inventors: Shunsuke Okura, Toshinori Otaka, Junichi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 10264203
    Abstract: The present technology relates to an image sensor capable of achieving both higher S/N and higher frame rate, an electronic device, a control device, a control method, and a program. An AD converter has a comparator in which differential pairs are provided at an input stage. The differential pairs have a plurality of transistors as first transistors and second transistors paired to configure the differential pairs. The AD converter compares a level-changing reference signal with an electric signal output by a shooting unit for performing photoelectric conversion and outputting the electric signal, thereby performing AD conversion on the electric signal. The comparator is controlled such that a transistor to be operated is selected as active transistor from among the transistors depending on the amount of light incident in the shooting unit and the active transistor operates. The present technology is applicable to an image sensor for shooting an image, and the like, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 16, 2019
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Aoki
  • Patent number: 10212376
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a solid-state imaging device and an electronic apparatus that realize a high frame rate image capture without deteriorating an image quality. A floating diffusion holds a charge accumulated on one or more photoelectric conversion units. A plurality of amplification transistors read out a signal corresponding to the charge held by the floating diffusion. The signal read out by the amplification transistor is output to a vertical signal line. The plurality of amplification transistors are connected in parallel. The present technology is applicable to a CMOS image sensor, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2018
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroaki Ishiwata
  • Patent number: 10205894
    Abstract: An imaging device includes pixels including a photoelectric conversion unit, a holding unit holding charge transferred from the photoelectric conversion unit, and an amplifier unit outputting signal based on the charge. The pixels output a first signal based on charge generated in a first exposure period and a second signal based on charge generated in a second exposure period of different length. In the first exposure period, the photoelectric conversion unit accumulates the generated charge, and charge held by the holding unit is transferred to the amplifier unit. The second exposure period includes a period of accumulating the generated charge only in the photoelectric conversion unit and a period of holding the generated charge in the photoelectric conversion unit and the holding unit. In the period of accumulating the generated charge only in the photoelectric conversion unit, the charge held by the holding unit is transferred to the amplifier unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 12, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kazunari Kawabata, Takeshi Ichikawa, Masahiro Kobayashi, Yusuke Onuki, Hiroshi Sekine
  • Patent number: 10171760
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device where when the charge from a photodiode PD11 is small, all of the charge is transferred to the feedback capacitor to obtain an output voltage amplified with a high gain due to a mirror effect created by a CTIA circuit including an amplifier arranged in a readout circuit and a feedback capacitor, while when the CTIA circuit is saturated, due to automatic reduction of the mirror effect, the remaining excessive charge is moved to a floating diffusion FD11 having a larger capacitance to obtain an output voltage amplified with a low gain and where the obtained voltage is simultaneously output from the pixel and taken into a column sampling circuit. Due to this, a low-luminance signal can be read out with a high gain, a high-luminance signal can be read out with a low gain suppressing saturation, and in addition, signals of a high gain and low gain can be obtained by two reading operations. Further, it becomes possible to improve the lowest object illuminance performance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2019
    Assignee: BRILLNICS INC.
    Inventor: Toshinori Otaka
  • Patent number: 10161789
    Abstract: An event-based sensor and a pixel of the event-based sensor are provided. The event-based sensor includes a pixel array including pixels, a selection circuit configured to select a part of the pixels, an event circuit configured to generate an event signal indicating an active pixel sensing an event among the selected part of the pixels, based on output signals of the selected part of the pixels, and an output circuit configured to output information indicating the active pixel based on the event signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yunjae Suh, Junseok Kim, Sung Ho Kim, Eric Hyunsurk Ryu
  • Patent number: 10165216
    Abstract: In order to provide an imaging device suitable for suppressing a reduction of the frame rate without deteriorating the image quality, a sensor includes two photodiodes for receiving incident light through a microlens, a first transfer transistor that transfers the output electric charges of the first photodiode when a first transfer control signal becomes active, a second transfer transistor that transfers the output electric charges of the second photodiode when a second transfer control signal becomes active, a first output signal line that transmits a first pixel signal depending on the transferred electric charges by the first transfer transistor, and a second output signal line that transmits a second pixel signal depending on the transferred electric charges by the second transfer transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Renesas Electronics Corporation
    Inventors: Ryota Otake, Tatsuya Kitamori
  • Patent number: 10134797
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a solid-state image sensor, an imaging device, and electronic equipment configured such that an FD is shared by a plurality of pixels to further miniaturize the pixels at low cost without lowering of sensitivity and a conversion efficiency. In a configuration in which a plurality of pixels are arranged with respect to at least either of one of the OCCFs or one of the OCLs, a floating diffusion (FD) is shared by a sharing unit including a plurality of pixels, the plurality of pixels including pixels of at least either of different OCCFs or different OCLs. The present technology is applicable to a CMOS image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 20, 2018
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nanako Kato, Toshifumi Wakano, Yusuke Tanaka, Yusuke Otake
  • Patent number: 10128300
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a solid-state image sensor, an imaging device, and electronic equipment configured such that an FD is shared by a plurality of pixels to further miniaturize the pixels at low cost without lowering of sensitivity and a conversion efficiency. In a configuration in which a plurality of pixels are arranged with respect to at least either of one of the OCCFs or one of the OCLs, a floating diffusion (FD) is shared by a sharing unit including a plurality of pixels, the plurality of pixels including pixels of at least either of different OCCFs or different OCLs. The present technology is applicable to a CMOS image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2018
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nanako Kato, Toshifumi Wakano, Yusuke Tanaka, Yusuke Otake
  • Patent number: 10091444
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion apparatus including a plurality of photoelectric conversion units each of which includes a first electrode, a second electrode, a photoelectric conversion layer which accumulates signal charges and which is disposed between the first and second electrodes, and an insulating layer disposed between the photoelectric conversion layer and the second electrode, an amplification unit configured to receive optical signals and output signals each based on one of the optical signals, each of the optical signals being based on one of the signal charges, each of the signal charges being accumulated in one of the plurality of photoelectric conversion units, and a capacitive element having a first node and a second node, the first node being connected to the second electrodes of the plurality of photoelectric conversion units and the amplification unit and the second node selectively receiving each one of a plurality of potentials having different values.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: October 2, 2018
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Seiji Hashimoto, Hidekazu Takahashi, Atsushi Furubayashi
  • Patent number: 10044954
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a solid-state imaging device, an AD converter, and an electronic apparatus that improve a crosstalk characteristic. The AD converter includes a comparator that compares the pixel signal with the reference signal, a pixel signal side capacitor, and a reference signal side capacitor. The pixel signal side capacitor and the reference signal side capacitor are formed such that a first parasitic capacity, and a second parasitic capacity are substantially the same. The present technology is applicable to a CMOS image sensor, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 7, 2018
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yusuke Ikeda, Daijiro Anai, Rei Yoshikawa
  • Patent number: 10020069
    Abstract: Disclosed herein are novel charge mode readout circuits and associated methods of signal processing. The devices and methods of the invention allow for the improved processing of stored signals by a charge mode readout amplifier, wherein the readout level may be shifted to a desired range and wherein a fully differential output swing may be imparted. The invention advantageously employs a single pair of capacitors to serve the dual roles of modulating amplifier gain and level shifting the output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 5, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 10, 2018
    Assignee: Forza Silicon, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven Huang
  • Patent number: 9942499
    Abstract: A solid-state image taking device including a pixel section and a scan driving section wherein on each pixel column included in the pixel area determined in advance to serve as a pixel column having the unit pixels laid out in the scan direction, the opto-electric conversion section and the electric-charge holding section are laid out alternately and repeatedly, and on each of the pixel columns in the pixel area determined in advance, two the electric-charge holding sections of two adjacent ones of the unit pixels are laid out disproportionately toward one side of the scan direction with respect to the optical-path limiting section or the opto-electric conversion section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: SONY SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Takashi Machida
  • Patent number: 9930278
    Abstract: A device that may include a pixel and a readout circuit, wherein the pixel is coupled to the readout circuit via coupling lines that comprises an output line and a reset line; wherein the readout circuit comprises (a) a comparator that is configured to track a coupling line electrical parameter to generate a pulse that is responsive to value of the electrical parameter, and (b) a pulse width to digital converter for outputting a digital output signal that is responsive to a width of the pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 27, 2018
    Assignee: ANALOG VALUE LTD.
    Inventors: Vladimir Koifman, Tiberiu Galambos
  • Patent number: 9918017
    Abstract: A system, method, and computer program product are provided for obtaining multiple exposures with zero interframe time. In use, a first an analog signal associated with an image is received from at least one pixel of an image sensor. Next, a first amplified analog signal associated with the image is generated by amplifying the analog signal utilizing a first gain. Further, a second amplified analog signal associated with the image is generated by amplifying the analog signal utilizing a second gain. Finally, the first amplified analog signal and the second amplified analog signal are transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Duelight LLC
    Inventors: William Rivard, Adam Feder, Brian Kindle
  • Patent number: 9912897
    Abstract: An imaging device in which signals can be read out accurately at high speed is provided. The imaging device includes a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix, an A/D converter circuit, and a selector circuit. The pixels are electrically connected to an input terminal of the A/D converter circuit. An output terminal of the A/D converter circuit is electrically connected to one of a source and a drain of a transistor. The other of the source and the drain of the transistor is electrically connected to an input terminal of the selector circuit. The transistor includes an oxide semiconductor in an active layer. Other embodiments are described and claimed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 9, 2016
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2018
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yuki Okamoto, Seiichi Yoneda
  • Patent number: 9860465
    Abstract: Provided is an imaging device operated at high speed and low power consumption. The imaging device includes a pixel and a first circuit. The pixel includes a first photoelectric conversion element and a second photoelectric conversion element. The first circuit is configured to compare a first signal which is output from the pixel on the basis of imaging data obtained by the first photosensitive conversion element to a second signal which is output from the pixel on the basis of imaging data obtained by the second photosensitive conversion element for determining whether there is a difference between the first signal and the second signal. Thus, edge detection can be performed without a periphery device for edge detection outside the imaging device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 2, 2018
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Takuro Ohmaru
  • Patent number: 9838621
    Abstract: A method for implementing H-Banding cancellation in an image sensor starts with a pixel array capturing image data. Pixel array includes a plurality of pixels to generate pixel data signals, respectively. ADC circuitry acquires the pixel data signals. ADC circuitry includes a comparator circuitry. In one embodiment, comparator circuitry 310 includes a plurality of comparators. Comparators included in comparator circuitry compare the pixel data signals, respectively, to a ramp signal received from a ramp generator to generate comparator output signals. Adjacent comparators output signals may be opposite in polarity. Other embodiments are described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Zheng Yang, Hiroaki Ebihara
  • Patent number: 9826175
    Abstract: Provided is an image pickup apparatus capable of reading out and outputting pixel data of a partial area of a rolling shutter type image sensor. The image pickup apparatus includes: a readout condition setter setting a readout condition for pixel data readout control from the image sensor; a charge time setter setting charge time of the image sensor; a skip setter setting, based on the readout condition, areas in which processing concerning one of readout and charge in an image pickup area of the image sensor is skipped; a controller controlling a charge of the image sensor and readout from the image sensor so as to achieve constant charge time of the image sensor within one frame based on the charge time and the areas set by the skip setter; and an image signal output unit outputting a pixel signal read out by the controller.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 21, 2017
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Shingo Isobe
  • Patent number: 9813649
    Abstract: In a photoelectric conversion apparatus, a pixel transistor and a differential transistor form a differential pair. A clamp circuit clamps a gate voltage of the differential transistor. An output circuit performs a first operation in which a voltage based on the voltage at the gate of a pixel transistor is output to the gate of the differential transistor. The output circuit also performs a second operation in which in response to receiving a current from the differential transistor, a signal based on a result of a comparison between the gate voltage of the pixel transistor and the gate voltage of the differential transistor is output to the output node. In the second operation, a control unit in the output circuit controls a change in the drain voltage of the differential transistor to be smaller than a change in the voltage at the output node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2017
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Daisuke Yoshida
  • Patent number: 9787919
    Abstract: A radiographic imaging device includes: a radiation detector including plural pixels, each including a sensor portion and a switching element; a detection unit that detects a radiation irradiation start if an electrical signal caused by charges generated in the sensor portion satisfies a specific irradiation detection condition, and/or if an electrical signal caused by charges generated in a radiation sensor portion that is different from the sensor portion satisfies a specific irradiation detection condition; and a control unit that determines whether or not noise caused by external disturbance has occurred after the detection unit has detected the radiation irradiation start, and if the noise has occurred, that stops a current operation of the radiation detector, and causes the detection unit to perform detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2014
    Date of Patent: October 10, 2017
    Assignee: FUJIFILM CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takeshi Kuwabara, Yoshihiro Okada, Haruyasu Nakatsugawa, Naoyuki Nishino
  • Patent number: 9773835
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a solid-state image sensor, an imaging device, and electronic equipment configured such that an FD is shared by a plurality of pixels to further miniaturize the pixels at low cost without lowering of sensitivity and a conversion efficiency. In a configuration in which a plurality of pixels are arranged with respect to at least either of one of the OCCFs or one of the OCLs, a floating diffusion (FD) is shared by a sharing unit including a plurality of pixels, the plurality of pixels including pixels of at least either of different OCCFs or different OCLs. The present technology is applicable to a CMOS image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Nanako Kato, Toshifumi Wakano, Yusuke Tanaka, Yusuke Otake
  • Patent number: 9736406
    Abstract: Analog signals having different output levels are converted into a plurality of digital signals using a plurality of reference signals having mutually different slopes, and a ratio of the plurality of different slopes and an offset amount are calculated on the basis of the digital signals. Then, on a frame-by-frame basis, a correction coefficient for correcting digital signals obtained by carrying out analog-digital conversion on analog signals output from a pixel section of an image sensor is calculated on the basis of the ratio of slopes and the offset amount. The correction coefficient includes the ratio of slopes and an offset correction value, and the offset correction value is obtained by carrying out a filtering process that performs weighted adding of the offset amount and the offset correction value calculated in a previous frame using a cyclic coefficient.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2016
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takayuki Kimura
  • Patent number: 9723240
    Abstract: A computational sensing array includes an array of sensing elements. In each sensing element, a first signal is generated from a transducer. A second signal is produced by a collection unit in response to receiving the first signal. The second signal may be modified, in a conditioning unit. A sensing element preprocessing unit generates a word representing the value of the modified second signal, and may produce an indication of change of the first signal. A current value of the word may be stored in a state holding element local to the sensing element, and a previous value of the word may be retained in a further state holding element local to the sensing element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: The Johns Hopkins University
    Inventors: Charbel G. Rizk, Philippe O. Pouliquen, Andreas G. Andreou, Joseph H. Lin
  • Patent number: 9722107
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device according to an exemplary embodiment includes a pixel which includes a photoelectric conversion unit, an amplifier transistor that outputs a signal from the photoelectric conversion unit, and a reset transistor that supplies a reset voltage to the amplifier transistor. The photoelectric conversion unit includes a first electrode, a second electrode electrically connected to the amplifier transistor, a photoelectric conversion layer, and an insulating layer disposed between the photoelectric conversion layer and the second electrode. The pixel includes a first capacitor electrically connected to the second electrode. The capacitance value of the first capacitor, the capacitance value of a second capacitor between the first electrode and the second electrode, and a voltage supplied to the pixel satisfy a certain relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazuaki Tashiro, Noriyuki Kaifu, Hidekazu Takahashi
  • Patent number: 9716848
