Including Switching Transistor And Photocell At Each Pixel Site (e.g., "mos-type" Image Sensor) Patents (Class 348/308)
  • Patent number: 11463648
    Abstract: An imaging device includes a photodiode array with a first and second photodiodes. First and second floating diffusions are configured to receive charge from the first and second photodiodes, respectively. An analog to digital converter (ADC) is configured to receive simultaneously first and second bitline signals from the first and second floating diffusions, respectively. The ADC is configured to generate a reference readout in response to the first and second bitline signals after a reset operation. The ADC next generates a first half of a phase detection autofocus (PDAF) readout in response to the first and second bitline signals after charge is transferred from the first PDAF photodiode to the first floating diffusion. The ADC then generates a full image readout in response to the first and second bitline signals after charge is transferred from the second photodiode to the second floating diffusion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2021
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2022
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Chengcheng Xu, Rui Wang, Wei Deng, Chun-Sheng Yang, Xueqing Wang
  • Patent number: 11462159
    Abstract: A display device includes a pixel array unit formed by disposing pixel circuits having a P-channel type drive transistor that drives a light-emitting unit, a sampling transistor that applies a signal voltage, a light emission control transistor that controls emission/non-emission of the light-emitting unit, a storage capacitor that is connected between a gate electrode and a source electrode of the drive transistor and an auxiliary capacitor that is connected to the source electrode, and a drive unit that, during threshold correction, respectively applies a first voltage and a second voltage to the source electrode of the drive transistor and the gate electrode thereof, the difference between the first voltage and the second voltage being less than a threshold voltage of the drive transistor, and subsequently performs driving that applies a standard voltage used in threshold correction to the gate electrode when the source electrode is in a floating state.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2020
    Date of Patent: October 4, 2022
    Assignee: Sony Group Corporation
    Inventors: Yusuke Onoyama, Junichi Yamashita, Naobumi Toyomura
  • Patent number: 11451717
    Abstract: A pixel includes an array of a plurality of photodiodes. The array of photodiodes includes a plurality of rows of photodiodes and a plurality of columns of photodiodes. The plurality of photodiodes includes a set of first photodiodes that has a first surface area and at least one second photodiode that has a second surface area that is smaller than the first surface area. The first photodiodes are arranged to be symmetric with respect to the at least one second photodiode. Output circuitry is electrically coupled to each of the first photodiodes in the set of first photodiodes. A switch is selectively, operably closed to electrically couple the output circuitry to the second photodiode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 20, 2022
    Assignee: OMNIVISION TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
    Inventor: Johannes Solhusvik
  • Patent number: 11444121
    Abstract: Devices and methods of their fabrication for pixels or displays are disclosed. Pixels and displays having redundant subpixels are described. Subpixels are initially isolated by an unprogrammed antifuse. A subpixel is connected to the display by programming the antifuse, electrically connecting it to the pixel or display. Defective subpixels can be determined by photoluminescent testing or electroluminescent testing, or both. A redundant subpixel can replace a defective subpixel before pixel or display fabrication is complete.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2021
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: Black Peak LLC
    Inventor: Scott Brad Herner
  • Patent number: 11445139
    Abstract: An analog-digital converter includes a count code generator to receive a code generation clock signal from a clock signal generator and to output a count code according to the code generation clock signal, a latch to latch the count code, an operating circuit to generate a count value of the count code and to output a digital signal based on the count value, and a transfer controller to transfer the count code from the latch to the operating circuit. The transfer controller determines whether to transfer the count code according to a logic level of a count enable clock signal generated from the clock signal generator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sung Yong Kim, Kyung-Min Kim, Hyuk Oh, Hyeok Jong Lee, Seung Hoon Jung, Woong Joo, Hee Sung Chae
  • Patent number: 11445140
