Sunday, July 24, 2016


Korean-language BusinessPost and JAFCO-Asia report that image sensor chip-scale package maker OptoPACK has been listed on KOSDAQ. The company has filed a 31.7 billion won last year's sales (~$28M) and an operating loss of 30 million won (~$26K).

Magic Leap Aims to Replacing Smartphones

RoadToVR quotes Magic Leap CMO Brian Wallace saying that the company is working on an AR headset that’s portable, lightweight, and can be worn all day. He further said that the aim is to completely replace smartphones someday.

Talking about the AR devices, James Mackie publishes a Youtube video claiming that Microsoft Hololens is "the absolute gamechanger."

Thursday, July 21, 2016

1st Executive Infrared Imaging Forum

Yole Développement and its partner CIOE announce the 1st Executive Infrared Imaging Forum: From Niche to Large Volume Applications. Organized by Yole and hosted by CIOE, this event will take place on September 8, 2016 in Shenzhen, alongside the 18th China International Optoelectronic Expo 2016. The Forum agenda:
  • Thermal Imager with Microbolometer for Smartphone: Evolution & Comparison on the last Technologies Trends
    Sylvain Hallereau, Project Manager, System Plus Consulting
  • Molded, Wafer Level Optics for High Volume Applications
    John Franks, Technical Director, Umicore Electro Optic Materials
  • Fabless Development of CMOS Micro-bolometer FPA for High Performance Consumer Application
    Kwyro Lee, CTO of Sirius Inc. & Prof. in School of EECS, KAIST, Daejon, Korea
  • NETD, uncooled FPA, Electro-Optic characterization, TWS, SmartIRTM
    Frédéric Mathieu, Chief Operating Officer & Project Manager, Device-ALab
  • Thermodiode Infrared Technology for Mass Market Applications
    Andreas Krauss, Product Management Sensor Components (AE/PRM-S) , Robert Bosch GmbH
  • Keynote - TBD
    Stuart Klapper, Autoliv
  • Uncooled IR Imaging Market Perspectives
    Eric Mounier, Senior Analyst, Yole Développement
  • Tracking Illuminator: Novel Instrument Combining Thermal IR Detection with VIS Illumination
    Hubert Jerominek, INO
  • ULIS inside "Smart Buildings"
    Cyrille Trouilleau, Product Manager, ULIS
  • Wuhan GST's very Low Cost Uncooled Infared Detector Development
    Gao Jianfei, Detector Center Director, GUIDE
  • Thermal and Hyperspectral Imaging solutions for Integrators
    Eric Guyot, Director French Office and IR Cameras Product Line Manager, Telops

LFoundry on Image Sensor Production Challenges

FBK publishes a LFoundry's Antonio Venezia short talk on CIS production challenges in EU Supertwin project on entangled photon imaging (part 1, part 2):

MIT on Importance of High Full Well in Interferometric Microscopy

Adimec interviews Poorya Hosseini of MIT to discuss the use of extreme high full well capacity camera in interferometric microscopy:

"There has been some debate on what typically limits the sensitivity of the phase measurements in interferometric microscopy and holographic microscopy that has been a few nm in terms of optical path length. We hypothesized that photon shot noise sets the current limit rather than other noise sources such as mechanical vibrations or power fluctuations of the illumination source. After some theoretical calculations and showing shot noise is indeed the limiting factor, we needed a tool to see how far we can push shot noise down before we hit the mechanical limits. This is only possible when you can collect a huge number of photons in a short period of time using this camera, and of course lots of light."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Tractica on 3D Imaging Market

According to a report from Tractica, the worldwide market for 3D imaging hardware and software will grow from $3.2b in 2014 to $24.9b in 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23%. The consumer and mobile and the automotive markets were the two largest in 2014, accounting for $1.2 billion and $1.0 billion, respectively. The robotics and industrial market will sport the highest growth rate of 26.9% among all the application markets to become worth $3.9 billion by 2024. Overall, the consumer and mobile market will continue to be the largest market for 3D imaging technology, accounting for $10.1 billion in 2024 and growing at a CAGR of 23.3%:

Leap Motion on 3D Imaging for VR

Leap Motion CTO and co-founder David Holz shares his 1.5-hour long AltspaceVR presentation on imaging in VR applications:

Sony vs Samsung in Galaxy S7

EETimes publishes TechInsights reverse engineering findings comparing Sony and Samsung 12MP camera modules extracted from Galaxy S7 smartphones:

Sony IMX260
Samsung S5K2L1SX

Few quotes:

"Sony had used TSVs in their earlier CMOS image sensors and we had expected the same for the IMX260. But we don’t see them, as they have been replaced by a direct wafer bonding process that we will discuss later.

The Samsung CMOS image sensor has arrays of TSVs along its perimeter and these are used to make the electrical connections to the underlying ASIC.

Simply joining the two wafers together will allow Van der Waal forces (hydrogen bonding) to hold the wafers together, but this bond strength is insufficient for the task. High temperature anneals can convert these bonds to covalent bonding, but high temperature anneals can cause problems with thermal mismatches between the materials making up the two wafers. This is where Ziptronix’s 7,109,092 (‘092) patent comes into play. This patent describes a method for subjecting the wafer’s oxide surface with a fluorinating treatment to promote the covalent bonding of the two wafers in a room temperature process.

This wafer bonding process is likely done prior to the backside thinning of the image sensor wafer that might be about 150 µm thick, as is the control ASIC. The two wafers would brought into alignment using IR microscopes to see through the wafers to their respective alignment marks. This process has yielded a misalignment of the image sensor’s metal 6 pad and the control ASICs metal 8 pad of less than 0.25 µm."

Samsung uses arrays of through silicon vias to connect its S5k2L1SX image sensor to its underlying ASIC. Figure 7 shows a series of Through Silicon Vias (TSVs) arranged on an approximately 5 µm x 8 µm grid pattern. The TSVs are the dark oval shapes seen at the center of each grid point.

The TSVs connecting the image sensor die to the metal 7 traces of the control ASIC was formed after the two dies are affixed to each other, and after the image sensor die had undergone its backside thinning, using a TSV last process. The TSV metallization appears to be tungsten with probably a titanium nitride barrier and possibly titanium adhesion layers.

Using TSVs to electrically connect the image sensor die to the ASIC certainly gets the job done, but at the cost of the added real estate needed for the TSV arrays.

Sony IMX260 Wafer Bonding Surfaces
Top Surface of Samsung S5K2L1SX with TSV Array
Samsung S5K2L1SX TSVs

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Varioptic Demos its Lens Vibration Tolerance

Varioptic publishes a Youtube video showing that its liquid lens performance is quite insensitive to a vibration:

An older video shows how its electrowetting liquid lens operation:

Analog Devices Occupancy Sensor

Analog Devices presents its occupancy vision module reference design based on a smart image sensor that reduces the volume of data transferred to a Blackfin DSP. It sounds like the image sensor is based on the acquired Swiss Snap Sensor startup's technology: