With Diode In Series With Photocell Patents (Class 348/310)
  • Patent number: 10652493
    Abstract: A sequence of control voltage levels are applied to a control signal line capacitively coupled to a floating diffusion node of a pixel to sequentially adjust a voltage level of the floating diffusion node. A pixel output signal representative of the voltage level of the floating diffusion node is compared with a reference voltage to identify a first control voltage level of the sequence of control voltage levels for which the voltage level of the floating diffusion node exceeds the reference voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 20, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2020
    Assignee: Rambus Inc.
    Inventors: John Ladd, Michael Guidash, Craig M. Smith, Thomas Vogelsang, Jay Endsley, Michael T. Ching, James E. Harris
  • Patent number: 10186536
    Abstract: An image sensor is disclosed. The image sensor includes a pixel array including a plurality of pixel units, a controller configured to drive the pixel array, and an analog-digital conversion block configured to convert a sensing signal output from the pixel array to a digital signal, wherein each of the pixel units includes a photodiode and a plurality of transistors on a semiconductor substrate, each of the transistors includes a gate electrode and a gate dielectric layer, each gate dielectric having a thickness, and the thickness of at least one of the gate dielectric layers is different from the thickness of at least one of the other gate dielectric layers.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2016
    Date of Patent: January 22, 2019
    Assignee: DB Hitek Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Man Lyun Ha
  • Patent number: 10165209
    Abstract: A sequence of control voltage levels are applied to a control signal line capacitively coupled to a floating diffusion node of a pixel to sequentially adjust a voltage level of the floating diffusion node. A pixel output signal representative of the voltage level of the floating diffusion node is compared with a reference voltage to identify a first control voltage level of the sequence of control voltage levels for which the voltage level of the floating diffusion node exceeds the reference voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: Rambus Inc.
    Inventors: John Ladd, Michael Guidash, Craig M. Smith, Thomas Vogelsang, Jay Endsley, Michael T. Ching, James E. Harris
  • Patent number: 9520424
    Abstract: One or more techniques or systems for forming a black level correction (BLC) structure are provided herein. In some embodiments, the BLC structure comprises a first region, a second region above at least some of the first region, and a third region above at least some of the second region. For example, the first region comprises silicon and the third region comprises a passivation dielectric. In some embodiments, the second region comprises a first sub-region, a second sub-region above the first sub-region, and a third sub-region above the second sub-region. For example, the first sub-region comprises a metal-silicide, the second sub-region comprises a metal, and the third sub-region comprises a metal-oxide. In this manner, a BLC structure is provided, such that a surface of the BLC structure is flush, at least because the third region is flush, for example.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 13, 2016
    Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited
    Inventors: Shiu-Ko JangJian, Chi-Cherng Jeng, Volume Chien
  • Patent number: 9432605
    Abstract: A method of operating an image processing system includes storing differences between first analog pixel signals and second analog pixel signals and converting the stored differences to one-bit digital signals, the first analog pixel signals being output from a plurality of pixels and corresponding to a previous frame, and the second analog pixel signals being output from the plurality of pixels and corresponding to a current frame.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 30, 2016
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Moo Young Kim, Tae Chan Kim, Jae Cheol Yun, Seog Heon Ham
  • Patent number: 9313435
    Abstract: A system and method for driving a solid-state image pickup device including a pixel array unit including unit pixels. Each unit pixel includes a photoelectric converter, column signal lines and a number of analog-digital converting units. The unit pixels are selectively controlled in units of rows. Analog signals output from the unit pixels in a row selected by the selective control though the column signal lines are converted to digital signals via the analog-digital converting units. The digital signals are added among a number of unit pixels via the analog-digital converting units. The added digital signals from the analog-digital converting units are read. Each unit pixel in the pixel array unit is selectively controlled in units of arbitrary rows, the analog-distal converting units being operable to performing the converting in a (a) normal-frame-rate mode and a (b) high-frame-rate mode in response to control signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2016
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Yoshikazu Nitta, Noriyuki Fukushima, Yoshinori Muramatsu, Yukihiko Yasui
  • Patent number: 9209337
    Abstract: Photosensing transistors, display panels employing a photosensing transistor, and methods of manufacturing the same, include a gate layer, a gate insulation layer on the gate layer, a channel layer on the gate insulation layer, an etch stop layer on a partial area of the channel layer, a source and a drain on the channel layer and separated from each other with the etch stop layer being interposed between the source and the drain, and a passivation layer covering the source, the drain, and the etch stop layer, wherein the source is separated from the etch stop layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 8, 2015
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Sang-hun Jeon, I-hun Song, Seung-eon Ahn
  • Patent number: 9131178
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging apparatus that shortens a time for reading out pixel signals of all pixels and improves the aperture ratio of pixels is provided. The solid-state imaging apparatus includes a plurality of pixels (3) arranged in a matrix along a plurality of rows and columns, in which each of the pixels includes a photoelectric conversion element and a color filter; a plurality of buffers (2) arranged with each one corresponding to a plurality of pixels; and a plurality of vertical output lines (1) arranged such that two or more of the vertical output lines (1) are arranged correspondingly to one of the columns of the pixels; in which an input node of each of the buffers is connected commonly to a plurality of pixels having color filters of different colors, and output nodes of the plurality of buffers are connected alternately to a plurality of vertical output lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: September 8, 2015
    Assignee: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventors: Kohichi Nakamura, Hiroki Hiyama
  • Patent number: 9064777
    Abstract: According to example embodiments, a graphene switching devices has a tunable barrier. The graphene switching device may include a gate substrate, a gate dielectric on the gate substrate, a graphene layer on the gate dielectric, a semiconductor layer and a first electrode sequentially stacked on a first region of the graphene layer, and a second electrode on a second region of the graphene layer. The semiconductor layer may be doped with one of an n-type impurity and a p-type impurity. The semiconductor layer may face the gate substrate with the graphene layer being between the semiconductor layer and the gate substrate. The second region of the graphene layer may be separated from the first region on the graphene layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Jin-Seong Heo, Hyun-jong Chung, Hyun-jae Song, Seong-jun Park, David Seo, Hee-jun Yang
  • Publication number: 20140267865
    Abstract: An image sensing device comprises pixels having micro lenses; a plurality of photoelectric conversion regions arranged in the pixels; and a first adding unit which adds together signals from the plurality of photoelectric conversion regions arranged in the same pixel; wherein the pixels are arranged in a row direction and a column direction, mixed among the pixels are an additional reading region in which addition is performed by the first adding unit and an individual reading region in which addition is not performed by the first adding unit, and a signal is read from at least one photoelectric conversion region, and the number of pixels in a horizontal direction in the individual reading region is constant in the row direction.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 24, 2012
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: CANON KABUSHIKI KAISHA
    Inventor: Takafumi Kishi
  • Publication number: 20140267864
    Abstract: An object is to achieve low-power consumption by reducing the off-state current of a transistor in a photosensor. A semiconductor device including a photosensor having a photodiode, a first transistor, and a second transistor; and a read control circuit including a read control transistor, in which the photodiode has a function of supplying charge based on incident light to a gate of the first transistor; the first transistor has a function of storing charge supplied to its gate and converting the charge stored into an output signal; the second transistor has a function of controlling reading of the output signal; the read control transistor functions as a resistor converting the output signal into a voltage signal; and semiconductor layers of the first transistor, the second transistor, and the read control transistor are formed using an oxide semiconductor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2014
    Publication date: September 18, 2014
    Applicant: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Yoshiyuki KUROKAWA, Takayuki IKEDA, Hikaru TAMURA, Munehiro KOZUMA
  • Patent number: 8681253
    Abstract: An imaging system provides a serial video signal that is indicative of the intensity of the light. The imaging system has an array of pixel image sensors arranged in rows and columns. A control circuit is in communication with the rows of the array and the plurality of column switches. The control circuit generates reset control signals, transfer gating signals, pixel image sensor initiation signals for each selected row for controlling resetting, integration of photoelectrons generated from the light impinging upon the array of pixel image sensors, charge transfer of the photoelectrons from the photosensing devices to the charge storage device, and to activate the photoelectron sensing devices on each row to generate output signals from each of the pixel image sensors on a selected row. The control circuit generates the column selection signals for transfer of the output signals from selected rows to form a serial video output signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 25, 2014
    Assignee: Youliza, Gehts B.V. Limited Liability Company
    Inventors: Taner Dosluoglu, Guang Yang, Peter Bartkovjak
  • Patent number: 8582011
    Abstract: An apparatus controls operation of an array of color multiple sensor pixel image sensors to provide a global shuttering for one half of the color multiple sensor pixel image sensors and a rolling shuttering for all color multiple sensor pixel image sensors of the array. The apparatus includes a row control circuit and a column clamp, sample, and hold circuit. The row control circuit generates the necessary reset control signals, transfer gating signals, and row selecting signals for providing the global shuttering and the rolling shuttering color multiple sensor pixel image sensors. The column clamp, sample and hold circuit generates an output signal representative of a number of photons impinging upon each color multiple sensor pixel image sensor of the row of selected color multiple sensor pixel image sensors. The control apparatus further includes an analog to digital converter which converts the read out signal to a digital image signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Assignee: Youliza, Gehts B.V. Limited Liability Company
    Inventor: Taner Dosluoglu
  • Patent number: 8482646
    Abstract: An image sensing device comprises a pixel array, and a peripheral circuit, a column selecting circuit, and a readout, wherein each pixel includes a photodiode, a floating diffusion, a transfer PMOS transistor to the floating diffusion, an amplifier PMOS transistor, and a reset PMOS transistor, the amplifier PMOS transistor has a gate which is formed by an n-type conductive pattern, and is isolated by a first element isolation region and an n-type impurity region which covers at least a lower portion of the first element isolation region, and each PMOS transistor included in the column selecting circuit has a gate which is formed by a p-type conductive pattern and is isolated by a second element isolation region, and an n-type impurity concentration in a region adjacent to a lower portion of the second element isolation region is lower than that in the n-type impurity region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2013
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Takanori Watanabe, Mineo Shimotsusa, Takeshi Ichikawa, Hajime Ikeda, Yasuhiro Sekine, Akira Ohtani, Takeshi Kojima
  • Patent number: 8289430
    Abstract: The present invention relates to improved imaging devices having high dynamic range and to monitoring and automatic control systems incorporating the improved imaging devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 16, 2012
    Assignee: Gentex Corporation
    Inventors: Jon H. Bechtel, Jeremy C. Andrus
  • Patent number: 8284286
    Abstract: A solid-state image sensing apparatus with a wide dynamic range, and a high performance, and further, a small size, and a low cost and its driving method are provided. A timing generator, before it supplies a reset pulse (134) to a reset gate (128), has a sample hold circuit (2) held an output voltage of a buffer circuit (130). In this reset stage, in case that the amount of incident light to a photo diode (122) is large, electric charges which the photo diode (122) generated overflow from the photo diode (122) and flow into an FD part (123), and further, overflow also in the FD part (124) and flow out to an electric source Vdd. At this time, a voltage of the FD part (124) is determined by a size of a current due to electric charges which flow out to the electric source, but since a current flowing in a channel is small and the reset gate (128) operates in a sub-threshold region, a voltage of the FD part (124) becomes a value which corresponded to logarithm of a current value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Keiji Mabuchi
  • Patent number: 8188519
    Abstract: A solid-state imaging device that includes: a pixel array section configured by an array of a unit pixel, including an optoelectronic conversion section that subjects an incoming light to optoelectronic conversion and stores therein a signal charge, a transfer transistor that transfers the signal charge stored in the optoelectronic conversion section, a charge-voltage conversion section that converts the signal charge provided by the transfer transistor into a signal voltage, and a reset transistor that resets a potential of the charge-voltage conversion section; and voltage setting means for setting a voltage of a well of the charge-voltage conversion section to be negative.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: May 29, 2012
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Fumihiko Koga
  • Patent number: 8184190
    Abstract: An apparatus controls operation of an array of color multiple sensor pixel image sensors to provide a global shuttering for one half of the color multiple sensor pixel image sensors and a rolling shuttering for all color multiple sensor pixel image sensors of the array. The apparatus includes a row control circuit and a column clamp, sample, and hold circuit. The row control circuit generates the necessary reset control signals, transfer gating signals, and row selecting signals for providing the global shuttering and the rolling shuttering color multiple sensor pixel image sensors. The column clamp, sample and hold circuit generates an output signal representative of a number of photons impinging upon each color multiple sensor pixel image sensor of the row of selected color multiple sensor pixel image sensors. The control apparatus further includes an analog to digital converter which converts the read out signal to a digital image signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2007
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2012
    Assignee: Youliza, Gehts B.V. Limited Liability Company
    Inventor: Taner Dosluoglu
  • Patent number: 8169524
    Abstract: An image sensing apparatus comprises: a pixel array; a plurality of column signal lines; a readout unit; a driving unit that, in a transferring period for the readout unit to transfer pixel signals of columns in a first row to the output line, supplies to the pixel array and/or the readout unit a driving pulse for reading out the pixel signals from a second row, in a transferring period for the readout unit to transfer the pixel signals of the columns in the first row to the output line; and a correction unit that corrects a pixel signal of a first column in the first row that was transferred by the readout unit at a timing at which a level of the driving pulse transitions in the transferring period, according to at least a level of a pixel signal of the first column in the second row.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 13, 2009
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2012
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Makiko Yamauchi
  • Patent number: 8120689
    Abstract: Data is encoded on an image sensor that has a plurality of pixels including one or more bio-sensing pixels and one or more data encoding pixels. The method includes applying a covering material selectively to the data encoding pixels depending on the data to be encoded, the covering material having a detectable difference in opacity relative to having no covering material present. The method includes reading the data encoding pixels, in the presence of light, and decoding data according to a pre-determined scheme depending on the presence of the covering material on the data encoding pixel. As bio-reagents are typically applied after manufacture of the image sensor, the image sensor can have information encoded for electronic detection subsequent to manufacture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2012
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Research & Development) Limited
    Inventors: Jeffrey Raynor, Patrick Baxter
  • Patent number: 8115845
    Abstract: A counter array and an image sensor including the same may be provided. The counter array may include a controller and a plurality of counter units. The controller may output an operation control signal and a direction indication signal. The counter units hold previous output values or may perform a counting operation in response to the operation control signal and may perform an up-count operation or a down-count operation in response to the direction indication signal when performing the counting operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Kyoung Min Koh, Kyung-Min Kim, Yong Lim
  • Patent number: 8068156
    Abstract: A CMOS solid state imaging device capable of achieving a higher image quality while reducing the size and power consumption and increasing the number of pixels and speeds. The CMOS solid state imaging device includes a light-receiving portion that performs photoelectric conversion according to a quantity of received light, a transfer gate used to read out charges obtained through the photoelectric conversion in the light-receiving portion, and a peripheral transistor in a periphery of the light-receiving portion. A voltage applied to the transfer gate is set higher than a voltage applied to the peripheral transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2011
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Yasushi Maruyama
  • Patent number: 8035716
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a unit cell of four pixels. The unit cell includes four photosensitive regions that collect charge in response to light; four transfer transistors that respectively pass the charge from each of the four photosensitive regions to one common charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism; three control wires in which a first control wire controls two of the transfer transistors and a second control wire controls one of the transfer transistors and a third control wire controls one of the transfer transistors; an amplifier connected to the common charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism that outputs an output signal in response to a signal from the charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism; and a reset transistor connected to the common charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism for resetting the charge-to-voltage conversion mechanism to a predetermined signal level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 13, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 11, 2011
    Assignee: OmniVision Technologies, Inc.
    Inventor: Christopher Parks
  • Patent number: 8013920
    Abstract: An imaging system provides a serial video signal that is indicative of the intensity of the light. The imaging system has an array of pixel image sensors arranged in rows and columns. A control circuit is in communication with the rows of the array and the plurality of column switches. The control circuit generates reset control signals, transfer gating signals, pixel image sensor initiation signals for each selected row for controlling resetting, integration of photoelectrons generated from the light impinging upon the array of pixel image sensors, charge transfer of the photoelectrons from the photosensing devices to the charge storage device, and to activate the photoelectron sensing devices on each row to generate output signals from each of the pixel image sensors on a selected row. The control circuit generates the column selection signals for transfer of the output signals from selected rows to form a serial video output signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 6, 2011
    Assignee: Youliza, Gehts B.V. Limited Liability Company
    Inventors: Taner Dosluoglu, Guang Yang, Peter Bartkovjak
  • Patent number: 7973844
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a solid-state image pickup apparatus which allows, when being applied as an element of a solid-state image pickup array, to reduce a non-sensitive region between the adjacent devices, and can thus obtain more accurate imaging results. The solid-state image pickup apparatus comprises a photodetecting section, an output section, a row selecting section, and a column selecting section, and further comprises M waveform shaping circuits as waveform shaping means for shaping the waveforms of row selecting signals. A row selecting signal outputted from the row selecting section is shaped by the waveform shaping circuit and is then inputted into N pixels that constitute an mth row of the photodetecting section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 2005
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2011
    Assignee: Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.
