Friday, March 16, 2018

MEMSDrive OIS Technology Presentation

MEMSDrive kindly sent me a presentation on its OIS technology:

Pictures from Image Sensors Europe 2018

Few assorted pictures from Image Sensors Europe conference being held these days in London, UK.

From Ron (Vision Markets) twitter:

Image Sensors twitter:

From X-Fab presentation:

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Rumor: Mantis Vision 3D Camera to Appear in Samsung Galaxy S10 Phone

Korean newspaper The Investor quotes local media reports that Mantis Vision and camera module maker Namuga are developing 3-D sensing camera for Samsung next-generation Galaxy S smartphones, tentatively called the Galaxy S10. Namuga is also providing 3-D sensing modules for Intel’s RealSense AR cameras.

TechInsights: Samsung Galaxy S9+ Cameras Cost 12.7% of BOM

TechInsights Samsung Galaxy S9+ cost table estimates cameras cost at $48 out of $379 total. The previous generation S8 camera was estimated at $25.50 or 7.8% of the total BOM.

TechInsights publishes a cost comparison of this year and last yera;s flagship phones. Galaxy S9+ appears to have the largest investment in camera and imaging hardware:

ICFO Graphene Image Sensors

ICFO food analyzer demo at MWC in Barcelona in February 2018:

UV graphene sensors:

Samsung CIS Production Capacity to Beat Sony

ETNews reports that Samsung is to convert its 300mm DRAM 13 line in Hwasung to CMOS sensors production. Since last year, the company also working to convert its DRAM 11 line in Hwasung into an image sensor production (named as S4 line). Conversion of S4 line will be done by end of this year. Right after that, Samsung is going to convert its 300mm 13 line. The 13 line can produce about 100,000 DRAM wafers per month. Because image sensor has more manufacturing steps than DRAM, the production capacity is said to be reduced by about 50% after conversion.

At the end of last year, production capacity of image sensor from 300mm plant based on wafer input was about 45,000 units.” said ETNews source. “Because production capacities of image sensor that will be added from 11 line and 13 line will exceed 70,000 units per month, Samsung Electronics will have production capacity of 120,000 units of image sensor after these conversion processes are over.

Sony CIS capacity is about 100,000 wafers per month. Even with Sony capacity extension plans are accounted, Samsung should be able to match or exceed Sony production capacity.

While increasing production capacity of 300mm CIS lines for 13MP and larger sensors, Samsung is planning to slowly decrease output of 200mm line located in Giheung.

Samsung capacity expansion demonstrates its market confidence. Samsung believes that its image sensor capabilities approach that of Sony. The number of the company's outside CIS customers is over 10.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ULIS Video

ULIS publishes a promotional video about its capabilities and products:

Vivo Announces SuperHDR

One of the largest smartphone makers in China, Vivo, announces its AI-powered Super HDR that follows the same principles as regular multi-frame HDR but merges more frames.

The Super HDR’s DR is said to reach up to 14 EV. With a single press of the shutter, Super HDR captures up to 12 frames, significantly more than former HDR schemes. AI algorithms are used to adapt to different scenarios. The moment the shutter is pressed, the AI will detect the scene to determine the ideal exposure strategy and accordingly select the frames for merging.

Alex Feng, SVP at Vivo says “Vivo continues to push the boundaries and provide the ultimate camera experience for consumers. This goes beyond just adding powerful functions, but to developing innovations that our users can immediately enjoy. Today’s showcase of Super HDR is an example of our continued commitment to mobile photography, to enable our consumers to shoot professional quality photos at the touch of a button. Using intelligent AI, Super HDR can capture more detail under any conditions, without additional demands on the user.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Prophesee Expands Event Driven Concept to LiDARs

EETimes publishes an article on event-driven image sensors such as Prophesee's (former Chronocam) Asynchronous Time-Based Image Sensor (ATIS) chip.

The company CEO Luca Verre "disclosed to us that Prophesee is exploring the possibility that its event-driven approach can apply to other sensors such as lidars and radars. Verre asked: “What if we can steer lidars to capture data focused on only what’s relevant and just the region of interest?” If it can be done, it will not only speed up data acquisition but also reduce the data volume that needs processing.

Phrophesee is currently “evaluating” the idea, said Luca, cautioning that it will take “some months” before the company can reach that conclusion. But he added, “We’re quite confident that we can pull it off.”

Asked about Prophesee’s new idea — to extend the event-driven approach to other sensors — Yole Développement’s analyst Cambou told us, “Merging the advantages of an event-based camera with a lidar (which offers the “Z” information) is extremely interesting.”

Noting that problems with traditional lidars are tied to limited resolution — “relatively less than typical high-end industrial cameras” — and the speed of analysis, Cambou said that the event-driven approach can help improve lidars, “especially for fast and close-by events, such as a pedestrian appearing in front of an autonomous car.

Samsung Galaxy S9+ Cameras

TechInsights publishes an article on Galaxy S9+ reverse engineering including its 4 cameras - a dual rear camera, a front camera and an iris recognition sensor:

"We are excited to analyze Samsung's new 3-stack ISOCELL Fast 2L3 and we'll be publishing updates as our labs capture more camera details.

Samsung is not first to market with variable mechanical apertures or 3-layer stacked image sensors, however the integration of both elements in the S-series is a bold move to differentiate from other flagship phones.

The S9 wide-angle camera system, which integrates a 2 Gbit LPDDR4 DRAM, offers similar slo-mo video functionality with 0.2 s of video expanded to 6 s of slo-mo captured at 960 fps. Samsung promotes the memory buffer as beneficial to still photography mode where higher speed readout can reduce motion artifacts and facilitate multi-frame noise reduction.

iFixit reverse engineering report publishes nice pictures showing a changing aperture on the wide-angle rear camera: