Pixel Amplifiers Patents (Class 348/301)
  • Patent number: 10276623
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is a solid-state image pickup device including: a photoelectric conversion section configured to convert incident light into a signal charge; a transfer transistor configured to read the signal charge from the photoelectric conversion section and transfer the signal charge; and an amplifying transistor configured to amplify the signal charge read by the transfer transistor, wherein a compressive stress film having a compressive stress is formed on the amplifying transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 30, 2019
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shinichi Arakawa
  • Patent number: 10249678
    Abstract: An imaging device includes pixels each including a photoelectric converter generating charges, a holding portion holding charges transferred from the photoelectric converter, and an amplifier unit outputting a signal based on charges transferred from the holding portion. Each pixel outputs, to an output line, a signal based on charges generated by the photoelectric converter during an exposure period including a first period during which the photoelectric converter holds charges generated in the first period and a second period during which the photoelectric converter or the holding portion holds charges generated in the second period while the holding portion is holding charges generated in the first period, and resets the holding portion after outputting a signal based on charges held in the holding portion in the first period and before transferring charges generated in the first period from the photoelectric converter to the holding portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Tatsuya Ryoki, Daisuke Kobayashi, Tetsunobu Kochi
  • Patent number: 10200644
    Abstract: An imaging array having a plurality of pixel sensors connected to a bit line is disclosed. Each pixel sensor includes a first photodetector having a photodiode, a floating diffusion node, and an amplifier. The floating diffusion node is characterized by a parasitic photodiode and parasitic capacitance. The amplifier amplifies a voltage on the floating diffusion node to produce a signal on an amplifier output. The first photodetector also includes a bit line gate that connects the amplifier output to the bit line in response to a row select signal and a voltage dividing capacitor having a first terminal connected to the floating diffusion node and a second terminal connected to a drive source that switches a voltage on the second terminal between a drive potential different from ground and ground in response to a drive control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 5, 2019
    Assignee: BAE Systems Imaging Solutions Inc.
    Inventors: Hung T. Do, Paul G. Lim, Stephen W. Mims
  • Patent number: 10154214
    Abstract: An image sensor having improved signal-to-noise ratio and reduced random noise and an image processing system are provided. The image sensor includes a pixel array including a pixel connected to a column line and configured to provide an analog pixel signal to the column line in response to at least one row control signal, and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) that receives and converts the analog pixel signal into a corresponding digital pixel signal. The pixel includes a group of sub-pixels simultaneously selected by the at least one row control signal, such that each one of the sub-pixels in the group of sub-pixels provides a sub-pixel signal, and the analog pixel signal is an average of the sub-pixel signals provided by the group of sub-pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 17, 2016
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2018
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Moo Sup Liim, Seung Sik Kim, Sung Young Seo
  • Patent number: 10104327
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a plurality of pixels in a two-dimensional array. Each pixel includes a photoelectric conversion element that converts incident light into electric charge, and a charge holding element that receives the electric charge from the photoelectric conversion element, and transfers the electric charge to a corresponding floating diffusion. The charge holding element further includes a plurality of electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2018
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Takeshi Takeda
  • Patent number: 10082481
    Abstract: A pixel circuit acts as a sensing element in a sensing device. The pixel circuit includes a sensing electrode, a first gate electrically connected to the sensing electrode, a second gate in electrical communication with the first gate, and a readout device that is electrically connected to the second gate. An input voltage applied to the sensing electrode is amplified between the first gate and the second gate, the amplification being measured as an output signal from the readout device to perform a sensing operation. For example, the output signal may be relatable to pH, analyte measurements, or other properties of sample liquids analyzed by the sensing device. A sensing device may include multiple pixels disposed on a substrate, each pixel including said pixel circuit. Driver circuits controlled by control electronics are configured to generate signals that selectively address the pixels and to read out voltages at the sensing electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2016
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2018
