Pixel Amplifiers Patents (Class 348/301)
  • Patent number: 10797091
    Abstract: In some embodiments, a pixel sensor is provided. The pixel sensor includes a first photodetector arranged in a semiconductor substrate. A second photodetector is arranged in the semiconductor substrate, where a first substantially straight line axis intersects a center point of the first photodetector and a center point of the second photodetector. A floating diffusion node is arranged in the semiconductor substrate at a point that is a substantially equal distance from the first photodetector and the second photodetector. A pick-up well contact region is arranged in the semiconductor substrate, where a second substantially straight line axis that is substantially perpendicular to the first substantially straight line axis intersects a center point of the floating diffusion node and a center point of the pick-up well contact region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 6, 2020
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Seiji Takahashi, Chen-Jong Wang, Dun-Nian Yaung, Feng-Chi Hung, Feng-Jia Shiu, Jen-Cheng Liu, Jhy-Jyi Sze, Chun-Wei Chang, Wei-Cheng Hsu, Wei Chuang Wu, Yimin Huang
  • Patent number: 10783836
    Abstract: This disclosure provides a method, and a liquid crystal display device, where the method includes: determining grayscale values of pixels in a zone image data block under a predetermined rule according to a received image signal; pre-obtaining a zone backlight value corresponding to the zone image data block according to the grayscale values; calculating an adjusted backlight value of a backlight zone corresponding to the zone image data block, based on the zone backlight value, a backlight value gain variable, and an ambient luminance revision variable; outputting the adjusted backlight value to a driver circuit of a backlight source in the backlight zone; and driving the backlight source according to the adjusted backlight value to control brightness of the backlight source in the backlight zone.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2018
    Date of Patent: September 22, 2020
    Assignee: HISENSE VISUAL TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yuxin Zhang, Shunming Huang, Zhicheng Song
  • Patent number: 10746885
    Abstract: A radiation detector includes a plurality of semiconductor light receiving elements and a plurality of reflection elements that segment a scintillator array. A plurality of respective segment areas by the reflection elements. A plurality of amplifiers amplify signals obtained from respective semiconductor light receiving elements. The scintillator array includes a plurality of scintillators. The radiation detector provides a first accumulator per segment area, and a first trigger generation circuit per segment area. The first trigger generation circuit generates a first trigger of the multiple signal added by the first accumulator for each of the plurality of respective segment areas. An encoder generates a single first trigger signal based on the first trigger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2020
    Assignee: SHIMADZU CORPORATION
    Inventor: Tetsuo Furumiya
  • Patent number: 10727268
    Abstract: An image sensor array of shared pixel units fabricated by a CMOS technology, wherein each pixel unit includes a plurality of photodiodes and respective transfer transistors and floating drains whose layout constitutes mirror images. The plurality of photodiodes each share a single reset transistor and source follower amplifier transistor wherein the shared floating diode is spaced at the minimum distance, from a gate electrode of the source follower transistor as is allowed by the CMOS fabrication technology chosen to manufacture the image sensor array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2020
    Assignee: SmartSens Technology (Cayman) Co., Ltd
    Inventors: Chen Xu, Zexu Shao, Xin Wang
  • Patent number: 10714517
    Abstract: An image sensor including: a first photodiode; a first circuit including an overflow transistor and a first transfer transistor connected to the first photodiode, a switch element connected to the first transfer transistor and a capacitor disposed between the first transfer transistor and the switch element, wherein the capacitor is a physical capacitor; a second photodiode; and a second circuit including a second transfer transistor connected to the second photodiode, a reset transistor connected to an output of the first circuit and a driving transistor connected to the second transfer transistor and the output of the first circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2020
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kang Sun Lee, Seung Ho Shin, Hyung Jin Bae, Jin Ho Seo, Ji Hun Shin, Moo Sup Lim, Young Tae Jang, Young Kyun Jeong
  • Patent number: 10708531
    Abstract: Provided is a photoelectric conversion apparatus including a plurality of pixels and a control unit, wherein each of the pixels includes a photoelectric conversion unit and a digital-signal output unit configured to output a digital signal based on the output of the photoelectric conversion unit, and the number of bits of the digital signal may be switched.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Takeru Ohya, Tomoya Onishi, Daisuke Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 10694132
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a solid-state imaging device, a signal processing method, and an electronic device, capable of suppressing an input voltage of comparison apparatus at the time of P-phase input. In the present technology, a signal voltage is clipped at a predetermined voltage (for example, comparative voltage), and the clip is released at the time of D-phase count. With this configuration, the comparative voltage and the signal voltage VSL (initial voltage) do not cross (the comparator is not inverted in the D-phase). Thus, the up/down counter 32 detects this and sets the count of the P-phase to be 0 without counting the P-phase. The present disclosure can be applied to, for example, a CMOS solid-state imaging device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2020
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takumi Oka, Makoto Aoki
  • Patent number: 10652499
