Including Switching Transistor And Photocell At Each Pixel Site (e.g., "mos-type" Image Sensor) Patents (Class 348/308)
  • Patent number: 11119252
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a solid-state imaging device that can improve the sensitivity of imaging pixels while maintaining AF properties of a focus detecting pixel. The present technology also relates to a method of manufacturing the solid-state imaging device, and an electronic apparatus. The solid-state imaging device includes: a pixel array unit including pixels; first microlenses formed in the respective pixels; a film formed to cover the first microlenses of the respective pixels; and a second microlens formed on the film of the focus detecting pixel among the pixels. The present technology can be applied to CMOS image sensors, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 14, 2021
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hirokazu Shibuta
  • Patent number: 11114983
    Abstract: An amplifier includes a first capacitor connected between an input node and a floating node, a second capacitor connected between the floating node and an output node, an amplifying element connected between a power supply voltage and the output node and operating in response to a voltage level of the floating node, a current bias source connected between the output node and a ground voltage, a first reset switch connected between the floating node and an intermediate node and operating in response to a reset bias, a second reset switch connected between the intermediate node and the output node and operating in response to the reset bias, and a reset bias generator circuit that outputs the reset bias in response to a reset signal. The reset bias is one of a reset voltage of the intermediate node, the power supply voltage, and the ground voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Seungnam Choi, Yunjae Suh, Masamichi Ito, Junseok Kim
  • Patent number: 11115613
    Abstract: A readout arrangement for an image sensor is configured to receive from a plurality of column leads of the image sensor in parallel a plurality of image sensor analog signals describing in an analog manner brightness values detected by the image sensor. The readout arrangement is configured to select which subset of a plurality of analog values represented by the image sensor analog signals or based on the image sensor analog signals is to be stored in an analog memory for further processing, and to cause storage of the selected analog values in the analog memory, or to store the selected analog values in the analog memory.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Foerderung der angewandten Forschung e.V.
    Inventor: Jens Doege
  • Patent number: 11114490
    Abstract: Disclosed is a light receiving element including an on-chip lens, a wiring layer, and a semiconductor layer disposed between the on-chip lens and the wiring layer. The semiconductor layer includes a photodiode, a first transfer transistor that transfers electric charge generated in the photodiode to a first charge storage portion, a second transfer transistor that transfers electric charge generated in the photodiode to a second charge storage portion, and an interpixel separation portion that separates the semiconductor layers of adjacent pixels from each other, for at least part of the semiconductor layer in the depth direction. The wiring layer has at least one layer including a light blocking member. The light blocking member is disposed to overlap with the photodiode in a plan view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 8, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshiki Ebiko, Koji Neya, Takuya Sano
  • Patent number: 11112302
    Abstract: A method of switching a control voltage of a photo sensor cell for a photo sensor includes when the photo sensor cell is switched from a turned-off state to an turned-on state, sequentially switching the control voltage to at least one first voltage provided by at least one first voltage supply, and switching the control voltage to a first target voltage provided by a first charging pump circuit; and when the photo sensor cell is switched from the turned-on state to the turned-off state, sequentially switching the control voltage to at least one second voltage provided by at least one second voltage supply or a ground voltage, and switching the control voltage to a second target voltage provided by a second charging pump circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2019
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2021
    Assignee: NOVATEK Microelectronics Corp.
