Omnivision Technologies Patent Grants

Color filter including diamond-shaped pixels

Granted: July 25, 2017
Patent Number: 9716868
Embodiments are described of a color filter array including a plurality of tiled minimal repeating units. Each minimal repeating unit includes a primary set of four rhombic color filters positioned so that at least two vertices of each rhombic color filter contact a vertex of an adjoining rhombic color filter and so that the four rhombic filters form a central interstitial space and four peripheral interstitial spaces, wherein the primary set includes at least one color filter with a…

Image sensor pixel for high dynamic range image sensor

Granted: July 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9711546
An image sensor pixel includes a first photodiode and a second photodiode disposed in a semiconductor material. The first photodiode has a first doped region, a first lightly doped region, and a first highly doped region. The second photodiode has a second full well capacity substantially equal to a first full well capacity of the first photodiode, and includes a second doped region, a second lightly doped region, and a second highly doped region. The image sensor pixel also includes a…

Method and system for implementing dynamic ground sharing in an image sensor with pipeline architecture

Granted: July 18, 2017
Patent Number: 9712774
A method of implementing dynamic ground sharing in an image sensor with pipeline architecture starts with a pixel array capturing image data. Pixel array includes pixels to generate pixel data signals, respectively. A readout circuitry acquires the image data from a row in the pixel array. An analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) circuitry included in the readout circuitry samples the image data from the row to obtain sampled input data. When the ADC circuitry is sampling, a ground sharing…

Edge detection system and methods

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9697434
An edge detection method includes reading at least a portion of wide-band pixel signals generated by wide-band pixels of an image sensor. The image sensor also includes narrow-band pixels that generate narrow-band pixel signals that remain unread. The method also includes sending the wide-band pixel signals to an image signal processor, forming a partially-filled reference image based on data from the wide-band pixel signals; and applying an edge-forming technique to the partially-filled…

Partial buried channel transfer device for image sensors

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9698185
Embodiments of an image sensor pixel that includes a photosensitive element, a floating diffusion region, and a transfer device. The photosensitive element is disposed in a substrate layer for accumulating an image charge in response to light. The floating diffusion region is dispose in the substrate layer to receive the image charge from the photosensitive element. The transfer device is disposed between the photosensitive element and the floating diffusion region to selectively…

Dual-mode image sensor with a signal-separating color filter array, and method for same

Granted: July 4, 2017
Patent Number: 9698194
A method for fabricating a signal-separating CFA includes forming a multi-height CFA on a substrate. The multi-height CFA includes a plurality of tall spectral filters and a plurality of short spectral filters. Each of the tall spectral filters is taller than each of the short spectral filters. The method also includes disposing a spectral-blocking layer on the multi-height CFA, and planarizing the spectral-blocking layer to expose a top surface of each of the plurality of tall spectral…

Curved image sensor

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9691810
An image sensor includes a plurality of photodiodes arranged in an array and disposed in a semiconductor material with pinning wells disposed between individual photodiodes in the plurality of photodiodes. The image sensor also includes a microlens layer. The microlens layer is disposed proximate to the semiconductor material and is optically aligned with the plurality of photodiodes. A spacer layer disposed between the semiconductor material and the microlens layer. The spacer layer has…

Color and infrared filter array patterns to reduce color aliasing

Granted: June 27, 2017
Patent Number: 9692992
Embodiments of a color filter array include a plurality of tiled minimal repeating units, each minimal repeating unit comprising an M×N set of individual filters, and each individual filter in the set having a photoresponse selected from among four different photoresponses. Each minimal repeating unit includes a checkerboard pattern of filters of the first photoresponse, and filters of the second, third, and fourth photoresponses distributed among the checkerboard pattern such that the…

Back side illuminated image sensor with guard ring region reflecting structure

Granted: June 20, 2017
Patent Number: 9685576
A photon detector includes a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) disposed proximate to a front side of a semiconductor layer. The SPAD includes a multiplication junction that is reversed biased above a breakdown voltage such that light directed into the SPAD through a backside of the semiconductor layer triggers an avalanche multiplication process. A guard ring is disposed in a guard ring region that surrounds the SPAD to isolate the SPAD in the semiconductor layer. A guard ring region…

Curved image sensor systems

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9679931
A curved image sensor system includes (a) an image sensor substrate having a concave light-receiving surface, a pixel array located along the concave light-receiving surface, and a planar external surface facing away from the concave light-receiving surface, (b) a light-transmitting substrate bonded to the image sensor substrate by a bonding layer, and (c) a hermetically sealed cavity, bounded at least by the concave light-receiving surface, the light-transmitting substrate, and the…