    Inventors: Yasuhiro Suzuki, Masaki Mizoguchi, Seiichiro Mizuno
  • Patent number: 7944493
    Abstract: In each photosensitive cell, a photodiode 101, a transfer gate 102, a floating diffusion layer section 103, an amplifier transistor 104, and a reset transistor 105 are formed in one active region surrounded by a device isolation region. The floating diffusion layer section 103 included in one photosensitive cell is connected not to the amplifier transistor 104 included in that cell but to the gate of the amplifier transistor 104 included in another photosensitive cell adjacent to the one photosensitive cell in the column direction. A polysilicon wire 111 connects the transfer gates 102 arranged in the same row, and a polysilicon wire 112 connects the reset transistors 105 arranged in the same row. For connection in the row direction, only polysilicon wires are used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2011
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Makoto Inagaki, Yoshiyuki Matsunaga
  • Patent number: 7924332
    Abstract: A voltage and current mode active pixel sensor for high resolution imaging is presented. The photo pixel is composed of a photodiode and two transistors: reset and transconductance amplifier transistor. The switch transistor is moved outside the pixel, allowing for lower pixel pitch and increased linearity of the output photocurrent. The reset and amplifier (readout) transistors may also be shared among adjacent pixels by the introduction of transfer switches between the photodiodes and the source of the reset transistor and the gate of the readout transistor. The switch transistor outside the pixels provides biasing voltages or currents to the readout transistors to selectively turn them on when readout of the corresponding photodiode is desired and turns the readout transistor off when the corresponding photodiode is not to be read out.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 25, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 12, 2011
    Assignee: The Trustees Of The University Of Pennsylvania
    Inventors: Viktor Gruev, Zheng Yang, Jan van der Spiegel
  • Patent number: 7880791
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a pixel having a protection circuit connected to a charge multiplying photoconversion layer. The protection circuit prevents the pixel circuit from breaking down when the voltage in the pixel circuit reaches the operating voltage applied to the charge multiplying photoconversion layer in response to the image sensor being exposed to a strong light. The protection circuit causes additional voltage entering the pixel circuit from the charge multiplying photoconversion layer over a predetermined threshold voltage level to be dissipated from the storage node and any downstream components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 2009
    Date of Patent: February 1, 2011
    Assignee: Aptina Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Isao Takayanagi, Junichi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 7787039
    Abstract: To provide a drive method for finding out an optimum storage period quickly. To provide a drive method for finding out an optimum storage period quickly. In the method for driving the MOS sensor having a plurality of pixels, after all the plurality of pixels are simultaneously reset, signals are then sequentially outputted from said plurality of pixels. The period from the reset time to the time just before said plurality of pixels output saturated signals is termed as the storage period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 24, 2007
    Date of Patent: August 31, 2010
    Assignee: Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Hajime Kimura
  • Patent number: 7742089
    Abstract: A CMOS solid state imaging device is capable of achieving a higher image quality while reducing the size and power consumption and increasing the number of pixels and speeds. According to the invention, in a CMOS solid state imaging device, including a light-receiving portion (11) that performs photoelectric conversion according to a quantity of received light, a transfer gate (12a) used to read out charges obtained through the photoelectric conversion in the light-receiving portion (11), and a peripheral transistor provided in a periphery of the light-receiving portion (11), and a driving method of the same, a voltage applied to the transfer gate (12a) is set higher than a voltage applied to the peripheral transistor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: June 22, 2010
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventor: Yasushi Maruyama
  • Patent number: 7667753
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a matrix of active pixels (PXA). A pair of sampling capacitors (C1) and (C2) per matrix column processes the information delivered by the active pixel matrix. Each matrix column further includes a differential amplifier configured in follower mode connected between the pixels of the column and the pair of sampling capacitors via a pair of switches (I1) and (I2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2010
    Assignee: STMicroelectronics S.A.