    Inventors: Jung-Chen Chung, Chi-Ting Chen
  • Patent number: 11108979
    Abstract: Provided is a photoelectric conversion device including a first holding portion that holds charges transferred from at least one of a first photoelectric conversion unit, a second photoelectric conversion unit, and a third photoelectric conversion unit, the first photoelectric conversion unit and the second photoelectric conversion unit are arranged adjacent to each other along a first direction, the first photoelectric conversion unit and the third photoelectric conversion unit are arranged adjacent to each other along a second direction, which is different from the first direction, and the first holding portion is arranged at a position at least partially overlapping a straight line connecting the optical center of the second photoelectric conversion unit to the optical center of the third photoelectric conversion unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2021
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Hiroshi Sekine
  • Patent number: 11102429
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an integrated image sensor includes an array of pixels in which each pixel includes a photosensitive area configured to integrate a luminous signal by generating electron-hole pairs so as to form a first signal representative of the number of electrons in the generated electron-hole pairs and a second signal representative of the number of holes in the generated electron-hole pairs. A first circuit portion is configured to store the first signal sheltered from light. A second circuit portion is configured to store the second signal sheltered from light. A third circuit portion is configured to read the first signal and the second signal and able to perform combination operations between the first signal and the second signal so as to generate a combined signal representative of an image, where the integrated image sensor is tailored to operate in a global shutter control mode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 24, 2021
    Assignee: STMICROELECTRONICS (CROLLES 2) SAS
    Inventors: Pierre Malinge, Frédéric Lalanne
  • Patent number: 11095860
    Abstract: A solid state imaging device includes a pixel array unit in which color filters of a plurality of colors are arrayed with four pixels of vertical 2 pixels×horizontal 2 pixels as a same color unit that receives light of the same color, shared pixel transistors that are commonly used by a plurality of pixels are intensively arranged in one predetermined pixel in a unit of sharing, and a color of the color filter of a pixel where the shared pixel transistors are intensively arranged is a predetermined color among the plurality of colors. The present technology can be applied, for example, to a solid state imaging device such as a back-surface irradiation type CMOS image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Atsushi Masagaki
  • Patent number: 11094726
    Abstract: A global shutter pixel includes a first transistor and a first switch series-connected between a first node of application of a potential and an internal node of the pixel. A control terminal of the first transistor is coupled to a floating diffusion node of the pixel. At least two assemblies are coupled to the internal node, where each assembly is formed of a capacitor series-connected with a second switch coupling the capacitor to the internal node. A second transistor has a control terminal connected to the internal node and a first conduction terminal coupled to an output node of the pixel. The pixel operation is controlled to store an initialization voltage from the floating diffusion on one of the capacitors and a pixel integration voltage from the floating diffusion on another of the capacitors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2021
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Grenoble 2) SAS
    Inventor: Laurent Simony
  • Patent number: 11089243
    Abstract: An image sensor element for outputting an image signal. The image sensor element initially includes a first photoelement, the first photoelement being situated on a spatial area of a pixel on a semiconductor substrate. The image sensor element also includes a second photoelement that is doped and/or provided with a color filter in such a way that a spectral sensitivity of the first photoelement differs from a spectral sensitivity of the second photoelement. Lastly, the image sensor element includes an evaluation electronics system that is situated in the area of the pixel on the semiconductor substrate, the evaluation electronics system being situated in the area of the pixel in which the first photoelement is also implemented. The evaluation electronics system is designed to process a photoelement signal of the first photoelement and a photoelement signal of the second photoelement to form the image signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 10, 2021
    Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH
    Inventor: Tobias Kirchner
  • Patent number: 11082622
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to image signal processor configurations. In accordance with aspects, a system includes at least one image signal processor, a first camera configured to cooperate with the image signal processor(s) to capture images of an environment around a vehicle, and a second camera configured to cooperate with the image signal processor(s) to capture images of the environment, where the second camera and the first camera are mounted to the vehicle in the same direction. The image signal processor(s) is configured to transition from capturing images of a field of view using an active image signal processor (ISP) configuration to capturing images of the field of view using a matched image signal processor (ISP) configuration which is different from the active ISP configuration. The transition includes simultaneously using the first camera and the second camera and includes simultaneously using the active ISP configuration and the matched ISP configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2019
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: NURO, INC.
    Inventors: Fei Zhu, Wei Liu, James N. Vines
  • Patent number: 11082655
    Abstract: A solid state imaging device includes: a pixel array unit that has a plurality of pixels 2-dimensionally arranged in a matrix and a plurality of signal lines arranged along a column direction; A/D conversion units that are provided corresponding to the respective signal lines and convert an analog signal output from a pixel through the signal line into a digital signal; and a switching unit that switches or converts the analog signal output through each signal line into a digital signal using any of an A/D conversion unit provided corresponding to the signal line through which the analog signal is transmitted, and an A/D conversion unit provided corresponding to a signal line other than the signal line through which the analog signal is transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Inventor: Takashi Kawaguchi
  • Patent number: 11081599
    Abstract: A single photon avalanche diode, SPAD, comprises an active area which is arranged to generate a photon triggered avalanche current. A cover is arranged on or above the active area. The cover shields the active area from incident photons. The cover comprises a stack of at least the first and a second metal layer. At least one of the metal layers, e.g. the first metal layer, comprises an aperture. The metal layers are arranged in the stack with respect to an optical axis such as to open an effective aperture along the optical axis. By way of the effective aperture a portion of the active area is exposed to incident photons being incident along the optical axis. The effective aperture is smaller than the aperture arranged in the first metal layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: AMS AG
    Inventor: Georg Roehrer
  • Patent number: 11082646
    Abstract: When the amplification ratio is low and strong incident light causes a large charge, the signal retrieved from regions where the incident light is weak is also weak, but when the amplification ratio is high in regions where the incident light is weak, the signal retrieved from regions where the incident light is strong becomes saturated. Therefore, the dynamic range of the imaging unit is narrow. Provided is an imaging unit comprising an imaging section that includes a first group having one or more pixels and a second group having one or more pixels different from those of the first group; and a control section that, while a single charge accumulation is performed in the first group, causes pixel signals to be output by performing charge accumulation in the second group a number of times differing from a number of times charge accumulation is performed in the first group.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shiro Tsunai
  • Patent number: 11082649
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a solid-state imaging device and an electronic device capable of effectively preventing blooming. Provided is a solid-state imaging device including: a pixel array portion in which a plurality of pixels is two-dimensionally arranged, in which the pixels each include an in-pixel capacitance and a counter electrode of the in-pixel capacitance, the in-pixel capacitance being provided on a side opposite to a light incident surface of a photoelectric conversion element provided in a semiconductor substrate, the counter electrode being provided in the semiconductor substrate. The present disclosure can be applied to, for example, a back-illuminated CMOS image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: August 3, 2021
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventors: Masaaki Takizawa, Yorito Sakano
  • Patent number: 11076117
    Abstract: A method of driving a solid-state imaging device includes: setting voltage of an input node of an amplifier unit to a first voltage by using logarithmic compression to convert current generated by charges overflowing from a photoelectric conversion unit to the input node into voltage corresponding to the current, transferring charges from the photoelectric conversion unit to the input node, setting voltage of the input node to a second voltage by converting the charges into voltage corresponding to the charges, at the amplifier unit, outputting a first signal based on the first voltage and a second signal based on the second voltage, performing the logarithmic compression by using a diode connected to the input node, and acquiring, as a reference signal, an output of the amplifier unit when the input node is set to a third voltage defined in accordance with a threshold voltage of the diode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 1, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Fumihiro Inui
  • Patent number: 11076119
    Abstract: A solid state imaging device includes: a pixel array unit that has a plurality of pixels 2-dimensionally arranged in a matrix and a plurality of signal lines arranged along a column direction; A/D conversion units that are provided corresponding to the respective signal lines and convert an analog signal output from a pixel through the signal line into a digital signal; and a switching unit that switches or converts the analog signal output through each signal line into a digital signal using any of an A/D conversion unit provided corresponding to the signal line through which the analog signal is transmitted, and an A/D conversion unit provided corresponding to a signal line other than the signal line through which the analog signal is transmitted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 23, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 27, 2021
    Inventor: Takashi Kawaguchi
  • Patent number: 11067439
    Abstract: Photo receiver circuits comprising photo diode, a first amplifier, a second amplifier, and a feedback resistor are disclosed. The photo diode receives a light signal producing a photo current and the circuit produces an output voltage proportional to the photo current. In one example, the second amplifier coupled across the photo diode provides a voltage level shift between the input terminal and the output terminal, bootstrapping the parasitic capacitance out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2019
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: Omni Design Technologies Inc.