    Abstract: An image capturing apparatus includes a first chip and a second chip. The first chip includes a plurality of pixels. The second chip is stacked on the first chip and includes a plurality of signal processing circuits arranged in a two-dimensional form. Each signal processing circuit includes a first selection circuit, a plurality of amplifier circuits, and an analog-to-digital conversion unit. The first selection circuit includes a plurality of input nodes, a plurality of output nodes, and is configured such that a signal output from a pixel and input to one of the plurality of input nodes is selectively output to one of the plurality of output nodes. The plurality of amplifier circuits respectively are connected to the plurality of output nodes of the first selection circuit. The analog-to-digital conversion unit is configured to convert a plurality of output signals output from the plurality of amplifier circuits.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Naoki Isoda, Hirofumi Totsuka, Daisuke Yoshida
  • Patent number: 10645326
    Abstract: Disclosed herein is an image pickup circuit including: amplifying means for amplifying a charge corresponding to an amount of light received by a photodetector, and outputting a pixel signal; ramp signal generating means for generating a ramp signal whose voltage drops with a fixed slope from a predetermined initial voltage; and comparing means for comparing the pixel signal output by the amplifying means with the ramp signal output by the ramp signal generating means. A reference potential of the pixel signal output by the amplifying means and a reference potential of the ramp signal output by the ramp signal generating means are at a same level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 2, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hayato Wakabayashi, Yoshiaki Inada, Ken Koseki
  • Patent number: 10645321
    Abstract: The present technique relates to a solid-state imaging device, a solid-state imaging device manufacturing method, and an electronic apparatus that are capable of providing a solid-state imaging device that can prevent generation of RTS noise due to miniaturization of amplifying transistors, and can achieve a smaller size and a higher degree of integration accordingly. A solid-state imaging device (1-1) includes: a photodiode (PD) as a photoelectric conversion unit; a transfer gate (TG) that reads out charges from the photodiode (PD); a floating diffusion (FD) from which the charges of the photodiode (PD) are read by an operation of the transfer gate (TG); and an amplifying transistor (Tr3) connected to the floating diffusion (FD). More particularly, the amplifying transistor (Tr3) is of a fully-depleted type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2020
    Assignee: SONY SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroaki Ammo
  • Patent number: 10630897
    Abstract: An image sensor may include image pixels arranged in rows and columns. The image pixels may include respective overflow transistors and overflow capacitors and be configured to generate overflow charge during image acquisition. The overflow charge may be generated in a rolling manner on a row-to-row basis by repeatedly activating the overflow transistors and transfer transistors. Row control circuitry may be configured to provide a final synchronous overflow and transfer transistor activation across all of the pixel rows to provide a uniform overflow charge integration time period across all of the pixel rows. Row control circuitry may include a control signal generation circuit configured to generate control signals having full assertions in a first mode and partial assertions for the final synchronous overflow and transfer transistor activation in a second mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2020
    Assignee: SEMICONDUCTOR COMPONENTS INDUSTRIES, LLC
    Inventors: Bharat Balar, Gurvinder Singh
  • Patent number: 10594966
    Abstract: An optical sensor device comprising a conversion region to convert an electromagnetic signal into photo-generated charge carriers is shown. The optical sensor device comprises a read-out node configured to read-out the photo-generated charge carriers and a control electrode which is separated by an isolating material from the conversion region. Furthermore, the optical sensor device comprises a doping region in the semiconductor substrate between the control electrode and the conversion region, wherein the doping region comprises a higher doping concentration compared to a minimum doping concentration of the conversion region, wherein the doping concentration is at least 1000 times higher than the minimum doping concentration of the conversion region and wherein the doping region extends into the semiconductor substrate. Moreover, a projection of the control electrode towards the conversion region overlaps the doping region or is located in the doping region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2017
    Date of Patent: March 17, 2020
    Assignee: Infineon Technologies AG
    Inventor: Henning Feick
  • Patent number: 10571744
    Abstract: A display may have a pixel array such as a liquid crystal pixel array. The pixel array may be illuminated by a backlight unit that includes an array of light-emitting diodes. A backlight brightness selection circuit may select brightness values for the light-emitting diodes. The backlight brightness selection circuit may select the brightness values based on image data, based on brightness values used in previous image frames, based on device information, and/or based on sensor information. The backlight brightness selection circuit may select the backlight brightness levels to mitigate visible artifacts such as flickering and halo. The backlight levels selected by the backlight brightness selection may be modified by a power consumption compensation circuit. The power consumption compensation circuit may estimate the amount of power consumption required to operate the backlight using the target brightness levels and may modify the target brightness levels to meet maximum power consumption requirements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2020
    Assignee: Apple Inc.
    Inventors: Sean C. Chang, Tobias Jung, Marc Albrecht, Abdeslam Hafidi, Jun Qi, Duane M. Petrovich, Mingxia Gu, Xiang Fang, Pierre-Yves Emelie, Wei H Yao
  • Patent number: 10540733
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for frameless random-access image sensing. Instructions identifying a pixel detector in an array of pixel detectors and integration instructions for the pixel detector may be received by an image detector controller. Integration by the pixel detector may be controlled as defined by the integration instructions to generate pixel data by the pixel detector. The pixel data may be read from the pixel detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2020
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventors: Gary A. Ray, Bentley E. Northon
  • 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