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Two New CMOS Consortia Worth Mentioning

There’s some interesting news on the CMOS front that I wanted to share with you.

This past May, in Europe, two different consortia began work on CMOS image sensor projects.

One is the CISTERN project. CISTERN – which is more or less an acronym for CMOS Image Sensors TEchnologies’ Readiness for Next generation applications – is focused on technology for broadcast and entertainment, high-end security, and multispectral imaging, among other industries. The goals for CISTERN include:

  • Develop CMOS image sensors with improved performance (spatial resolution, temporal resolution, higher bit depths, lower noise, etc.)
  • Develop real-time image processing techniques needed to improve the quality of the digital output signal of the sensor demonstrators.
  • Develop and demonstrate the capability to produce multispectral imagers by hybridization of multispectral filter arrays on top of CMOS sensor. Both matrix filters and hybrid assembly process will be developed within the project.
  • Demonstrate the improved performance of the CMOS imagers combined with related processing in a number of demonstrators.
  • Develop ultra-high resolution, widely-opened sensor-adapted zoom lenses (2/3” format, 4K resolution), for broadcast and security applications/markets(Source: Vision Systems)

The other research project is EXIST. Again, this is a more-or-less acronym for Extended Imaging Sensor Technologies. EXIST’s focus is on:

“…systems designed to improve  security, safety, and healthcare. The image sensor research will focus on enhancing and extending the capabilities of current CMOS imaging devices for better performance including sensitivity, dynamic range, quantum efficiency, and more. Key developments in the project will be improvements in hyperspectral and multispectral capabilities.

Objectives include enhancing and extending the capabilities of current CMOS imaging devices:”

  • New design (architectures) and process technology (e.g. 3D stacking) for better pixels (lower noise, higher dynamic range, higher quantum efficiency, new functionality in the pixel) and more pixels at higher speed (higher spatial and temporal resolutions, higher bit depth), time-of-flight pixels, local (on-chip) processing
  • Extended sensitivity and functionality of the pixels: extension into infrared, filters for hyperspectral and multispectral imaging, better colour filters for a wider colour gamut, and FabryPérot Interference cells
  • Increasing the optical, analog and data imaging pipelines to enable high frame rates, better memory management, etc.(Source: Image Sensors World)

One of the EXIST partners is CMOSIS, a company that Critical Link works with. Our MityCAM-C8000 is based on a CMOSIS 8MP high-speed, global shutter CMOS sensor. This MityCAM couples an 8MP CMV8000 imaging sensor from CMOSIS with the processing technology in Critical Link’s Altera Cyclone V SoC System on Module.  Production-ready configurations include fully-enclosed cameras, complete 3-board sets, and partial board sets for customers who elect for custom sensor or I/O boards. Applications that the MityCAM-C8000 is designed for include machine vision, motion control, traffic monitoring and management, security and surveillance, medical, and embedded instrumentation.

Both CISTERN and EXIST are expected to complete their work in 2018. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what they come up with.