    Inventor: Hae-Seung Lee
  • Patent number: 11070758
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a solid state imaging device and an electronic device from which a holding unit for holding information in a pixel can be eliminated. When a charge distribution unit distributes a pixel signal SIG to a first ADC, a pixel signal representing only reflection light is divided for allocation. When the charge distribution unit distributes a pixel signal SIG to a second ADC, a pixel signal representing background light and reflection light (partial) is divided for allocation. When the charge distribution unit distributes a pixel signal SIG to a third ADC, a pixel signal representing background light and reflection light (the rest) is divided for allocation. During a period in which no signal is acquired, a discharge transistor functions as an overflow portion for releasing electrical charge. The present disclosure can be applied to, for example, a solid state imaging device used for an imaging device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2016
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventor: Masaki Sakakibara
  • Patent number: 11070751
    Abstract: An electronic device according to various embodiments of the present invention comprises an image sensor and a processor, wherein the image sensor comprises a microlens and a light-receiving sensor pixel capable of converting light having passed through the microlens into an electrical signal, the light-receiving sensor pixel comprises a first floating diffusion area and a second floating diffusion area, the light-receiving sensor pixel is set, as a first area and a second area having different sizes, in accordance with the activation of either the first floating diffusion area or the second floating diffusion area, a signal generated by the light-receiving sensor pixel can be classified and read out as a first signal corresponding to the first area and a second signal corresponding to the second area, and the processor can be set so as to: use the image sensor so as to activate the first floating diffusion area, thereby acquiring a first image of an external object; use the image sensor so as to activate the
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Soongeun Jang
  • Patent number: 11070752
    Abstract: An imaging device includes: a first imaging cell including a first photoelectric converter that generates a first signal by photoelectric conversion, and a first signal processing circuit that is electrically connected to the first photoelectric converter and detects the first signal; and a second imaging cell including a second photoelectric converter that generates a second signal by photoelectric conversion, and a second signal processing circuit that is electrically connected to the second photoelectric converter and detects the second signal. Sensitivity of the first imaging cell is higher than sensitivity of the second imaging cell. The first signal processing circuit has a circuit configuration different from the second signal processing circuit. An operation frequency of the first signal processing circuit is different from an operation frequency of the second signal processing circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 11, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 20, 2021
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kazuko Nishimura, Sanshiro Shishido, Hidenari Kanehara, Takayoshi Yamada, Masashi Murakami, Yasunori Inoue
  • Patent number: 11064147
    Abstract: A solid-state image pickup device includes: comparators; counters; and a control portion for carrying out control in such a way that in a phase of an addition mode, the two comparators and the two counters corresponding to the two pixel columns, respectively, are set as a unit, 1 is added to a second digit of one counter of the two counters when both the comparison results from the two comparators has a first logic, 1 is added to a first digit of the one counter when one of the comparison results from the two comparators has the first logic, and 1 is added to none of the first digit and the second digit of the one counter when both the comparison results from the two comparators has a second logic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 13, 2021
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Iwasa, Satoshi Ogata
  • Patent number: 11055510
    Abstract: A display panel includes a control module, and an active pixel sensor array connected to the control module. The active pixel sensor array includes multiple pixel circuits arranged in multiple rows. The pixel circuit includes: a photoelectric conversion module, a signal output terminal, a voltage control terminal, a gating module, and a pre-discharging module. The control module is configured to control the gating module in a current row to turn on, read a voltage signal outputted from the signal output terminal in the current row, generate a reference voltage signal according to the voltage signal, before the gating module in a next row is turned on, output the reference voltage signal to the voltage control terminal in the next row, and control the pre-discharging module in the next row to turn on.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2021
    Assignee: BEIJING XIAOMI MOBILE SOFTWARE CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chihjen Cheng
  • Patent number: 11047733
