Imaging - CMOS Solutions

Introduction to the e2v ''Eye On Si'' CMOS imaging activity:

The CMOS imaging market is a spectacular example of demand fuelled innovation. Driven by the widespread deployment of high volume embedded consumer camera applications, in particular in the mobile telecommunications market, CMOS imaging has become one of the most intense and rapidly advancing technologies. e2v has more than 30 years of imaging expertise from demanding high-reliability CCD based products for applications as diverse as satellite navigation and imaging to machine inspection, through to consumer telecom CMOS ‘camera-on-chip’ products.

Getting the full picture:

While the majority of consumer based applications strive for lowest cost/size, e2v "Eye On Si" CMOS imaging technology provides affordable high quality as the primary focus. We have the solution when semi or full-custom CMOS image sensors or imager-enabled system-on-chip products are the keys to your success in a competitive world.

e2v''s goal is to forge long-lasting relationships with its valued customers through the provision of semi or full-custom CMOS image sensors or imager-enabled system-on-chip products that extend technical barriers through shared innovation, to enhance the competitive position of its partners.


Capabilities & Technical Information

The e2v CMOS toolbox:

‘A poor workman blames his tools’, for his mediocre result, but he’s not entirely wrong. The power and differentiation offered by the extensive e2v custom CMOS toolbox comes from the quality of it’s many individual ‘block-based’ IP components. Many man-years of research and development has resulted in ‘tried and tested’, easy to implement imaging building blocks that can extend integration as deep into the total system as required, encompassing the core processing and output interface as optimum partitioning dictates.

As with all real-world systems, the quality and performance of the analog front-end sensing determines the baseline quality of the unit. Innovative embedded post-processing can sometimes offer additional improvements to enhance system performance or perceived quality, but sometimes the raw-data quality and reliability just has to be there. Great care and attention has been paid to the Pixel development and acute tuning with the process. A range of pixel architectures are available to offer total flexibility to implement the best choice with no compromises – why be restrained by ‘what’s available or ‘mainstream’?

Image Array

  • Pixel architectures
    - 3T : rolling shutter
    - 4T : low noise
    - 5T : global shutter (99.7% efficiency)
  • Resolution/Format – your choice. We have array stitching technology to offer die from a few mm² to 900 mm²
  • Pixel size - we have produced everything from 2.2µm (Telecom) to 20µm (Medical).
  • Colourised or B&W, with microlenses (High Sensitivity)
  • B&W with enhanced NIR sensitivity performance (Night Vision)
  • Zoning and multiple Region Of Interest windowing
  • Pixel sub-sampling and/or binning
  • Linear or High-Dynamic (>120dB) transfer functions

 

ADC

  • Proprietary low noise, high speed ADC architectures
  • Column ADC or CDS/PGA/ADC type architectures

 

Image Processing / CPU

  • Up to full camera on a single chip
    - AGC &AEC AWB
    - Defect correction
    - Gamma correction
    - Vignetting correction
    - Color correction
    - Color interpolation
    - Anti flicker
    - RGB to YCrCb
    - Edge sharpness
    - Subsampling
    - Digital zooming
    - Anti aliasing
  • Embedded signal processing and MCU based application software algorithms on chip, programmable and upgradable by customer
  • On chip statistics generation
  • Auto focus determination and control algorithms
  • Noise management and cancellation algorithms
  • Memory control and interface

 

System I/F

  • External system interface
  • Sensor data output parallel 8, 10, 12, .. bit formats.
  • Serial sensor data output (e.g. LVDS)
  • Two wire or high speed (e.g. SPI) sensor/system control bus
  • PLLs for flexible clocking
  • Timing and synchronisation management
  • System voltage regulation
  • Other analog functions.

 

Package and test capabilities

  • Wafer dicing, die etch and wire bonding
  • Die/array stitching for large area sensors
  • Customer-specific encapsulation and output connections
  • Optional scintillator, spectral bandpass / optimisation and anti-reflective coating
  • In-house assembly for medium volumes
  • Room & temperature testing
  • Full range of in-house or external partners environmental testing and screening

 

Applications

Our served markets are fundamentally areas where the ‘eyes’ of the system need to deliver reliable images and image data to down-stream processing stages in real world environments and their extremes. Typical (but not exclusive) markets would therefore be :

  • Industrial/Commercial security and IP cameras
  • Automotive
  • Industrial machine vision and barcode reading
  • Medical
  • Biometric
  • Professional and pro-consumer cameras
  • Display/print colour measurement and management devices

 

...where the sacrifice of quality is usually less of an option.

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