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Proceedings Paper

Bio-inspired design: nonlinear digital pixels for multiple-tier processes
Author(s): Orit Skorka; Alireza Mahmoodi; Jing Li; Dileepan Joseph
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Paper Abstract

The pixel array in a conventional image sensor performs worse than the human retina mainly in dynamic range and dark limit. These limitations may be overcome by introducing others, but we aim to overcome them without limitation given biological precedent and inspiration. Whereas conventional image sensors use linear analog pixels in a single-tier process, we design nonlinear digital pixels for multiple-tier processes. A wide dynamic range is easily achieved with nonlinearity, while image quality is ensured through digital signal processing and in-pixel analog-to-digital conversion. For low dark limit and high spatial resolution, we exploit the high fill factor and heterogeneous integration of emerging multiple-tier processes. Our progress is demonstrated with experimental results from three image sensor prototypes, which provide supporting evidence for the proposed approach.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 April 2013
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8691, Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2013, 86910M (9 April 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2009035
Show Author Affiliations
Orit Skorka, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)
Alireza Mahmoodi, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)
Jing Li, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)
Dileepan Joseph, Univ. of Alberta (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8691:
Nanosensors, Biosensors, and Info-Tech Sensors and Systems 2013
Vijay K. Varadan, Editor(s)

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