    Abstract: A method for light-to-frequency conversion comprises generating a photocurrent by means of a photodiode and converting the photocurrent into a digital comparator output signal in a charge balancing operation depending on a first clock signal. From the digital comparator output signal an asynchronous count is determined and comprises an integer number of counts depending on the first clock signal. From the digital comparator output signal a fractional time count is determined and depends on a second clock signal. Finally, from the asynchronous count and from the fractional time count a digital output signal is calculated which is indicative of the photocurrent generated by the photodiode. The method may be carried out by an exemplary light-to-frequency converter equipped with a photodiode.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: AMS INTERNATIONAL AG
    Inventors: Rohit Ranganathan, Ravi Kumar Adusumalli
  • Patent number: 11050956
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a transistor, at least one storage capacitor and a voltage provider. The at least one storage capacitor is connected to the transistor. The voltage provider is electrically connected to the transistor and configured to provide an extra voltage for the at least one storage capacitor. The extra voltage is variable in response to images with different brightness. The image sensor includes the voltage provider to provide extra voltage to increase the charging capacity of the storage capacitor. The Signal-Noise-Ratio of the image sensor won't be affected and the fill factor is able to be maintained at a certain level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: PIXART IMAGING INC.
    Inventor: Wooi-Kip Lim
  • Patent number: 11050957
    Abstract: An image sensor including pixels, each pixel including a photodetector and a circuit for reading out the quantity of charges collected by the photodetector at the end of a phase of charge collection by the photodetector. The image sensor further includes, for at least one of the pixels, a detection circuit capable, at least at two different times during the phase, of detecting whether the quantity of charges collected at the time by the photodetector of the pixel exceeds a threshold and, in the case where the quantity of charges collected at the time exceeds the threshold, of storing a first signal representative of the time and of resetting the photodetector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 22, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives
    Inventor: Arnaud Peizerat
  • Patent number: 11050965
    Abstract: Disclosed is an image sensor including pixels, and an analog digital converter configured to select output values of the pixels using an analog multiplexer and to simultaneously perform a convolution operation and conversion into a digital signal using a delta-sigma ADC. The size of processed data is reduced, and power consumption is reduced, and thus the image sensor is advantageously applied to a portable device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2021
    Assignee: Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Wootae Kim, Byung-Geun Lee, Hyun-Keun Lee, Jung-Gyun Kim
  • Patent number: 11044427
    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: April 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Eunsub Shim, Seyoung Kim, Sanghyuck Moon
  • Patent number: 11044432
    Abstract: An imaging device comprises a first pixel. The first pixel includes a photoelectric conversion element to convert incident light into electric charge, and a first transfer element and a second transfer element to transfer the electric charge. The first transfer element is coupled between the photoelectric conversion element and the second transfer element. The first pixel includes a reset element coupled to the second transfer element, a floating diffusion, and an amplification element coupled to the floating diffusion to amplify a voltage of the floating diffusion. The floating diffusion is coupled between the second transfer element the amplification element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2017
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation
    Inventor: Shin Kitano
  • Patent number: 11044429
    Abstract: A pixel circuit includes a photodiode disposed in a semiconductor material layer to accumulate image charge in response to light incident upon the photodiode. A charge collection gate is coupled to the photodiode. The charge collection gate is disposed over the photodiode to generate an inversion layer in the semiconductor material layer under the charge collection gate to collect the image charge from the photodiode. A first transfer gate is disposed proximate to the charge collection gate, wherein the first transfer gate is coupled to transfer the image charge from in the inversion layer in response to a first transfer signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 25, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2021
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Woon Il Choi
  • Patent number: 11032496