    Assignee: Sharp Life Science (EU) Limited
    Inventors: Benjamin James Hadwen, Campbell Donald Brown, Christopher James Brown, Gregory Gay, SAlly Anderson
  • Patent number: 9961271
    Abstract: An electronic device includes: an imaging unit including a region having a pixel group that has a plurality of first pixels, and second pixels that are fewer than the first pixels in the pixel group; and a control unit that reads out the signals based upon exposure of the second pixels during exposure of the plurality of first pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Koichi Gohara, Satoshi Tsuchiya
  • Patent number: 9954026
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus includes a pixel configured to generate a signal in accordance with an incident light by a photoelectric conversion; a differential amplifier including a first input terminal to which a voltage based on the signal from the pixel is input, and a second input terminal to which a reference voltage is input; a current supply unit configured to supply a bias current to the differential amplifier; and a comparing unit configured to compare the voltage of the first input terminal of the differential amplifier with a threshold voltage, and configured to output a control signal based on a comparison result to the current supply unit, and the current supply unit changes a magnitude of the bias current supplied to the differential amplifier in accordance with the control signal input from the comparing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Takamasa Sakuragi
  • Patent number: 9955096
    Abstract: A system and method of routing multiple pixels from a single column in a CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensors (CIS) to a plurality of column analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) is disclosed. The CIS includes an array of pixel elements having a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns. A plurality of column-out signal paths is coupled to each of the plurality of columns of the array of pixel elements. A column routing matrix is coupled to each plurality of column-out signal paths for each of the plurality of columns. A plurality of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) are coupled to the column routing matrix. The column routing matrix is configured to route at least one column-out signal path to each of the plurality of ADCs during a down-sampling read operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 22, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Calvin Yi-Ping Chao, Shang-Fu Yeh, Chin-Hao Chang, Chih-Lin Lee, Kuo-Yu Chou, Chiao-Yi Huang
  • Patent number: 9942496
    Abstract: A correlated double sampling (CDS) circuit includes a comparator and a first circuit. The comparator including, a first input terminal, a second input terminal, at least one output terminal, and a plurality of first transistors operably coupled between the at least one output terminal and the first and second input terminals. The first circuit includes at least one second transistor, the at least one second transistor operably coupled to the at least one output terminal and one of the first input terminal and the second input terminal, the at least one second transistor having at least one of (i) a different number of layers than the first transistors, and (ii) a different dimension than the first transistors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 21, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 10, 2018
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Sang Hoon Ha, Ji Yong Park, Kwang Hyun Lee
  • Patent number: 9918012
    Abstract: To provide a display system which enables power consumption to be reduced. An imaging device operates in first and second imaging modes. In the first imaging mode, a digital processing circuit converts a third imaging data captured by a first pixel into a digital data and supplied the data to a display device. In the second imaging mode, an analog processing circuit detects a difference data between first and second imaging data and sets a determination signal to an active value in accordance with the difference data. A display device operates in first and second display modes. In the first display mode, an image data is updated to display an image. In the second display mode, an image is displayed without an update of an image data. The switching of the imaging mode and the display mode is performed by setting the determination signal to an active value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2018
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki Kurokawa, Takayuki Ikeda
  • Patent number: 9894305
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a first photoelectric conversion unit that converts light incident through a first opening to an electric charge, a second photoelectric conversion unit that converts light incident through a second opening which is smaller than the first opening to an electric charge, and a signal output wiring that outputs a first signal generated by the electric charge converted by the first photoelectric conversion unit and a second signal generated by the electric charge converted by the second photoelectric conversion unit. The second photoelectric conversion unit is disposed between the second opening and the signal output wiring.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 13, 2018
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hironobu Murata
  • Patent number: 9888199
    Abstract: This solid-state imaging device includes a first substrate and a second substrate which have circuit elements constituting pixels disposed therein are electrically connected to each other. The pixels includes: a photoelectric conversion element disposed in the first substrate; an amplifier circuit that amplifies a signal generated in the photoelectric conversion element to output the amplified signal; a signal accumulation circuit which is disposed in the second substrate and accumulates the amplified signal which is output from the amplifier circuit; and an output circuit that outputs the amplified signal accumulated in the signal accumulation circuit from the pixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: OLYMPUS CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yuichi Gomi, Hideki Kato, Naofumi Sakaguchi, Naoto Fukuoka
  • Patent number: 9838633
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device includes a photoelectric converter, a transistor having a gate to which a voltage corresponding to charges generated by the photoelectric converter is supplied, a control line connected to a first main electrode of the transistor, and a readout unit configured to read out a signal corresponding to a voltage of the gate, and a voltage controller configured to change a voltage of the control line. The readout unit generates a digital signal corresponding to the voltage of the gate, based on a current flowing through a second main electrode of the transistor during a period in which the voltage controller changes the voltage of the control line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2017
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takashi Muto, Yasushi Matsuno, Daisuke Yoshida, Hirofumi Totsuka, Toru Koizumi
  • Patent number: 9762839
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus includes a plurality of current sources each including a first transistor, a first switch, a second transistor connected to a vertical signal line via the first switch, and a second switch. The gate of the first transistor is connected to a common connecting line, and the gate of the second transistor is connected to the common connecting line via the second switch.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 12, 2017
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Seiichirou Sakai, Hideo Kobayashi, Yu Maehashi
  • Patent number: 9736405
    Abstract: An image sensor having global shutter circuitry and an extremely fine pixel pitch. Disclosed image sensors combine global shutter circuitry with rolling shutter circuitry for respective subsets of sensor pixels to marry imaging benefits of global shutter circuitry with relatively small circuit overhead of rolling shutter circuitry. Such image sensors can achieve improved optical performance with smaller pixel pitch and optical resolution than existing global shutter image sensors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: AltaSens, Inc.
    Inventor: Lester Joseph Kozlowski
  • Patent number: 9445023
    Abstract: In a photoelectric conversion device, groups of unit pixels are arranged in a well, where each of the unit pixels includes photoelectric conversion elements, an amplifier transistor, and transfer transistors. The photoelectric conversion device includes a line used to supply a voltage to the well, a well-contact part used to connect the well-voltage-supply line to the well, and transfer-control lines used to control the transfer transistors. The transfer-control lines are symmetrically arranged with respect to the well-voltage-supply line in respective regions of the unit-pixel groups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2016
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yukihiro Kuroda, Takanori Watanabe
  • Patent number: 9424626
    Abstract: A system and method of processing raw image pixel information includes an integrated decimation filter and raw image scaling filter. The decimation filter operates in the time domain; for example, to calculate a weighted average of time samples. The raw image scaling filter operates in the spatial domain; for example, to calculate a weighted average of spatial samples. The raw image pixel information is modulated by a sigma-delta analog-to-digital modulator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 25, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2016
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Thomas Richard Ayers
  • Patent number: 9342865
    Abstract: A system and method of processing raw image pixel information includes an integrated decimation filter and raw image scaling filter for a set of M columns of raw image pixel information. The decimation filter operates in the time domain; for example, to calculate a weighted average of time samples. The raw image scaling filter operates in the spatial domain; for example, to calculate a weighted average of spatial samples. The raw image pixel information is modulated by a sigma-delta analog-to-digital modulator. The system and method scale the raw image pixel information by a factor of 1/N. M and N are positive integers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Thomas Richard Ayers
  • Patent number: 9318519
    Abstract: One embodiment according to the present invention is an imaging apparatus including a pixel. The pixel includes first and second photoelectric conversion units, a floating diffusion portion, and first and second transfer transistors. The first and second transfer transistors are configured to transfer electric carriers generated respectively at the first and second photoelectric conversion units to the floating diffusion portion. The imaging apparatus includes a first conductive member electrically connected to the gate electrode of the first transfer transistor, a second conductive member electrically connected to the gate electrode of the second transfer transistor, and a control unit. The distance of closest proximity between the first conductive member and the floating diffusion portion is longer than the distance of closest proximity between the second conductive member and the floating diffusion portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2016
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Masahiro Kobayashi, Yoichi Wada, Akira Okita, Yu Arishima
  • Patent number: 9148600
    Abstract: A programmable gain amplifier includes a sampling circuit, a source follower, a first capacitor and an error amplifier. The sampling circuit is configured to perform correlated double sampling on an input signal using a reference voltage. The first capacitor is connected between the sampling circuit and the source follower. The error amplifier is connected between an input terminal of the source follower and an output terminal of the source follower. The error amplifier is configured to reset a voltage of the output terminal of the source follower to the reference voltage during a source follower reset operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yu Jin Park, Jae Hong Kim, Jin Ho Seo, Kwi Sung Yoo, Seog Heon Ham
  • Patent number: 9099373
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device including a pixel region in which a plurality of pixels are arranged. The pixels each includes a photoelectric conversion section, a transfer transistor, a plurality of floating diffusion sections receiving a charge from the photoelectric conversion section through the transfer transistor, a reset transistor resetting the floating diffusion sections, a separating transistor performing on-off control of a connection between the plurality of floating diffusion sections, and an amplifying transistor outputting a signal corresponding to a potential of the floating diffusion sections.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Keiji Mabuchi
  • Patent number: 9088743
    Abstract: This invention provides an image pickup device comprising a plurality of pixels each including a photoelectric conversion unit, a semiconductor area to which a signal from the photoelectric conversion unit is transferred, a transfer switch for transferring the signal from the photoelectric conversion unit to the semiconductor area, and a read unit for reading out the signal from the semiconductor area, and a drive circuit for outputting a first level at which the transfer switch is set in an OFF state, a second level at which the transfer switch is set in an ON state, and a third level between the first level and the second level, wherein the drive circuit controls to hold the third level for a predetermined time while the transfer switch is changing from the ON state to the OFF state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Toru Koizumi, Tetsunobu Kochi, Hiroki Hiyama
  • Patent number: 9083902
    Abstract: Provided is a method of driving a solid-state imaging apparatus including discharging a signal charge from a photoelectric transducer, by turning on a transfer section and turning on a reset section, at a first timing, in a shutter operation for starting an accumulation of the signal charge for the photoelectric transducer while a selection section is turned off, boosting a floating diffusion section, by turning on the transfer section and turning off the reset section, at a second timing which follows the first timing and taking in an electric signal output to an output signal line by a peripheral circuit section, in a state in which the transfer section is turned on, and generating a pixel signal from the taken in signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2015
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Atsushi Masagaki, Takashi Abe, Ryoji Suzuki
  • Publication number: 20150146061
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes pixels each including: a charge storage portion; an amplifier transistor having a gate connected to the charge storage portion; a selection transistor having a source connected to a source of the amplifier transistor and a drain connected to a column signal line; and a reset transistor having a source connected to the charge storage portion and a drain connected to the column signal line, and further includes a control unit which applies to a gate of the selection transistor a first voltage to place the selection transistor in a conductive state and applies to a gate of the reset transistor a second voltage to place the reset transistor in a non-conductive state in a pixel signal readout period, and applies to the gate of the selection transistor a voltage intermediate between the first voltage and the second voltage in a charge storage portion resetting period.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 3, 2015
    Publication date: May 28, 2015
    Inventor: Motonori ISHII
  • Publication number: 20150124135
    Abstract: An active pixel sensor comprising: a plurality of pixels, wherein each pixel includes a light sensitive element and a transfer gate, and the plurality of pixels have at least one floating diffusion region; and a plurality of processing circuits associated with the plurality of pixels; wherein each processing circuit comprises a charge amplifier.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Publication date: May 7, 2015
    Applicant: Silicon Optronics, Inc.
    Inventor: Xinping He
  • Patent number: 9025063
    Abstract: A unit pixel of an image sensor is provided. The unit pixel includes a photoelectric conversion element configured to generate photocharge varying with the intensity of incident light, a transfer transistor configured to transfer the photocharge to a floating diffusion in response to a transfer control signal, and a supplemental transistor connected to the floating diffusion. Because the unit pixel includes only one transistor in addition to the transfer transistor, the area of the unit pixel is minimized, and, as a result, the resolution of a pixel array is increased and the power consumption of the pixel array is decreased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jung Chak Ahn, Hisanori Ihara
  • Patent number: 9019141
    Abstract: An imaging apparatus and a method of driving the same that can generate a digital data of a high resolution pixel signal are provided. The imaging apparatus includes: a pixel (10-1) for generating a signal by photoelectric conversion; a comparing circuit (30-1) for comparing a signal based on the pixel with a time-dependent reference signal; a counter circuit (40-1) performing a counting operating until an inversion of a magnitude relation between the signal based on the pixel and the time-dependent reference signal; and a selecting circuit (30-2) for setting a time-dependent change rate of the reference signal, according to a signal level of the signal based on the pixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2012
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Seiji Hashimoto, Yasushi Matsuno
  • Patent number: 9013610
    Abstract: An apparatus comprises a readout circuit configured to be disconnected from a pixel output, and to connect a pixel reset signal received by the readout circuit to a pixel output signal received by the readout circuit. The apparatus also comprises at least one programmable gain amplifier coupled with the readout circuit. The apparatus further comprises an analog-to-digital converter coupled with the programmable gain amplifier. The readout circuit is configured to be calibrated based on a comparison of a measured output of the readout circuit to a predetermined value, the predetermined value being equal to (2n/2)?1, where n is the number of bits of the analog-to-digital converter.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2015
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Po-Sheng Chou, Calvin Yi-Ping Chao, Kuo-Yu Chou, Honyih Tu, Yi-Che Chen
  • Patent number: 9001247
    Abstract: A method drives an imaging system including: a plurality of pixels; an amplifier having an input node connected to the plurality of pixels via an input capacitor, and an output node connected to the input node via a feedback capacitor; and a reset unit configured to reset the input node to a base potential. The method includes the steps of: causing the input capacitor to hold noise output from one of the plurality of pixels; adding signals output from the two or more pixels in the feedback capacitor; and obtaining a difference between a signal applying a gain to a base signal output from the amplifier according to the reset of the input node of the amplifier and the signal added in the feedback capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 2, 2013
    Date of Patent: April 7, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Kazuhiro Saito, Yasushi Matsuno
  • Publication number: 20150092095
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging apparatus includes a pixel array in which a plurality of pixels are arranged, wherein the pixel array has a region formed from one of an electrical conductor and a semiconductor to which a fixed electric potential is supplied, each pixel includes a photoelectric converter, a charge-voltage converter which converts charges generated by the photoelectric converter into a voltage, and an amplification unit which amplifies a signal generated by the charge-voltage converter by a positive gain and outputs the amplified signal to an output line, and the output line comprising a shielding portion arranged to shield at least part of the charge-voltage converter with respect to the region.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 11, 2014
    Publication date: April 2, 2015
    Inventors: Takashi Matsuda, Shin Kikuchi, Toru Koizumi
  • Patent number: 8994862
    Abstract: In a photoelectric conversion device, groups of unit pixels are arranged in a well, where each of the unit pixels includes photoelectric conversion elements, an amplifier transistor, and transfer transistors. The photoelectric conversion device includes a line used to supply a voltage to the well, a well-contact part used to connect the well-voltage-supply line to the well, and transfer-control lines used to control the transfer transistors. The transfer-control lines are symmetrically arranged with respect to the well-voltage-supply line in respective regions of the unit-pixel groups.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 31, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Yukihiro Kuroda, Takanori Watanabe
  • Patent number: 8988575
    Abstract: A back-illuminated type MOS (metal-oxide semiconductor) solid-state image pickup device 32 in which micro pads 34, 37 are formed on the wiring layer side and a signal processing chip 33 having micro pads 35, 38 formed on the wiring layer at the positions corresponding to the micro pads 34, 37 of the MOS solid-state image pickup device 32 are connected by micro bumps 36, 39. In a semiconductor module including the MOS type solid-state image pickup device, at the same time an image processing speed can be increased, simultaneity within the picture can be realized and image quality can be improved, a manufacturing process can be facilitated, and a yield can be improved. Also, it becomes possible to decrease a power consumption required when all pixels or a large number of pixels is driven at the same time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Keiji Mabuchi, Shunichi Urasaki
  • Patent number: 8987646
    Abstract: In accordance with an embodiment, a pixel includes a first stage coupled to a second stage. The second stage includes a sampling capacitor and a subtraction capacitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Semiconductor Components Industries, LLC
    Inventors: Yannick De Witt, Tom A. Walschap, Tomas Geurts
  • Publication number: 20150077607
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging apparatus includes a pixel section in which a plurality of pixels are arranged in a matrix, a column signal line configured to output a pixel signal from the pixel section, a column amplifier circuit configured to invert and amplify the pixel signal, a bypass circuit configured to bypass the column amplifier circuit, an AD converter, and a control unit configured to change an operation mode of the AD converter in accordance with the operation of the bypass circuit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 27, 2014
    Publication date: March 19, 2015
    Inventors: Kazuo Yamazaki, Tetsuya Itano, Hiroki Hiyama
  • Patent number: 8981987
    Abstract: An imaging device includes a comparator that compares a noise signal with each of a first reference signal and a second reference signal having potentials with different changing quantities per unit time, and that compares a photoelectric conversion signal with each of the first reference signal and the second reference signal. Also, the imaging device AD-converts signals obtained by amplifying the noise signal by a first gain and a second gain having different gains, and AD-converts a signal obtained by amplifying the photoelectric conversion signal by one of a first gain and a second gain.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Seiji Hashimoto, Takashi Muto, Daisuke Yoshida, Hirofumi Totsuka, Yasushi Matsuno
  • Patent number: 8983036
    Abstract: Embodiments of methods/apparatus can transition a DR detector imaging array to low power photosensor mode where a first voltage is applied across the photosensors. Embodiments of methods/apparatus can provide an area radiographic imaging array including a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix at the imaging array where each pixel can include at least one electrically chargeable photosensor and at least one transistor, row address circuits, signal sensing circuits, and photosensor power control circuitry to maintain a first voltage across photosensors of the portion of the imaging array when the detector is between imaging operations. In one embodiment, photosensor power control circuitry can maintain the first voltage across the photosensors when a power consumption of the signal sensing circuits is less than 1% of the power consumption of the signal sensing circuits during readout of a signal from the portion of the imaging array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2015
    Assignee: Carestream Health, Inc.
    Inventors: Timothy J. Tredwell, Jeff Hsin Chang
  • Publication number: 20150062394
    Abstract: The imaging apparatus has a plurality of pixels each of which has a plurality of photoelectric conversion units; generates a plurality of first combined signals obtained by combining signals based on electric charges of photoelectric conversion units in one side with each other, and a plurality of second signals obtained by combining signals based on electric charges of the plurality of photoelectric conversion units with each other; and outputs a part of the first combined signals out of the plurality of first combined signals.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 6, 2014
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Inventors: Yasuji Ikeda, Hiroki Hiyama, Yu Arishima, Seiji Hashimoto
  • Publication number: 20150062395
    Abstract: An AD conversion unit AD-converts a first analog signal output from a clamping unit and generated based on a signal generated at a first photoelectric conversion unit. Then, while the first analog signal is clamped at a reference level, signals generated based on the signals generated at the first and second photoelectric conversion units are applied to the clamping unit, whereby the AD conversion unit AD-converts a second analog signal output from the clamping unit.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 2, 2014
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Inventors: Toshiaki Ono, Kazumichi Morita
  • Patent number: 8964086
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a pixel array section that has at least one pixel with a photoelectric conversion unit and a charge detection unit. A driving section is configured to read out a signal of the pixel, a first portion of said signal being based on signal charge, a second portion of said signal being based on a reset potential. A signal processing section is configured to read out the first portion of the signal as a reference voltage, with the reference voltage being adjusted to cause the first and second portions of the signal to be within an input voltage range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 4, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Masaki Sakakibara, Tadayuki Taura, Yusuke Oike, Takafumi Takatsuka, Akihiko Kato
  • Patent number: 8964087
    Abstract: A large difference in exposure timing is prevented from arising in cases in which plural pixels have a common amplifier, even when image data is read by thinning An imaging apparatus (10) includes: an image pickup device (14) including plural photoelectric conversion elements arrayed in first and second directions; an amplification means that treats (K×L) pixels as respective common pixels and amplifies an image capture signal for each of the common pixels; a color filter that is provided with a repeatedly disposed basic array pattern or first and second filters placed in a predetermined pattern of (N×M) pixels; and an image processing section (20) and a drive section (22) that perform charge sweeping by applying sequential shutter pulses to the image pickup device (14) in turn to each pixel, or to each scan line, or to each of plural pixels on a scan line, that read pixel signals of the plural pixels at a set cycle, that, from the read pixel signals, generate line image data of pixels that are arrayed runnin
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 26, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2015
    Assignee: FUJIFILM Corporation
    Inventors: Hidekazu Kurahashi, Kenkichi Hayashi, Seiji Tanaka, Tomoyuki Kawai, Noriko Kawamura
  • Publication number: 20150049228
    Abstract: There is a demand for increasing the dynamic range of an imaging unit. Provided is an imaging unit comprising a pixel section that outputs a pixel signal corresponding to a reset potential after a reset and a signal potential after charge accumulation; an amplifying section that amplifies the pixel signal with a first amplification ratio or a second amplification ratio that is different from the first amplification ratio; and a control section that causes the amplifying section to amplify the pixel signal corresponding to a change from the reset potential to the signal potential with the first amplification ratio, and then causes the amplifying section to amplify the pixel signal corresponding to a change from the signal potential to the reset potential with the second amplification ratio.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 25, 2014
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Inventor: Wataru FUNAMIZU
  • Publication number: 20150036032
    Abstract: Column signal processing units are provided in correspondence with respective columns of a pixel array. The column signal processing unit includes a sample-and-hold unit configured to hold an analog signal output from a pixel, a buffer unit configured to buffer the signal held in the sample-and-hold unit, and an AD conversion unit. The AD conversion unit converts the signal held by the sample-and-hold unit and buffered by the buffer unit into a digital signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 30, 2014
    Publication date: February 5, 2015
    Inventors: Tetsuya Itano, Kazuo Yamazaki, Kohichi Nakamura, Koichiro Iwata, Yasuji Ikeda
  • Patent number: 8946616
    Abstract: An analog-to-digital converter (ADC) within an image sensor includes a comparator comparing a ramp signal with an image signal, and a counter generating a count result in response to the comparison by counting a clock during a counting interval. The ADC determines whether a first counting interval for the counter is less than a reference interval, and if the first counting interval is less than the reference interval the counting interval is a first counting interval, else the counting interval is a second counting interval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 3, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jin Woo Kim, Seog Heon Ham, Kyung-Min Kim, Yong Lim
  • Publication number: 20150022702
    Abstract: An analog-to-digital converter includes a gain amplification unit configured to receive a pixel signal at a first node and to amplify a gain of the pixel signal, a first capacitor connected between the first node and a second node, an amplifier configured to receive and amplify a signal output from the gain amplification unit and the first capacitor, and a conversion circuit configured to convert an output signal of the amplifier to a digital signal based on a reference signal and output the digital signal as a first output signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2014
    Publication date: January 22, 2015
    Inventors: Jae Hong KIM, Yu Jin PARK, Jin Ho SEO, Kwi Sung YOO, Wun Ki JUNG, Han Kook CHO, Seog Heon HAM, Min Ji HWANG
  • Publication number: 20150009377
    Abstract: Provided is a solid-state imaging device including an imaging area where a plurality of unit pixels are disposed to capture a color image, wherein each of the unit pixels includes: a plurality of photoelectric conversion portions; a plurality of transfer gates, each of which is disposed in each of the photoelectric conversion portions to transfer signal charges from the photoelectric conversion portion; and a floating diffusion to which the signal charges are transferred from the plurality of the photoelectric conversion portions by the plurality of the transfer gates, wherein the plurality of the photoelectric conversion portions receive light of the same color to generate the signal charges, and wherein the signal charges transferred from the plurality of the photoelectric conversion portions to the floating diffusion are added to be output as an electrical signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 24, 2014
    Publication date: January 8, 2015
    Inventor: Hiroaki Ishiwata
  • Patent number: 8928791
    Abstract: A signal for focus detection is generated by a first operation, in which a signal of at least one photoelectric conversion element included in a photoelectric conversion unit is read to an input node of an amplification unit and the signal is supplied to a common output line by the amplification unit and signals for forming an image are generated by a second operation, in which a signal of another photoelectric conversion element included in the same photoelectric conversion unit as that including the at least one photoelectric conversion element from which the signal has been read in the first operation is read to the input node of the amplification unit while holding the signal read in the first operation using the amplification unit and the signals are supplied to the common output line by the amplification unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Akira Okita, Yu Arishima, Masaaki Minowa
  • Patent number: 8928786
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging apparatus includes: a plurality of pixels arranged in a matrix; a plurality of amplifier circuits each arranged correspondingly to each of columns of the pixels, for amplifying a signal from the pixel; and a current source transistor whose source is supplied with a power source voltage and which supplies the amplifier circuit with a bias current. When the current source transistor is operating in the saturation region, the gate voltage of the current source transistor that is supplied from the bias line is sampled and held. The gate voltage of the current source transistor with respect to the power source voltage is controlled to the sampled voltage, thereby suppressing variation. This suppression can, in turn, suppress occurrence of line noise and a lateral smear due to difference of drop in voltage of a power source line concerning a column circuit on each row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2015
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Koichiro Iwata, Hiroki Hiyama, Tetsuya Itano, Kohichi Nakamura, Kazuhiro Saito
  • Publication number: 20140375854
    Abstract: Various technologies described herein pertain to controlling floating diffusion gain using a charge pump. Feedback can be utilized to control impedance of a floating diffusion region of a pixel of an image sensor, which further includes a read bus and an amplifier. The pixel includes a capacitor and a floating diffusion region, which has an intrinsic floating diffusion capacitance. The capacitor includes a first terminal and a second terminal, where the first terminal is coupled to the floating diffusion region. The amplifier includes an input terminal and an output terminal. The input terminal of the amplifier is coupled to the read bus and the output terminal of the amplifier is coupled to the second terminal of the capacitor. Gain of the amplifier is adjustable to control an equivalent capacitance of the floating diffusion region. Alteration of the equivalent capacitance can modify conversion gain and dynamic range of the pixel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 25, 2013
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Inventor: Emanuele Mandelli
  • Publication number: 20140375855
    Abstract: To improve the speed of AD conversion. An amplifier amplifies, by a magnification larger than 1, signals of a pixel that outputs a signal in which there is no accumulation of a charge by a photon as a reset signal, and outputs a signal in which there is accumulation of a charge by a photon as an accumulation signal. A calculation unit generates an offset amount signal corresponding to an amount of own offset component using the amplified signal, and calculates a digital value corresponding to the own offset component using the generated offset amount signal and accuracy set for AD conversion of the amplified accumulated signal.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2012
    Publication date: December 25, 2014
    Applicant: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Nishihara, Hirofumi Sumi