    Abstract: An image sensor may include an array of image pixels. The array of image pixel may be coupled to column readout circuitry. A given image pixel may generate a low light signal and a high light signal for a given exposure. A column line may couple the given image pixel to readout circuitry having amplifier circuitry. The column line may be coupled to an autozeroing transistor for reading out the high light signal and a source follower stage for readout out the low light signal. The amplifier circuitry may receive different common mode voltage depending on whether it is amplifying the low or high light signal. The gain and other operating parameters of the amplifier circuitry may be adjusted based on whether it is amplifying the low or high signal. If desired, separate amplifier circuitry may be implemented for the low and high light signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2022
    Assignee: SEMICONDUCTOR COMPONENTS INDUSTRIES, LLC
    Inventors: Rajashekar Benjaram, Gurvinder Singh
  • Patent number: 11438536
    Abstract: An imaging device that includes pixels arranged in a matrix having rows and columns, the pixels including first pixels and second pixels different from the first pixels, the first pixels and the second pixels being located in one of the columns, each of the pixels including a photoelectric converter that converts incident light into signal charge, and a first transistor having a first gate, a first source and a first drain, the first gate being coupled to the photoelectric converter. The imaging device further includes a first line coupled to one of the first source and drain of the first pixels; a second line coupled to one of the first source and drain of the second pixels; a third line coupled to the other of the first source and drain of the first pixels; and voltage circuitry coupled to the third line and that supplies a first and second voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2022
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2022
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Masaaki Yanagida, Masashi Murakami, Sanshiro Shishido
  • Patent number: 11431927
    Abstract: The present technology relates to an imaging element that can reduce noise. The imaging element includes: a photoelectric conversion element; a first amplification element that amplifies a signal from the photoelectric conversion element; a second amplification element that amplifies an output from the first amplification element; an offset element provided between the first amplification element and the second amplification element; a first reset element that resets the first amplification element; and a second reset element that resets the second amplification element. The offset element is a capacitor. A charge is accumulated in the offset element via a feedback loop of an output from the second amplification element, and an offset bias is generated. The present technology can be applied to an imaging element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2022
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Toshiyuki Nishihara, Tomohiro Takahashi, Masao Matsumura, Tsutomu Imoto
  • Patent number: 11424276
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device includes: a photoelectric conversion block including two-dimensionally arranged photoelectric converters, each photoelectric converter including a color filter and a photoelectric conversion element configured to perform photoelectric conversion in response to incident light; a signal processing block configured to process data output from the photoelectric conversion block; and a plurality of electrode pads disposed in the signal processing block. The electrode pads are configured to supply power to the photoelectric conversion block and the signal processing block.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: Ricoh Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Kenichi Matsumoto, Yuuya Miyoshi
  • Patent number: 11423851
    Abstract: A driver circuit of an image sensor is provided. The driver circuit includes a row decoder to decode an address of a target row of a pixel array and generate an operation directing signal corresponding to the target row; a digital logic circuit including: a target row logic circuit to generate a pixel control signal based on the operation directing signal; a power switch configured to connect a power supply voltage to the target row logic circuit during a first time and isolate the power supply voltage from the target row logic circuit during a second time, based on the operation directing signal; and an output circuit configured to output a default signal during the second time; and a row driver configured to drive the target row based on the pixel control signal during the first time and drive the target row based on the default signal during the second time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 23, 2022
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Kyuik Cho, Jaejung Park
  • Patent number: 11417700
    Abstract: Some embodiments of the present disclosure provide a back side illuminated (BSI) image sensor. The back side illuminated (BSI) image sensor includes a semiconductive substrate and an interlayer dielectric (ILD) layer at a front side of the semiconductive substrate. The ILD layer includes a dielectric layer over the semiconductive substrate and a contact partially buried inside the semiconductive substrate. The contact includes a silicide layer including a predetermined thickness proximately in a range from about 600 angstroms to about 1200 angstroms.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING COMPANY LTD.
    Inventors: Chih-Chang Huang, Chi-Ming Lu, Jian-Ming Chen, Jung-Chih Tsao, Yao-Hsiang Liang
  • Patent number: 11418709
    Abstract: Disclosed is a camera module. The camera module includes an image sensor that captures an image of a target to generate first image data, outputs the first image data, and outputs an interval information signal; an image signal processor that receives the first image data, performs image processing on the first image data to generate second image data and outputs the second image data; and an interface circuit that receives the second image data and the interval information signal and outputs the second image data as third image data. The interface circuit adjusts a timing to output the third image data, based on the interval information signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2021
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Inventors: Daechul Kwon, Jaehyuck Kang, Gyeonghan Cha, Moo Young Kim
  • Patent number: 11418736
    Abstract: An electronic circuit includes a unit pixel, a first clamp circuit, and a second clamp circuit. The unit pixel outputs a voltage having an output voltage level at a first output voltage level in a first time interval and at a second output voltage level in a second time interval different from the first time interval. The first clamp circuit is configured to clamp the output voltage level from the unit pixel to a first voltage level responsive to the first output voltage level being not greater than the first voltage level in the first time interval. The second clamp circuit is configured to clamp the output voltage level from the unit pixel to a second voltage level responsive to the second output voltage level being not greater than the second voltage level in the second time interval.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Moo Young Kim, KyoungMin Koh, Woong Joo, Mira Lee, Kyung-Min Kim
  • Patent number: 11418746
    Abstract: In a solid-state image sensor that transfers electric charges to a floating diffusion layer, exposure is started before transferring the electric charges to the floating diffusion layer. Electric charges are generated by photoelectric conversion in a photodiode and they are accumulated in an accumulation unit. An exposure end transfer transistor transfers the electric charges from the photodiode to the accumulation unit when a predetermined exposure period ends. A reset transistor initializes a voltage of a floating diffusion layer to a predetermined reset level when the exposure period ends. When a new exposure period is started after the electric charges are transferred to the accumulation unit, a discharge transistor discharges electric charges newly generated in the photodiode. When processing of converting a predetermined reset level into a digital signal ends, a conversion end transistor transfers the electric charges from the accumulation unit to the floating diffusion layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2022
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Shin Kitano
  • Patent number: 11412167
    Abstract: A circuit is disclosed, including a sensing unit and first to fifth switching units. The sensing unit generates a sensing voltage to a sensing node. The first switching unit is coupled between the sensing node and a first node. The second switching unit is coupled between the sensing node and a second node and generates a first auxiliary voltage to the second node. The first capacitive unit is coupled to the second node. The third switching unit is coupled between the first and second nodes, and adjusts a first transfer voltage at the first node. The fourth switching unit is coupled between the sensing node and a third node, and generates a second transfer voltage to the third node. The fifth switching unit is coupled between the sensing node and a fourth node and generates a second auxiliary voltage to the fourth node.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Assignee: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chih-Min Liu
  • Patent number: 11408983
    Abstract: A LIDAR system includes a receiver configured to receive a reflected light beam from a receiving direction, the reflected light beam having an oblong shape that extends in a lengthwise direction. The LIDAR receiver includes a two-dimensional (2D) photodetector array including a plurality of pixel rows and a plurality of pixel columns, wherein the reflected light beam, incident on the 2D photodetector array, extends in the lengthwise direction along at least one receiving pixel column of the plurality of pixel columns according to the receiving direction; an analog readout circuit including a plurality of output channels configured to read out electrical signals; and a multiplexer configured to, for each reading cycle, selectively couple receiving pixels of the at least one receiving column to the plurality of output channels based on the receiving direction, while decoupling non-receiving pixels from the plurality of output channels based on the receiving direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 9, 2022
    Inventors: Boris Kirillov, Thomas Gigl, Marcus Edward Hennecke
  • Patent number: 11404464
    Abstract: An image sensing device is provided. The image sensing device includes a substrate, a plurality of photosensitive elements, a dielectric layer, a reflector, a color filter, and a microlens structure. The substrate has a first pixel and a second pixel adjacent to the first pixel, and the substrate has a front side and a back side opposite the front side. The photosensitive elements are disposed in the substrate. The dielectric layer is disposed on the back side of the substrate. The reflection is disposed on the front side of the substrate and has a parabolic surface. The color filter layer is disposed on the dielectric layer. The microlens structure is disposed on the color filter layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 2, 2022
    Assignee: SILICON OPTRONICS, INC.