    Inventor: Josep Segura-Puchades
  • Patent number: 7655966
    Abstract: A global shutter compatible pixel circuit comprising a reset gate (RG) transistor is provided in which a dynamic voltage is applied to the drain of the reset gate transistor in order to reduce a floating diffusion (FD) leakage therethrough during signal hold time. The drain voltage of the reset gate transistor is held at a lower voltage than a circuit supply voltage to minimize the off-state leakage through the RG transistor, thus reducing the change in the voltage at the floating diffusion during the signal hold time. In addition, a design structure for such a circuit providing a dynamic voltage to the drain of a reset gate of a pixel circuit is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2010
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: James W. Adkisson, John J. Ellis-Monaghan, Mark D. Jaffe, Charles F. Musante, Richard J. Rassel
  • Patent number: 7567281
    Abstract: A solid state imaging device includes an imaging area where a plurality of first pixels and a plurality of second pixels are respectively arranged in the form of a matrix, each of the first pixels and the second pixels having a photoelectric conversion portion and outputting a signal in accordance with brightness of incident light when selected; a plurality of first memories that respectively store signals of selected first pixels out of the plurality of first pixels; and a plurality of second memories that are respectively connected in parallel to the first memories and respectively store signals of selected second pixels out of the plurality of second pixels. The signals stored in the first memories and in the second memories are successively read to a horizontal signal line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2009
    Assignee: Panasonic Corporation
    Inventors: Takumi Yamaguchi, Takahiko Murata, Shigetaka Kasuga, Takayoshi Yamada, Yoshiyuki Matsunaga, Ryohei Miyagawa
  • Patent number: 7561197
    Abstract: The invention relates to matrix image sensors intended in particular for digital photography. The invention provides a driver in each pixel that allows exposure control common to the entire matrix. The driver comprises five transistors, a photodiode and, apart from a supply conductor and a ground, four control conductors, these being an exposure control conductor common to all the pixels of the matrix; a row selection conductor common to all the pixels of any one row; a reset conductor common to all the pixels of any one row; and a column conductor for collecting the signal read on the pixels during row-by-row reading of the charges photogenerated in the pixels of the matrix.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 14, 2009
    Assignee: Atmel Grenoble
    Inventor: Louis Brissot
  • Patent number: 7547872
    Abstract: An integrated circuit (1) has an array of single photon avalanche diodes (SPADS), a plurality of read-out circuits, each SPADS being coupled to one read-out circuit, wherein at least some of the read-out circuits comprise time-to-digital converters (TDC) and/or a digital asynchronous counter. The plurality of SPADS are coupled to one single read-out circuit. The read-out circuit may have a transformer for decoupling the SPAD from other parts of the read-out circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 16, 2009
    Assignee: Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne
    Inventors: Cristiano Niclass, Edoardo Charbon
  • Patent number: 7525588
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a pixel having a protection circuit connected to a charge multiplying photoconversion layer. The protection circuit prevents the pixel circuit from breaking down when the voltage in the pixel circuit reaches the operating voltage applied to the charge multiplying photoconversion layer in response to the image sensor being exposed to a strong light. The protection circuit causes additional voltage entering the pixel circuit from the charge multiplying photoconversion layer over a predetermined threshold voltage level to be dissipated from the storage node and any downstream components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 28, 2009
    Assignee: Aptina Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Isao Takayanagi, Junichi Nakamura
  • Patent number: 7521661
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a set of at least two pixels each sensing light of a same color coupled to a signal converter. A driver simultaneously turns on a respective switching element for transferring a respective photocurrent from a respective photodiode within each of such pixels to the signal converter, for capturing a moving image. Alternatively, the driver separately turns on the respective switching element for sequentially transferring a respective photocurrent from a respective photodiode within each of such pixels to the signal converter, for capturing a still image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 5, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Tetsuo Asaba
  • Patent number: 7495701
    Abstract: An imaging system includes a plurality of pixels and a control circuit. Each pixel includes a photoelectric transducer converting an optical signal into signal charge, a charge transfer device transferring the signal charge converted by the photoelectric transducer, an amplifying device amplifying the signal charge transferred from the photoelectric transducer by the charge transfer device and outputting the amplified signal charge to an output line, and a reset switch used for resetting the voltage of an input terminal of the amplifying device. The control circuit switches a reset voltage supplied through the reset switch in accordance with a sensitivity set in the imaging system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 11, 2005
    Date of Patent: February 24, 2009
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Nobuyuki Furukawa
  • Patent number: 7483067