    Abstract: A time-of-flight pixel array comprises multiple pixel cells. The pixel cell comprises a light collection region, a light shielded region, and a deep trench isolation (DTI) structure that encircles the light collection region to prevent light from entering the light shielded region. Photogate in the light collection region is disposed above a photodiode to accumulate the photo-generated electrical charges. A doped region disposed near the photogate collects the attracted charges. The doped region extends to the light shielded region and transfers the collected charges to a floating diffusion through a shutter transistor also in the light shielded region. DTI or similar structures are deployed to the entire pixel array to prevent light from exchanging between different light collection regions and light from entering the light shielded regions of all pixel cells. Interference between the shielded regions of different pixel cells is also minimized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 22, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Eric Webster
  • Patent number: 11032504
    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: April 9, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: SONY SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Hiroaki Ammo
  • Patent number: 11031425
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a substrate including a pixel region and a pad region, a first conductive pad on the substrate in the pad region, a micro lens layer on the substrate in the pixel region, and a first protective pattern covering the pad region and exposing the first conductive pad. The first protective pattern and the micro lens layer include the same material, and the first protective pattern and the micro lens layer are apart from each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 8, 2021
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jae-Kwan Seo, Kookki Lee, Dohoon Kim, Changrai Kim, Joonghoon Lee, Eunsang Cho
  • Patent number: 11025849
    Abstract: In a photoelectric conversion apparatus, an amplification unit outputs a first amplified signal generated by amplifying a first signal using a first gain, a second amplified signal generated by amplifying the first signal using a second gain, a third amplified signal generated by amplifying a second signal using a third gain, and a fourth amplified signal generated by amplifying the second signal using a fourth gain to an analog to digital (AD) conversion unit in this order. The AD conversion unit generates first to fourth digital signals corresponding to the first to fourth amplified signals, respectively, and outputs the second digital signal and the third digital signal to an output unit prior to the first digital signal and the fourth digital signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2020
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kentaro Tsukida, Takenori Kobuse, Shintaro Takenaka, Daisuke Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 11025850
    Abstract: A solid-state image-capturing device includes a pixel array including a plurality of pixel circuits arranged in rows and columns. Each pixel circuit includes: a photoelectric conversion element that generates an electric charge through photoelectric conversion between a bias terminal and a first node, and amplifies the electric charge according to a bias voltage applied via the bias terminal and the first node; a transfer circuit that electrically connects the first node to a second node according to a first control signal; a reset circuit that applies a reset voltage to the second node according to a second control signal; an output circuit that reads out a voltage of the second node according to a third control signal; and an analog memory that is electrically connected to the second node according to a fourth control signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: PANASONIC INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Seiji Yamahira
  • Patent number: 11025853
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a comparator circuit, a solid-state imaging apparatus, and an electronic device which enable to improve a frame rate. A comparator compares an analog signal with a reference signal, an amplification stage amplifies output of a comparing unit and has different output change speeds in normal rotation and in reverse rotation, and a switch circuit fixes an input node or an output node of the amplification stage to a predetermined voltage in a predetermined period before a comparing operation by the comparator so that the amplification stage operates in a change direction having a higher output change speed. The present technology can be applied to a comparator circuit provided to an A/D converter of a CMOS image sensor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2019
    Date of Patent: June 1, 2021
    Assignee: SONY CORPORATION
    Inventors: Koji Ogawa, Yusuke Oike
  • Patent number: 11019274
    Abstract: Disclosed are devices, systems and methods for capturing an image. In one aspect an electronic camera apparatus includes an image sensor with a plurality of pixel regions. The apparatus further includes an exposure controller. The exposure controller determines, for each of the plurality of pixel regions, a corresponding exposure duration and a corresponding exposure start time. Each pixel region begins to integrate incident light starting at the corresponding exposure start time and continues to integrate light for the corresponding exposure duration. In some example embodiments, at least two of the corresponding exposure durations or at least two of the corresponding exposure start times are different in the image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 10, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 25, 2021
    Assignee: TUSIMPLE, INC.