    Abstract: Provided is an imaging apparatus including an imaging element including a pixel unit having first and second photoelectric conversion units configured to generate image signals by photoelectrically converting optical fluxes passing through different regions into which an exit pupil of an imaging optical system is divided for one micro-lens. The imaging apparatus controls each of the timing of a first removal operation of removing a noise component from a first image signal read from the first photoelectric conversion unit and the timing of a second removal operation of removing a noise component from a second image signal read from the first and second photoelectric conversion units to have a predetermined relationship with a frequency of a noise source occurring during an operation of reading the image signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 25, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Yasuhiro Harada
  • Patent number: 9661249
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus includes: plural pixels arranged in matrix, each outputting a signal from a photoelectric conversion element; and plural readout circuits each provided for a corresponding column of the pixels, signals from the pixels being input to the readout circuits. The readout circuit includes an amplifier unit configured to amplify the signal from the pixel, and have a variable gain, and a hold capacitance connected to an output terminal of the amplifier unit via a sampling switch, and having a variable capacitance value. When the variable gain of the amplifier unit is set to be a first gain, the variable capacitance value of the hold capacitance is set to be a first capacitance value. When the variable gain is set to be a second gain larger than the first gain, the variable capacitance value is set to be a second capacitance value smaller than the first capacitance value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kohichi Nakamura, Tetsuya Itano, Hideo Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 9635298
    Abstract: An object of the present invention is to provide a comparator which has an input voltage range larger than the case where a conventional offset cancel technique is used, while reducing an offset voltage. A comparator circuit includes: a comparator having an inverting input terminal, a non-inverting input terminal and an output terminal; a first switch having one terminal connected to the inverting input terminal and having the other terminal connected to the output terminal; a first capacitor which has one end connected with the inverting input terminal; a first signal input terminal which is another end of the first capacitor; and a second signal input terminal which selectively inputs either one of a fixed voltage and a comparing signal into the non-inverting input terminal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 25, 2017
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kohichi Nakamura, Hideo Kobayashi, Hiroki Hiyama, Kazuo Yamazaki
  • Patent number: 9627428
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a first semiconductor chip, a second semiconductor chip and connecting portions configured to connect the first semiconductor chip and the second semiconductor chip. The first semiconductor chip includes a photoelectric conversion portion, a capacitor, a reset transistor, and an amplification transistor. The second semiconductor chip includes a transfer transistor, and a row selecting transistor. The connecting portions connect the photoelectric conversion portion to the transfer transistor, the transfer transistor to the capacitor, and the amplification transistor to the row selecting transistor respectively.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 18, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Toshiyuki Takada
  • Patent number: 9601536
    Abstract: A solid-state image capturing apparatus, comprising a plurality of photoelectric conversion portions disposed in a first semiconductor region of a first conductivity type, a first portion of the first conductivity type disposed in the first semiconductor region and configured to supply a first potential to the first semiconductor region, and a second semiconductor region of a second conductivity type configured to receive a second potential, wherein the first portion is disposed between first and second photoelectric conversion portions neighboring each other, and the second semiconductor region is disposed between the first portion and each of the first and second photoelectric conversion portions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 21, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Michiko Johnson
  • Patent number: 9549158
    Abstract: A single pixel sensor is provided, comprising a photo sensor configured to convert light into proportional signals; a charge storage configured to accumulate, repeatedly, a plurality of the signals converted by the photosensor; a first transistor coupled between a pixel voltage terminal and the photosensor; a second transistor coupled between the photosensor and the charge storage; and a readout circuit coupled between the charge storage and an output channel, wherein: the single pixel sensor is configured to carry out the repeated accumulations of signals multiple times per each readout by the readout circuit, the single pixel sensor is configured to synchronously convert reflections of light emitted by an associated illuminator or to convert light emitted by non-associated flickering light sources, and wherein the single pixel sensor is backside illuminated by the light.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 17, 2017
    Assignee: BRIGHTWAY VISION LTD.
    Inventors: Yoav Grauer, David Ofer, Eyal Levi