Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dynamic Photodiodes Said to Save Power in Heartrate Sensors

PRNewswire: Switzerland-based ActLight presents its Heartrate Sensor for wearables, said to reduce power consumption by 80% compared to what is currently available on the market, while delivering the same performance. The Heartrate sensor is based on ActLight's proprietary Dynamic Photo Diode (DPD) technology and has been developed in co-operation with a global MedTech semiconductor vendor and EPFL.

In smartwatches and wearables, up to 80% of the power consumption is said to be related to heartrate monitoring when it is activated. Already tested and calibrated, ActLight's heartrate sensor is ready to be produced in large series to equip next generation wearables with reduced power consumption.

"Increased interest in fitness and wellness - has necessitated more affordable, precise, wearable sensing options. Our technology offers unique competitive advantages to our partners when compared to existing Photo Diodes used in wearable heartrate solutions," stated Serguei Okhonin, CEO of ActLight. "ActLight is now working with a number of partners to bring this technology into consumer electronics and MedTech grade solutions. We are open for IP licensing of our patented DPD technology that we own 100%," Okhonin continued.

EPFL publishes an article and an Youtube video on the new product:

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

ARM Announces 24b HDR Imaging and Vision Co-Processor

Anandtech: ARM announces Mali-C71 ultra-wide dynamic range (UWDR) ISP with up to 24 stops DR for automotive camera applications. It removes noise and processes the multiple exposures from the camera, creates an ultra-WDR frame and sends it across to a display or a computer vision engine. The Mali-C71 is the first imaging product since ARM acquired Apical in 2016. OmniVision Technologies, a leading developer of advanced digital imaging solutions, has welcomed the development:

OmniVision has been closely collaborating with the ARM ISP team (formerly Apical) for several years now, and see the Mali-C71 as an important advancement in image signal processing for emerging automotive applications. ARM’s expertise in ISP technology together with OmniVision’s best-in-class HDR image sensor technologies offers an industry leading solution for our automotive customers,” said Will Foote, senior partnership manager, OmniVision.

The Mali-C71 brings advanced error detection with more than 300 dedicated fault detection circuits to enable system-level certification to the modern automotive standards (ISO26262, ASIL D and IEC 61508, SIL3). It is able to process up to 4 real-time cameras and 16 camera streams with a single pipeline:

Mali-C71 block diagram

Cadence Vision DSP Certified as Khronos OpenVX 1.1 Conformant

Cadence Tensilica Vision P-Series DSPs are said to be the first imaging/vision DSPs to pass Khronos Group’s conformance tests for the OpenVX 1.1 spec. This enables faster development of computer vision and imaging applications on Tensilica Vision P-Series DSPs being deployed in applications processors for mobile, automotive, drone, security, AR/VR and other markets. Applications developed using the standard OpenVX 1.1 API can be compiled and run on Tensilica Vision DSPs without any code changes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cameras are 9.25% of Samsung Galaxy S8 Cost

TechInsights completes its teardown report of Samsung Galaxy S8, and publishes an estimation of the phone's BOM. The cameras are about 9.25% of the BOM, down from 10% in the last year's S7:

Need for Speed in Thermal Sensors

SPIETV publishes FLIR presentation on fast thermal imagers and their applications:

Monday, April 24, 2017

PCO Compares Image Sensors DR

PCO DR whitepaper compiles a table comparing various image sensors DR. The rolling shutter BAE sCMOS sensor outperforms all global shutter alternatives on DR:

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Image Sensor Reliability, Variations, and Drifts over Time

Albert Theuwissen has a unique experience with image sensor statistics and their parameters changing over time when his students run through the same devices characterization, course after course, year after year. So, he came up with a brilliant idea to present his knowledge in a report on CMOS sensors reproducibility, variability, and reliability. The first info about the report is expected to be available in a few weeks.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Strategy Analytics on ADAS Camera Market

Strategy Analytics presentation dated by Sept. 2016 forecasts a large growth for ADAS camera market:

Academic and University News

Prof. Shen Guozhen’s Group in Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Sciences, with their collaborators in Hong Kong University of Science and Technology developed a flexible UV image sensor based on ZnO quantum dots (QDs) decorated ZTO nanowires (NWs). The device was fabricated on the flexible polyethylene terephthalate (PET) substrate, which displayed outstanding flexibility, electrical stability and folding endurance.

Duo to the rational band engineering at the QD/NW interface which results in effective separation of electron-hole pairs, the device showed ultrahigh specific detectivity (up to 9.0 × 1017 Jones), photoconductive gain (up to 1.1 × 107) and high response speed (47 ms).

EETimes: Non-uniform spatial image sampling has been a popular idea over many decades. University of Glasgow, Scotland, UK, gives it another try in open-acess paper "Adaptive foveated single-pixel imaging with dynamic super-sampling" by David B. Phillips, Ming-Jie Sun, Jonathan M. Taylor, Matthew P. Edgar, Stephen M. Barnett, Graham G. Gibson, and Miles J. Padgett.

"In this work we take a different approach and adopt a strategy inspired by the foveated vision systems found in the animal kingdom - a framework that exploits the spatio-temporal redundancy present in many dynamic scenes. In our single-pixel imaging system a high-resolution foveal region follows motion within the scene, but unlike a simple zoom, every frame delivers new spatial information from across the entire field-of-view. Using this approach we demonstrate a four-fold reduction in the time taken to record the detail of rapidly evolving features, whilst simultaneously accumulating detail of more slowly evolving regions over several consecutive frames."

Friday, April 21, 2017

Reuters Says that Sony Image Sensors Cost is Lower than Expected

Reuters: Sony revises upward its annual profit estimation, in part due to the lower costs in its image sensor business. The official annual results for the company's fiscal year ended on March 31, 2017 are to be announced on April 28.