    Inventors: Ke Xu, Xue Mei, Zehua Huang
  • Patent number: 11012604
    Abstract: An image-capturing device includes: a plurality of pixels, having a plurality of first electrodes provided upon one surface of a light reception unit that receives incident light, and a plurality of second electrodes provided upon another surface of the light reception unit; and an output unit that outputs a signal generated by the light reception unit upon receipt of the incident light, the light reception unit being sandwiched between the first electrodes, to which a voltage is applied, and the second electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2021
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shiro Tsunai
  • Patent number: 11004895
    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: October 30, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: Black Peak LLC
    Inventor: Scott Brad Herner
  • Patent number: 11006067
    Abstract: An electronic apparatus includes: an input unit that inputs data for imaging conditions for each of a plurality of imaging regions included in an image capturing unit, different imaging conditions being set for each of the imaging regions; and a recording control unit that correlates the data for imaging conditions inputted from the input unit with the imaging regions and records correlated data in a recording unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2015
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventors: Yoshiaki Miyakawa, Naoki Yamagata
  • Patent number: 11006059
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to an imaging device, a driving method, and an electronic apparatus that can capture an image with a higher dynamic range. The imaging device includes a pixel region in which pixels are arranged, the pixels each including a photoelectric conversion unit that converts incident light into electric charges through electric conversion and stores the electric charges, and two or more charge storage units that store the electric charges transferred from the photoelectric conversion unit; and a drive unit that drives the pixels. The drive unit drives each pixel to cause the photoelectric conversion unit to repeatedly transfer electric charges with different exposure times to the two or more charge storage units during the light reception period of one frame. The present technology can be applied to an imaging device capable of capturing an HDR image, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2020
    Date of Patent: May 11, 2021
    Assignee: SONY SEMICONDUCTOR SOLUTIONS CORPORATION
    Inventor: Isao Hirota
  • Patent number: 10998367
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a photoelectric conversion unit that photoelectrically converts incident light to generate an electric charge; and an AD conversion unit having a comparison unit that compares a signal caused by an electric charge generated by the photoelectric conversion unit with a reference signal, a first storage unit in a first circuit layer, the first storage unit storing a first signal based on a signal output from the comparison unit, and a second storage unit in a second circuit layer that is stacked on the first circuit layer, the second storage unit storing a second signal based on the signal output from the comparison unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: NIKON CORPORATION
    Inventor: Shigeru Matsumoto
  • Patent number: 10999550
    Abstract: An image pickup device which suppresses an increase in chip area of peripheral circuits without degrading the performance of a pixel section and makes it possible to prevent costs from being increased. The image pickup device includes a first semiconductor substrate and a second semiconductor substrate. A pixel section includes photo diodes each for generate electric charges by photoelectric conversion, floating diffusions each for temporarily storing the electric charges generated by the photo diode, and amplifiers each connected to the floating diffusion, for outputting a signal dependent on a potential of the associated floating diffusion. Column circuits are connected to vertical signal lines, respectively, for performing predetermined processing on signals output from the pixel section to vertical signal lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Takafumi Kishi
  • Patent number: 10999542
    Abstract: An imaging device including: pixel cells arranged in a matrix having rows and columns, the pixel cells including first pixel cells and different second pixel cells, each of the pixel cells having: a photoelectric converter that converts incident light into signal charge, a first transistor having a first gate, a first source and a first drain, the first gate coupled to the photoelectric converter, and a second transistor having a second gate, a second source and a second drain, either the first source or the first drain electrically coupled to the photoelectric converter via the second transistor. The imaging device further including a first line coupled to one of the first source and the first drain of each of the first pixel cells; and a second line coupled to one of the first source and the first drain of each of the second pixel cells.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Masaaki Yanagida, Masashi Murakami, Sanshiro Shishido
  • Patent number: 10999525
    Abstract: Provided is an image processing apparatus including: a wide dynamic range (WDR) image sensor configured to output image frames by photographing a subject with different shutter times; and at least one processor to implement: a wide image synthesis unit configured to synthesize a WDR image based on n subchannels included in each of the image frames; a knee curve generating unit configured to generate an integral histogram of luminance levels of m×n subchannels included m image frames among the image frames, and generate a knee curve based on the integral histogram, where m and n each is an integer greater than zero; and a dynamic range transforming unit configured to reduce a dynamic range of the WDR image based on the generated knee curve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2021
    Assignee: HANWHA TECHWIN CO., LTD.