    Inventors: Bo-Ray Lee, Ming-Xiang Li
  • Patent number: 11393868
    Abstract: The present disclosure provides an image sensor and a method for manufacturing deep trench and through-silicon via of the image sensor, wherein: providing a pixel silicon wafer, performing a silicon wafer thinning on a second side of the pixel silicon wafer; forming a deep trench on the the second side of the pixel silicon wafer; filling the deep trench with organic material; coating photoresist on the second side of the pixel silicon wafer; etching the second side of the pixel silicon wafer to form a through-silicon via according to the through-silicon via pattern; depositing a dielectric protective layer on the surface of the deep trench and the surface of the through-silicon via; filling the deep trench with organic material; coating the photoresist on the second side of the pixel silicon wafer; etching the second side of the pixel silicon wafer to form a contact hole according to the contact hole pattern, depositing a barrier layer on the surface of the deep trench and the surface of the through-silicon v
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: SHANGHAI IC R&D CENTER CO., LTD
    Inventor: Hong Lin
  • Patent number: 11394914
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device includes a pixel region in which shared pixels which share pixel transistors in a plurality of photoelectric conversion portions are two-dimensionally arranged. The shared pixel transistors are divisionally arranged in a column direction of the shared pixels, the pixel transistors shared between neighboring shared pixels are arranged so as to be horizontally reversed or/and vertically crossed, and connection wirings connected to a floating diffusion portion, a source of a reset transistor and a gate of an amplification transistor in the shared pixels are arranged along the column direction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 6, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: Sony Group Corporation
    Inventors: Hideo Kido, Atsuhiko Yamamoto, Akihiro Yamada
  • Patent number: 11394908
    Abstract: An imaging device includes: pixels each including a photoelectric converter, and an output unit that outputs a pixel signal based on charge in a holding portion; an output line to which signals from the pixels are output; a clip circuit that limits a signal level of the output line to a range whose upper or lower limit is a predetermined clip level; and an amplifier unit that amplifies a signal of the output line. The amplifier unit outputs first and second signals amplified at first and second amplification factors, respectively, for the same pixel signal. The clip circuit limits a signal level of the output line to a first clip level in a first period in which the pixel signal is amplified at a first amplification factor and to a second clip level in a second period in which the pixel signal is amplified at a second amplification factor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 2021
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2022
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Takeshi Akiyama, Takanori Yamashita, Takashi Fukuhara, Takenori Kobuse
  • Patent number: 11378665
    Abstract: A distance measuring apparatus includes an image sensor and an image sensor driver. The image sensor includes a photodiode, a first capacitor and a second capacitor, and a first transfer gate and a second transfer gate configured to transmit an output of the photodiode to the respective first and second capacitors. The image sensor driver is configured to complementarily drive the first transfer gate and the second transfer gate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2017
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2022
    Assignee: Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science
    Inventors: Jae-Wan Kim, Jae-Yong Lee, Jong-Ahn Kim, Jae-Heun Woo, Young Pyo Hong
  • Patent number: 11374142
    Abstract: An electronic device includes a photodiode, a first transistor, a second transistor, a third transistor and a capacitor. The photodiode has a first terminal and a second terminal. The first transistor has a control terminal used to receive a reset signal, a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the photodiode, and a second terminal. The second transistor has a control terminal coupled to the second terminal of the photodiode, a first terminal and a second terminal. The third transistor has a control terminal used to receive a row selection signal, a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the second transistor, and a second terminal. The capacitor has a first terminal coupled to the second terminal of the photodiode, and a second terminal coupled to the second terminal of the first transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2022
    Assignee: InnoLux Corporation
    Inventors: Hui-Ching Yang, Tao-Sheng Chang, Te-Yu Lee
  • Patent number: 11363173
    Abstract: A camera and a method of counteracting an increase in humidity of a first air volume inside an enclosure of a camera, the increase in humidity being induced by a first electrical component being shifted from a first state to a second state being associated with an increase in heat dissipation from the first electrical component, the first electrical component directly or indirectly dissipating heat to the first air volume. The concept involves: temporarily decreasing, as the first electrical component is shifted the second state, electrical power consumption of a second electrical component having a variable electrical power consumption, the second electrical component directly or indirectly dissipating heat to the first air volume.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2021
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2022
    Assignee: AXIS AB
    Inventor: Niclas Hörnquist
  • Patent number: 11356626