    Abstract: A sigma-delta modulation sensing circuit and an analog-to-digital converter for an imager that do not rely on the ratio of the reset and pixel voltage levels being sensed. The sensing circuit includes a regulation branch based on a reference voltage common across multiple columns of the imager. The regulation branch has an adjustable resistance that is modulated during the sensing operation, which creates an adjustment current that is applied during the sensing operation to a current associated with one of the reset and pixel signals. The sensing circuit and analog-to-digital converter can generate a digital code based on the difference between the reset and pixel signal voltage levels, which substantially mitigates noise associated with the pixel and reset signal voltages. The reference voltage can also be used as a gain control for the imager as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2009
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: Christian Boemler
  • Patent number: 7479999
    Abstract: The photo-detecting device includes of a photodetector for detecting incident light, an input J FET for reading the sensing signal from the photodetector, an amplifier for amplifying the signal detected by the input J FET, a feed-back circuit for feeding the output of the amplifier back to the gate of the input J FET through a feed-back capacitor, a reset circuit for resetting the feed-back capacitor by discharging it with a reset MOS FET, and a circuit of a switch and resistor. The same level voltage as the gate voltage of the input J FET is applied to its source through a resistor, and the circuit of the switch and the resistor is connected between the source of the reset MOS FET and the feed-back capacitor. The reset MOS FET and switch are controlled so that the reset MOS FET is turned “on” and “off” while the switch is “on”.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2009
    Assignee: National Institute of Information and Communications Technology
    Inventor: Makoto Akiba
  • Patent number: 7468750
    Abstract: A CMOS sensor has unit pixels each structured by a light receiving element and three transistors, to prevent against the phenomenon of saturation shading and the reduction of dynamic range. The transition time (fall time), in switching off the voltage on a drain line shared in all pixels, is given longer than the transition time in turning of any of the reset line and the transfer line. For this reason, the transistor constituting a DRN drive buffer is made proper in its W/L ratio. Meanwhile, a control resistance or current source is inserted on a line to the GND, to make proper the operation current during driving. This reduces saturation shading amount. By making a reset transistor in a depression type, the leak current to a floating diffusion is suppressed to broaden the dynamic range.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 16, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2008
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Keiji Mabuchi, Eiichi Funatsu, Masanori Kasai
  • Patent number: 7446806
    Abstract: A linear sensor array for imaging coded indicia includes an analog front end and a digital back end integrated on a single CMOS chip. A real-time, correlated double sampling circuit is used for noise suppression.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2008
    Assignee: Symbol Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Bradley Carlson, Mei Yan
  • Patent number: 7443437
    Abstract: A CMOS imaging system with increased charge storage of pixels yet decreased physical size, kTC noise and active area. A storage node is connected to the transfer gate and provides a storage node for a pixel, allowing for kTC noise reduction prior to readout. The pixel may be operated with the shutter gate on during the integration period to increase the amount of time for charge storage by a pixel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 26, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 28, 2008
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter P. Altice, Jr., Jeffrey A. McKee
  • Patent number: 7436444
    Abstract: A radiation image pick-up apparatus includes a conversion element, accumulation element, read element, detection element, driving circuit, and controller. The conversion element converts radiation into an electrical signal. The accumulation unit accumulates the electrical signal converted by the conversion element. The read unit reads out the electrical signal accumulated in the accumulation unit. The detection element detects the start and end of irradiation of the radiation. The driving circuit accumulates the electrical signal in the accumulation element responsive to the detection of start of irradiation of the radiation, and drives the read element responsive to the detection of the end of irradiation of the radiation, based on the detection result of the detection element. The controller controls the driving circuit. A radiation image pick-up system is also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2005
    Date of Patent: October 14, 2008
    Assignee: Canon Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventor: Tadao Endo
  • Patent number: 7428015
    Abstract: An image sensor and offset-able reference voltage generator thereof are provided. The image sensor comprises a plurality of pixels, an offset-able reference voltage generator and a pixel sampling circuit. The pixel senses light from an image and generate an image signal. The offset-able reference voltage generator provides a reference voltage having a voltage offset. The pixel sampling circuit is coupled to the pixels and the offset-able reference voltage generator to sample the image signal and generate a pixel signal according to the reference voltage. The voltage offset of the reference voltage is able to compensate for the offset voltage in the process of generating the pixel signals.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Sunplus Technology Co, Ltd.