    Inventor: Chang Min Lee
  • Patent number: 10992897
    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: October 21, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: PIXART IMAGING INC.
    Inventors: Kwai-Lee Pang, Swee-Lin Thor
  • Patent number: 10991752
    Abstract: A method includes bonding a Backside Illumination (BSI) image sensor chip to a device chip, forming a first via in the BSI image sensor chip to connect to a first integrated circuit device in the BSI image sensor chip, forming a second via penetrating through the BSI image sensor chip to connect to a second integrated circuit device in the device chip, and forming a metal pad to connect the first via to the second via.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 27, 2021
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Ltd.
    Inventors: Jeng-Shyan Lin, Feng-Chi Hung, Dun-Nian Yaung, Jen-Cheng Liu, Szu-Ying Chen, Wen-De Wang, Tzu-Hsuan Hsu
  • Patent number: 10984692
    Abstract: A test display panel is configured for application to a lighting test, and includes a plurality of reference voltage input terminals and a plurality of sub-pixels. The reference voltage input terminals are in a one-to-one correspondence to the sub-pixels. The display panel further includes a reference voltage supply circuit and a plurality of reference voltage lines. The sub-pixels include a plurality of first sub-pixels, second sub-pixels, and third sub-pixels having different colors. The reference voltage lines include a first reference voltage line, a second reference voltage line, and a third reference voltage line, each corresponding to respective sub-pixels. The reference voltage supply circuit is configured to provide reference voltages to the plurality of reference voltage lines in a time division manner. The reference voltage lines are electrically coupled to respective reference voltage input terminals of the sub-pixels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 6, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2021
    Assignees: BOE TECHNOLOGY GROUP CO., LTD., CHENGDU BOE OPTOELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Dexiong Song, Zhiyong Yang, Shihua Huang, Wei He, Jing Wang, Liwei Huang, Xue Jiang, Wei Li, Chao Fu
  • Patent number: 10973488
    Abstract: In an x-ray imaging method, the acquisition of a signal image is split off into acquisition of two or more subimages or frames. The first subimage may be acquired with an exposure of a low dose followed by a readout cycle. The dose of the exposure for acquiring the first subimage can be chosen such that it is below the default dose for a particular anatomy. The first subimage may be used to calculate or estimate the parameters of exposure for acquiring a second or subsequent images subimage. The estimation may be such that the total dose received by the imager, in acquiring the first and second subimages, achieves an expected target value to provide an image of good quality. The first and second subimages can be combined to form the final image. A detector array supporting automatic exposure control (AEC) includes AEC pixels providing AEC signals. The AEC pixels are independently or individually addressable and/or readable.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 24, 2019
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: Varian Medical Systems International AG
    Inventors: Daniel Morf, Reto Filiberti
  • Patent number: 10978119
    Abstract: The present technology relates to a memory device that generates various signals used in a read training operation and a method of operating the memory device. The memory device according to an embodiment of the present disclosure includes an address counter configured to generate a plurality of count signals based on a read training enable signal and a first clock signal received from a memory controller, and an address section identification signal generator configured to generate address section identification signals used in identifying a plurality of address sections based on at least one of the plurality of count signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2021
    Assignee: SK hynix Inc.
    Inventors: Heon Ki Kim, Sung Hwa Ok