Fractal-edge thin film and method of manufacture

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9679940
A fractal-edge thin film includes a material layer having a perimeter with a fractal dimension exceeding one, the material layer having greater peel resistance as compared to a thin-film material layer with fractal dimension equaling one. A method of manufacturing a fractal-edge thin film includes determining an area shape to be covered by the fractal-edge thin film. The method also includes generating a thin-film perimeter based upon the area shape, the thin-film perimeter having a…

Systems and methods for generating a panoramic image

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9681045
Systems and methods for generating a panoramic image include capturing image data from a plurality of cameras and storing the image data within a memory buffer of the respective camera; transmitting image data from an upstream camera to a downstream camera; and combining, within the downstream camera, the image data from the upstream camera with the image data of the downstream camera as combined image data. Each of the plurality of cameras may include an imaging array for capturing…

Method and system to detect a light-emitting diode

Granted: June 13, 2017
Patent Number: 9681083
A method of detecting light-emitting diode (LED) light starts with a control circuitry generating a shutter signal that is transmitted to a pixel array to control image acquisition by the pixel array and to establish a set exposure time. The readout circuitry may then read out the image data from the pixel array that includes reading out the image data from a plurality of successive and overlapped frames having the set exposure time. The set exposure time may be the same for each of the…

Multi-layer color filter for low color error and high SNR

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9671537
Embodiments are described of a color filter array including a plurality of tiled minimal repeating units. Each minimal repeating unit includes an invisible-wavelength filter layer including a plurality of filters and a visible-wavelength filter layer positioned on the invisible-wavelength filter layer and having a plurality of filters such that each filter from the visible-wavelength layer is optically coupled to a corresponding filter in the invisible-wavelength layer.

Non-visible illumination scheme

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9674465
Embodiments of an apparatus and process are described. The process includes capturing a first image frame using an image sensor, the image sensor including a pixel array comprising a plurality of pixels arranged in rows and columns and a color filter array optically coupled to the pixel array. A region of interest within the first image frame is determined, and the exposure time of the image sensor is adjusted to eliminate a substantial fraction of the visible light captured by the image…

Color image sensor with metal mesh to detect infrared light

Granted: June 6, 2017
Patent Number: 9674493
An image sensor includes a pixel array with a plurality of pixels arranged in a semiconductor layer. A color filter array including a plurality of groupings of filters is disposed over the pixel array. Each filter is optically coupled to a corresponding one of the plurality of pixels. Each one of the plurality of groupings of filters includes a first, a second, a third, and a fourth filter having a first, a second, the second, and a third color, respectively. A metal layer is disposed…

Photodiode and filter configuration for high dynamic range image sensor

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9666631
An image sensor pixel includes a first photodiode, a second photodiode, a first microlens, a second microlens, and a filter. The first and second photodiode are disposed adjacent to each other in a semiconductor material. The first photodiode has a first full well capacity that is substantially equal to a second full well capacity of the second photodiode. The first microlens is disposed over the first photodiode and the second microlens is disposed over the second photodiode. The second…

Low power smart image capture

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9667867
A method of capturing an image includes reducing a resolution of the image to be captured by an image sensor of an electronic device to a low power reduced resolution if a checked battery level of the electronic device is less than a battery threshold level. A live preview of the image to be captured by the image sensor on a display of the electronic device is disabled if the battery level of the electronic device is less than a battery threshold level. The image is captured at the low…

Stacked chip shared pixel architecture

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9667895
An image sensor includes a pixel array disposed in a first semiconductor die. The pixel array is partitioned into a plurality of pixel sub-arrays. Each one of the plurality of pixel sub-arrays is arranged into a plurality of pixel groups. Each one of the plurality of pixel groups is arranged into a p×q array of pixel cells. A plurality of readout circuits is disposed in a second semiconductor die. An interconnect layer is stacked between the first semiconductor die and the second…

Color and infrared filter array patterns to reduce color aliasing

Granted: May 30, 2017
Patent Number: 9667933
Embodiments of a color filter array include a plurality of tiled minimal repeating units, each minimal repeating unit comprising an M×N set of individual filters, and each individual filter in the set having a photoresponse selected from among four different photoresponses. Each minimal repeating unit includes a checkerboard pattern of filters of the first photoresponse, and filters of the second, third, and fourth photoresponses distributed among the checkerboard pattern such that the…