    Abstract: An imaging device includes a photodiode array. The photodiodes include a first set of photodiodes configured as image sensing photodiodes and a second set of photodiodes configured as phase detection auto focus (PDAF) photodiodes. The PDAF photodiodes are arranged in at least pairs in neighboring columns and are interspersed among the image sensing photodiodes. Transfer transistors are coupled to corresponding photodiodes. The transfer transistors coupled to the image sensing photodiodes included in an active row of are controlled in response to a first transfer control signal or a second transfer control signal that control all of the image sensing photodiodes of the active row. A transfer transistor is coupled to one of a pair of the PDAF photodiodes of the active row. The first transfer transistor is controlled in response to a first PDAF control signal that is independent of the first or second transfer control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Rui Wang, Eiichi Funatsu, Woon Il Choi, Keiji Mabuchi, Chin Poh Pang, Qingfei Chen, Da Meng, Vivian Wang
  • Patent number: 11354789
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus that records a high dynamic range (HDR) signal as a file. The apparatus acquires information indicating peak luminance corresponding to one output dynamic range, of a plurality of different output dynamic ranges, in accordance with shooting settings of the HDR signal. The apparatus then records a first value based on the acquired information to the file along with the HDR signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 7, 2022
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Narumi Matsuoka
  • Patent number: 11348959
    Abstract: Disclosed is a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. The image sensor comprises a first separation zone in a substrate, the first separation zone defining first and second pixel regions arranged in a first direction, the first separation zone including first parts substantially parallel extending in the first direction, and the substrate including a first active region vertically overlapping one of the first parts and a second active region vertically overlapping another of the first parts. The image sensor further comprises first and second photoelectric conversion devices arranged in the first direction on at least one of the first and second pixel regions in the substrate, and a source follower gate on the first active region of the substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jung Bin Yun, Kyungho Lee, Sung-Ho Choi
  • Patent number: 11349042
    Abstract: A pixel includes a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) having a cathode coupled to a high voltage supply through a quenching element, with the SPAD having a capacitance at its anode formed from a deep trench isolation, with the quenching element having a sufficiently high resistance such that the capacitance is not fully charged when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon. The pixel includes a clamp transistor configured to be controlled by a voltage clamp control signal to clamp voltage at an anode of the SPAD when the SPAD is struck by an incoming photon to be no more than a threshold clamped anode voltage, and readout circuitry coupled to receive the clamped anode voltage from the clamp transistor and to generate a pixel output therefrom. The threshold clamped anode voltage is below a maximum operating voltage rating of transistors forming the readout circuitry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Mohammed Al-Rawhani, Neale Dutton, John Kevin Moore, Bruce Rae, Elsa Lacombe
  • Patent number: 11348956
    Abstract: A pixel circuit includes a photodiode, a floating diffusion, and a conduction gate channel of a multi-gate transfer block disposed in a semiconductor material layer. The multi-gate transfer block is coupled to the photodiode, the floating diffusion, and an overflow capacitor. The multi-gate transfer block also includes first, second, and third gates that are disposed proximate to the single conduction gate channel region. The conduction gate channel is a single region shared among the first, second, and third gates. Overflow image charge generated in the photodiode leaks from the photodiode into the conduction gate channel to the overflow capacitor in response to the first gate, which is coupled between the photodiode and the conduction gate channel, receiving a first gate OFF signal and the second gate, which is coupled between the conduction gate channel and the overflow capacitor, receiving a second gate ON signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 31, 2022
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Woon Il Choi, Keiji Mabuchi
  • Patent number: 11342366
    Abstract: An image sensing device may include: a plurality of pixels included in a first row; a first signal line configured to transfer a boosting voltage to the plurality of pixels; a first switch transistor coupled between the first signal line and a second signal line disposed adjacent to the top side of the first signal line; and a second switch transistor coupled between the first signal line and a third signal line disposed adjacent to the bottom side of the first signal line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: SK HYNIX INC.
    Inventor: Pyong Su Kwag
  • Patent number: 11343458
    Abstract: A light-receiving device that achieves both high saturation performance and high sensitivity performance includes a light-receiving pixel including a light-receiving element, a first capacitive element that accumulates a photoelectric charge produced by light received by the light-receiving element, a second capacitive element that accumulates a transferred portion of an amount of the photoelectric charge accumulated in the capacitive element, a switch means for turning on and off a photoelectric charge transfer operation from the capacitive element to the capacitive element, a resetting switch means for resetting the capacitive element and the capacitive element, a pixel selecting switch means, and a source follower switch means. An effective saturation capacity of the capacitive element is 10 to 5,000 times an effective saturation capacity of the capacitive element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: TOHOKU UNIVERSITY
    Inventors: Shigetoshi Sugawa, Rihito Kuroda
  • Patent number: 11343439
    Abstract: A high dynamic range imaging pixel may include first and second photodiodes that generate charge in response to incident light. The second photodiode may have a higher sensitivity than the first photodiode. When generated charge in the first photodiode exceeds a given charge level, the charge may overflow through a transistor to a capacitor. The overflow path from the first photodiode to the capacitor may optionally pass through the floating diffusion region. A transistor may be coupled between the first and second photodiodes. A gain select transistor may be coupled between the floating diffusion region and the capacitor. After sampling the overflow charge, the charge from both the first and second photodiodes may be sampled. In one arrangement, overflow charge may be transferred to a capacitor in a subsequent row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: SEMICONDUCTOR COMPONENTS INDUSTRIES, LLC
    Inventor: Richard Scott Johnson
  • Patent number: 11343448
    Abstract: A method of operating an HDR pixel circuit includes: establishing a calibration full-well capacity of a photodiode according to a first predetermined voltage level; over-charging both the photodiode and a floating diffusion node; dissipating the charges of the floating diffusion node and the charges on the photodiode so that the charges on the photodiode are substantially equal to the calibration full-well capacity; transferring the charges on the photodiode to the floating diffusion node; and sensing a voltage on the floating diffusion node to generate a calibration signal related to the calibration full-well capacity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: PIXART IMAGING INCORPORATION
    Inventors: Ren-Chieh Liu, Wen-Cheng Yen, Hsin-Hung Shen
  • Patent number: 11343455
    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 includes a photodiode as a photoelectric conversion unit, a transfer gate that reads out charges from the photodiode, a floating diffusion from which the charges of the photodiode are read by an operation of the transfer gate, and an amplifying transistor connected to the floating diffusion. More particularly, the amplifying transistor is of a fully-depleted type. Such an amplifying transistor includes an amplifier gate (gate electrode) extending in a direction perpendicular to convex strips formed by processing a surface layer of a semiconductor layer, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2021
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2022
    Assignee: SONY SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroaki Ammo
  • Patent number: 11336844
    Abstract: An imaging device includes a plurality of pixels arranged to form a plurality of rows and a plurality of columns and each including a photoelectric converter, an accumulation time controller that controls accumulation time of the plurality of pixels, and an amplifier that amplifies a signal based on charge generated by the photoelectric converter. The plurality of pixels are divided into a plurality of pixel blocks each including at least two of the plurality of pixels, the accumulation time controller is configured to control the accumulation time individually for the plurality of pixel blocks, and the amplifier is configured to output, for one pixel block of the plurality of blocks, a plurality of signals which are amplified at different gains and correspond to accumulation time of a common frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 15, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2022
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Hidetoshi Hayashi, Katsuhito Sakurai
  • Patent number: 11330206
    Abstract: An image sensing circuit includes floating node, switch circuit, capacitor(s), and counting circuit. The floating node receives image electric charge from a photosensitive pixel. The switch circuit is coupled between floating node and capacitor(s) to dynamically connect and disconnect floating node and capacitor(s). The capacitor(s) include(s) first terminal(s) connected to switch circuit and second terminal(s) connected to ground. The counting circuit counts the number of charging and discharging behavior of capacitor(s) according to dynamic switches of switch circuit wherein the switch circuit dynamically switches to make capacitor(s) be charged and discharged dynamically in response to one exposure time period to receive energy of image electric charge which is determined by the number of charging and discharging behavior of the capacitor(s) and the capacitor(s)' potential value measured finally.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: PixArt Imaging Inc.
    Inventors: Yen-Min Chang, Ren-Chieh Liu
  • Patent number: 11330214
    Abstract: A comparator is provided to comprise a comparison circuit including a first transistor configured to receive a ramp signal and a second transistor configured to receive a pixel signal, the comparison circuit configured to compare the ramp signal and the pixel signal and output a comparison signal at an output node, and an output swing control circuit including a third transistor coupled to the first transistor and the second transistor, and the output swing control circuit including a current path to decrease an amount of current flowing through the second transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2022
    Assignee: SK hynix Inc.
    Inventor: Hyeon-June Kim
  • Patent number: 11322534
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a solid-state imaging device and an electronic apparatus which allow reduction of optical crosstalk. In an example of FIG. 5B, a charge storage unit is formed by a method in which a hole is bored in a substrate, a diffusion layer is formed in a surface of the hole, and an insulating film and an upper electrode are formed so as to fill the hole. In an example of FIG. 5C, a charge storage unit is formed by a method in which a hole is bored in a substrate, a diffusion layer is formed in a half (one side) of a surface of the hole, and an insulating film and an upper electrode are formed so as to fill the hole. The present disclosure can be applied to a CMOS solid-state imaging device used for an imaging apparatus such as a camera, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2022
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Masaaki Takizawa, Yasushi Tateshita, Takahiro Toyoshima, Takuya Toyofuku, Yorito Sakano, Motonobu Torii
  • Patent number: 11317045
    Abstract: An event-based image sensor is provided that includes a plurality of pixel circuits. Each pixel circuit includes a photoreceptor circuit with a light-sensitive element configured for delivering at an output a photoreceptor current, an analog bus, and a bank of current memory cells connected to the analog bus. An output of the photoreceptor circuit is selectively connected to the analog bus. Each current memory cell is adapted to store an electric current flowing in the analog bus and to deliver an electric current stored within the current memory cell. Each pixel circuit may further include a current comparator including a current sign detector connected to the analog bus and configured for comparing a value of a compared electric current resulting from a difference between the photoreceptor current and a previous photoreceptor current stored in a current memory cell. At least one storage cell may also be provided that has a state conditioned by the output of the current sign detector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2022
    Assignee: PROPHESEE
    Inventors: Christoph Posch, Daniel Matolin
  • Patent number: 11295422
    Abstract: An image processing apparatus includes a first adjusting unit, a second adjusting unit, and a notification unit, implemented via at least one processor. The first adjusting unit is configured to switch and perform, on a raw image, a first dynamic range image adjustment suitable for a first dynamic range and a second dynamic range image adjustment suitable for a second dynamic range wider than the first dynamic range. The second adjusting unit is configured to perform a second image adjustment on an image after the first dynamic range image adjustment or the second dynamic range image adjustment. The notification unit is configured to, in a case where an operation for switching the first dynamic range image adjustment and the second dynamic range image adjustment is performed, make a notification about an adjustment parameter used in the second image adjustment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2022
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Naoto Yoneda
  • Patent number: 11290675
    Abstract: A solid-state image sensor capable of detecting a photon and having smaller circuit scale is provided. The solid-state image sensor includes a pixel array including a plurality of pixel cells, a pixel driving circuit configured to drive the plurality of pixel cells, a readout circuit, and a plurality of readout wires corresponding to respective columns of the pixel cell. Each of the plurality of pixel cells includes an avalanche photodiode configured to detect a photon by avalanche multiplication occurring when one photon enters, and a transfer transistor configured to transfer a detection result of the photon to the corresponding readout wire. The readout circuit determines whether a photon is detected or not, and outputs a determination result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yutaka Hirose, Akihiro Odagawa, Shinzo Koyama
  • Patent number: 11289528
    Abstract: Provided is an imaging apparatus including an imaging unit having a plurality of pixels, the pixels each having: a conversion element converting incident light into photoelectrons; a floating diffusion layer electrically connected to the conversion element and converting the photoelectrons into a voltage signal; a differential amplifier circuit electrically connected to the floating diffusion layer, including an amplifier transistor to which a potential of the floating diffusion layer is input, and amplifying the potential of the floating diffusion layer; a feedback transistor electrically connected to the amplifier transistor and initializing the differential amplifier circuit; a clamp capacitance connected in series between the floating diffusion layer and the amplifier transistor; and a reset transistor connected in parallel between the floating diffusion layer and the clamp capacitance and initializing the potential of the floating diffusion layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 27, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2022
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Hirofumi Yamashita
  • Patent number: 11284031
    Abstract: A low-power image sensor includes a plurality of light-sensitive pixel cells, a plurality of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and image processing circuitry. The image sensor can be disposed in multiple semiconductor layers such that the pixel cells are disposed in a first layer and various other components are disposed in the second layer or between the first layer and the second layer. The image sensor is configured such that the analog output of a pixel cell is sampled by a first ADC and a second ADC within respective first and second dynamic ranges, the second dynamic range being greater than the first dynamic range. The first ADC and the second ADC sample the analog output with different sampling resolutions. The digital outputs of the first ADC and the second ADC are subsequently used by an image processor to generate a pixel value for an image frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 3, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2022
    Assignee: OBSIDIAN SENSORS, INC.
    Inventor: Lester Joseph Kozlowski
  • Patent number: 11270940
    Abstract: A semiconductor device is disclosed. The semiconductor device includes at least one row line arranged in a first direction over a cell array region, and at least one column line arranged in a second direction intersecting the first direction over the cell array region. The row line and the column line are configured to include conductive lines located at different levels and coupled to each other through a contact in the cell array region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 12, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Assignee: SK hynix Inc.