    Inventors: Daniel Van Blerkom, I-Shiou Chen
  • Patent number: 7427790
    Abstract: An image sensor having a plurality of pixels; each pixel includes one or more photosensitive elements that collect charge in response to incident light; one or more transfer mechanisms that respectively transfer the charge from the one or more photosensitive elements; a charge-to-voltage conversion region having a capacitance, and the charge-to-voltage region receives the charge from the one or more photosensitive elements; a first reset transistor connected to the charge-to-voltage conversion region; a second reset transistor connected to the first reset transistor, which in combination with the first reset transistor, selectively sets the capacitance of the charge-to-voltage conversion regions from a plurality of capacitances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 19, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2008
    Assignee: Eastman Kodak Company
    Inventor: Christopher Parks
  • Patent number: 7417678
    Abstract: A sense node voltage relating to light intensity incident upon a light-detecting element is measured. To realize this measurement, a first integration reset pulse is generated to enable a resetting of the sense node voltage to a voltage value substantially equal to a reset voltage value associated with the first integration reset pulse, an edge of the first integration reset pulse triggering a beginning of a first integration period. Thereafter, a second integration reset pulse is generated to enable a resetting of the sense node voltage to a voltage value substantially equal to a reset voltage value associated with the second integration reset pulse, an edge of the second integration reset pulse triggering a beginning of a second integration period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 2004
    Date of Patent: August 26, 2008
    Assignee: Sensata Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Hae-Seung Lee, Keith Glen Fife, Lane G. Brooks
  • Patent number: 7414653
    Abstract: An active pixel sensor comprises a photodiode providing a photodiode output current indicative of an intensity of light incident the photodiode and an integrator circuit electrically coupled to the photodiode. The integrator circuit is configured to provide a pixel voltage representing an integration of the photodiode output current when the photodiode is exposed to light and dark leakage current through the photodiode when the photodiode is not exposed to light. The integrator circuit is configured to set a reverse bias voltage on the photodiode and respond to at least one control input to set the reverse bias voltage to a first level. The active pixel sensor comprises a feedback loop configured to receive the pixel voltage and control the integrator circuit to adjust the reverse bias voltage to substantially reduce the dark leakage current through the photodiode to a desired level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 19, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2008
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Boyd A. S. Fowler, Janusz K. Balickl
  • Patent number: 7372495
    Abstract: An image sensor includes a pixel having a protection circuit connected to a charge multiplying photoconversion layer. The protection circuit prevents the pixel circuit from breaking down when the voltage in the pixel circuit reaches the operating voltage applied to the charge multiplying photoconversion layer in response to the image sensor being exposed to a strong light. The protection circuit causes additional voltage entering the pixel circuit from the charge multiplying photoconversion layer over a predetermined threshold voltage level to be dissipated from the storage node and any downstream components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2002
    Date of Patent: May 13, 2008
    Assignee: Micron Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Isao Takayanagi, Junichi Nakamura
  • Patent number: RE44523
    Abstract: The invention is directed to an imaging device and a method of operating the imaging device, which will reduce banding in the image caused by parasitic capacitance. The imaging device comprises an array of pixels arranged in rows and columns and column signal lines adapted to be selectively coupled to the rows of pixels at predetermined times. Each pixel element has a photodetector coupled to a reset switch for receiving a reset signal to reset the photodetector. The imaging device further includes a precharge circuit adapted to place a voltage on the column signal lines. The method of operating the imaging device includes the steps of applying a precharge voltage to the signal lines, resetting the photodetectors in a row, integrating the photodetector voltage as light impinges on the reset photodetectors, coupling the integrated photodetectors to the signal lines, and sampling the integrated voltage coupled to each of the signal lines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Harusaki Technologies, LLC
    Inventor: John Scott-Thomas