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Proceedings Paper

Comparative analysis of SNR for image sensors with enhanced dynamic range
Author(s): David X. D. Yang; Abbas El Gamal
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Paper Abstract

Dynamic range is a critical figure of merit for image sensors. Often a sensor with higher dynamic range is regarded as higher quality than one with lower dynamic range. For CCD and CMOS sensors operating in the integration mode the sensor SNR monotonically increases with the signal. Therefore, a sensor with higher dynamic range, generally, produces higher quality images than one with lower dynamic range. This, however, is not necessarily the case when dynamic range enhancement schemes are used. For example, suing the well capacity adjusting scheme dynamic range is enhanced but at the expense of substantial degradation in SNR. On the other hand, using multiple sampling dynamic range can be enhanced without degrading SNR. Therefore, even if both schemes achieve the same dynamic range the latter can produce higher image quality than the former. The paper provides a quantitative framework for comparing SNR for image sensors with enhanced dynamic range. We introduce a simple model to describe the sensor output response as a function of the photogenerate signal, dark signal, and noise for sensors operation in integration mode with and without dynamic range enhancement schemes. We use the model to quantify and compare dynamic range and SNR for three sensor operation modes, integration with shuttering, using the well capacity adjusting scheme, and using multiple sampling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 1999
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 3649, Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Scientific/Industrial Applications, (27 April 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.347075
Show Author Affiliations
David X. D. Yang, Stanford Univ. (United States)
Abbas El Gamal, Stanford Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3649:
Sensors, Cameras, and Systems for Scientific/Industrial Applications
Morley M. Blouke; George M. Williams Jr., Editor(s)

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