    Inventor: Young Hun Choi
  • Patent number: 11272135
    Abstract: A method of operating an image sensor includes generating an analog pixel signal, including a reset component and an image component, based on incident light received by a pixel in the image sensor. Operations are performed to repeatedly sample the reset component of the analog pixel signal using a ramp signal, during a first time interval, and then repeatedly sample the image component of the analog pixel signal using the ramp signal, during a second time interval subsequent to the first time interval. A digital signal corresponding to an effective image component of the incident light is then generated. This digital signal is based on the repeatedly sampled reset component of the analog pixel signal and the repeatedly sampled image component of the analog pixel signal. In addition, during both the first and second time intervals, the ramp signal decreases in magnitude and increases in magnitude.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2022
    Inventor: Kyu-Ik Cho
  • Patent number: 11263445
    Abstract: A method, apparatus and a system for human body tracking processing, where an apparatus for video collection processing in the system has a built-in intelligent chip, and before uploading video data to a cloud server, the intelligent chip performs a pre-processing on the video data, retains a key image frame and performs a human body detection and a tracking processing on the key image frame by using human body detection tracking algorithm to acquire a first human body detection tracking result. Afterwards, the intelligent chip sends the first human body detection tracking result to the cloud server, so that the cloud server performs a human body re-identification algorithm processing and/or three-dimensional reconstruction algorithm processing on the first human body detection tracking result to acquire a second human body detection tracking result.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2019
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: BAIDU ONLINE NETWORK TECHNOLOGY (BEIJING) CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Zeyu Liu, Le Kang, Chengyue Zhang, Zhizhen Chi, Jian Wang, Xubin Li, Xiao Liu, Hao Sun, Shilei Wen, Errui Ding, Hongwu Zhang, Mingyu Chen, Yingze Bao
  • Patent number: 11265489
    Abstract: An image sensor includes first photodiodes sharing a first node that is connected to a first capacitor, second photodiodes sharing a second node that is connected to a second capacitor, a common transistor configured to selectively connect a third node to a pixel voltage node, the third node connected to a third capacitor, a first reset transistor that may selectively connect the first node to the third node, and a second reset transistor that may selectively connect the second node to the third node. The first reset transistor and the second reset transistor may electrically connect the first node, the second node, and the third node to each other according to an operation of the first reset transistor and the second reset transistor. The common transistor is configured to reset the third node to the pixel voltage according to an operation of the common transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2021
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Eunsub Shim, Seyoung Kim, Sanghyuck Moon
  • Patent number: 11265493
    Abstract: A third line that supplies a first potential to a first semiconductor region of a first detection pixel and a fourth line that supplies a second potential to the first semiconductor region of a second detection pixel are provided. An interval between a partial line of the third line and a partial line of the fourth line is longer than an interval between a partial line of a first line and a partial line of a second line which extend along the partial line of the third line and the partial line of the fourth line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2022
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Yoichi Wada
  • Patent number: 11251210
    Abstract: A system includes a pixel including a diffusion layer in contact with an absorption layer. A transparent conductive oxide (TCO) is electrically connected to the diffusion layer. An overflow contact is in electrical communication with the TCO. The overflow contact can be spaced apart laterally from the diffusion layer. The pixel can be one of a plurality of similar pixels arranged in a grid pattern, wherein each pixel has a respective overflow contact, forming an overflow contact grid offset from the grid pattern.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: February 15, 2022
    Assignee: Sensors Unlimited, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Huang, Douglas Stewart Malchow, Michael J. Evans, John Liobe, Wei Zhang
  • Patent number: 11244139
    Abstract: A fingerprint recognition device includes a display, a touch sensor panel (TSP) which senses a touch, and a fingerprint recognition integrated circuit (FPIC) which scans a fingerprint. The FPIC includes a pixel including a photoelectric element which receives light reflected by the fingerprint, a low noise amplifier (LNA) which outputs a signal voltage by converting an electric charge received from the photoelectric element, and an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) which converts the signal voltage into a digital signal. The ADC includes a variable reference voltage generator which provides a variable reference voltage, a comparator which adds the variable reference voltage to the signal voltage, performs correlated double sampling on the result of the addition, and outputs a comparison signal by comparing the result of the correlated double sampling with a ramp voltage, and a counter which outputs the digital signal by counting the comparison signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2022
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Yong Il Kwon, Min Gyu Kim, Sun Kwon Kim, Seong Il Park, Jong Sung Lee, Hee Bum Lee
  • Patent number: 11240461
    Abstract: A pixel circuit including a photodiode, a first storage capacitor and a second storage capacitor is provided. The first storage capacitor discharges to a first output voltage in a first exposure time and to a third output voltage in a third exposure time. The second storage capacitor discharges to a second output voltage in a second exposure time and to a fourth output voltage in a fourth exposure time. The first and second exposure times are included in a first frame period. The third and fourth exposure times are included in a second frame period. The second frame period is a next frame period of the first frame period. In the first frame period, the first exposure time is subsequent to the second exposure time. In the second frame period, the third exposure time is prior to the fourth exposure time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2021
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2022
    Assignee: PIXART IMAGING INC.
    Inventors: Kwai-Lee Pang, Swee-Lin Thor