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    CMOS Image Sensors(CIS)Past,Present & Future

    • Author:Durham Technology
    • Release on :2018-12-07

    Advent ofCMOS technology in eighties led to the phenomenal growth in semiconductorindustry. Transistors have become smaller, faster, consume less power, and arecheaper to manufacture. It is CMOS technology which has enabled very highintegration on the chips leading to modern high performance, miniaturizedintegrated circuits. Over the last decade, CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) technologyhas made impressive progress. In this paper, we describe the state-of-the-artin CMOS image sensor technology and discuss future perspectives.


    KeyComponents in CMOS image sensors.


    There arefour main components in a CMOS image sensor:

    1.                  Photodiode (PD)

    2.                  Pixel design

    3.                  Color filter (CF)

    4.                  Microlens


    The photodiode (PD) is used to capture light, with PINdiodes or Shallow PN junction devices commonly used for this purpose. The mostwidely implemented Pixel Design is known as an “Active Pixel Sensor” (APS).Three to six transistors are commonly used, and they provide gain or buffer thepixel from large column capacitance. The color filter is used to separate outthe red, green and blue (RGB) components of reflected light. And finally, themicrolens gathers light from the inactive portion of the CIS and focuses itdown to the photodiode. The microlens typically has a spherical surface and awebbed lens.


    CISTechnology/Market/Players Today and Tomorrow


    The roadmap for future CIS technology adoption is fueledby three constraints or drivers:


    1.      Size (3 dimensions, X, Y and Z of the camera module)

    2.      Image quality (resolution, low light performance, focus (AF) andstabilization (OIS))

    3.      Functionality (slow-motion video, image analysis, motioncontrol)


    Today, the CIS industry is driven by mobile and automotiveapplications. Innovation in smartphone cameras will continue, even thoughcompetition in this high-volume application is intense. CIS manufacturers arebeing forced to integrate more and more functionality into other areas in orderto stay competitive.


    Smartphone applications are leading in CIS market share now, but manyother applications are going to be part of CIS’ future growth like automotive,security, medical, and other areas. For example, the CMOS image sensor waschosen by Durham advanced night vision goggles due to CMOS image sensor withFaster in data rate than CCD, Cheaper, energy-efficient, and on-chipintegratable as well as other advantages. These emerging opportunities aredriving technology from mobile imaging to other growth areas, and we may see ashift from using vision for imaging to using vision for sensing and otherinteractive applications.