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1 US10656253B2
High-speed light sensing apparatus
Publication/Patent Number: US10656253B2 Publication Date: 2020-05-19 Application Number: 16/430,019 Filing Date: 2019-06-03 Inventor: Na, Yun-chung   Liang, Che-fu   Assignee: Artilux, Inc.   IPC: H01L27/146 Abstract: An apparatus including a semiconductor substrate; an absorption layer coupled to the semiconductor substrate, the absorption layer including a photodiode region configured to absorb photons and to generate photo-carriers from the absorbed photons; one or more first switches controlled by a first control signal, the one or more first switches configured to collect at least a portion of the photo-carriers based on the first control signal; and one or more second switches controlled by a second control signal, the one or more second switches configured to collect at least a portion of the photo-carriers based on the second control signal, where the second control signal is different from the first control signal. An apparatus including a semiconductor substrate; an absorption layer coupled to the semiconductor substrate, the absorption layer including a photodiode region configured to absorb photons and to generate photo-carriers from the absorbed photons; one or more first switches ...More ...Less
2 US2020003876A1
A SYSTOLIC PROCESSOR SYSTEM FOR A LIGHT RANGING SYSTEM
Publication/Patent Number: US2020003876A1 Publication Date: 2020-01-02 Application Number: 16/488,918 Filing Date: 2018-02-20 Inventor: Zalud, Peter Ferdinand   Assignee: SRI International   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: A ROIC can perform systolic processing of light detectors. The ROIC performs the systolic processing of the light detectors to capture at least i) when, in time units, an initial photon of its reflected light pulse is captured by each of the light detectors in the array, ii) where geographically in terms of column and row address of the light detector capturing its photon is located in the array, iii) scan out data captured by the light detectors on the when in time units, and the where geographically that the photon was captured in a given light detector in the array, and then iv) analyze the data on the when and the where with an algorithm to know exactly when exactly, in terms of time units, the photon was captured relative to the input from the clock circuit in order to determine an objects characteristics. A ROIC can perform systolic processing of light detectors. The ROIC performs the systolic processing of the light detectors to capture at least i) when, in time units, an initial photon of its reflected light pulse is captured by each of the light detectors in the array, ii) ...More ...Less
3 US2020025895A1
MODULAR LADAR SENSOR
Publication/Patent Number: US2020025895A1 Publication Date: 2020-01-23 Application Number: 16/380,697 Filing Date: 2019-04-10 Inventor: Gilliland, Patrick   Heughebaert, Laurent   Spagnolia, Joseph   Short, Brad   Stettner, Roger   Assignee: CONTINENTAL ADVANCED LIDAR SOLUTIONS US, LLC.   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: A lightweight, inexpensive LADAR sensor incorporating 3-D focal plane arrays is adapted specifically for modular manufacture and rapid field configurability and provisioning. The sensor generates, at high speed, 3-D image maps and object data at short to medium ranges. The techniques and structures described may be used to extend the range of long range systems as well, though the focus is on compact, short to medium range ladar sensors suitable for use in multi-sensor television production systems and 3-D graphics capture and moviemaking. 3-D focal plane arrays are used in a variety of physical configurations to provide useful new capabilities. A lightweight, inexpensive LADAR sensor incorporating 3-D focal plane arrays is adapted specifically for modular manufacture and rapid field configurability and provisioning. The sensor generates, at high speed, 3-D image maps and object data at short to medium ranges. The ...More ...Less
4 US2020174105A1
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR A HYBRID TIME-OF-FLIGHT SENSOR WITH HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE
Publication/Patent Number: US2020174105A1 Publication Date: 2020-06-04 Application Number: 16/656,424 Filing Date: 2019-10-17 Inventor: Yin, Chin   Wu, Meng-hsiu   Lee, Chih-lin   Chao, Calvin Yi-ping   Yeh, Shang-fu   Assignee: Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., Ltd.   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: Disclosed is a time-of-flight sensing apparatus and method. In one embodiment, a system for time-of-flight (TOF) sensing, comprising: a detector array comprising a plurality of single-photon avalanche detectors (SPADs); and a control circuit comprising at least two digital control arrays coupled to the detector array, a counter array coupled to the at least two digital control arrays, and a logical control unit coupled to the counter array and the at least two digital control arrays, wherein the detector array is configured to receive at least one reflected light pulse from a target, wherein a first digital control array, the counter array, and the logical control unit of the control circuit are configured to receive at least one avalanche pulses from each of the plurality of SPADs to determine a first distance between the detector array and the target in a first TOF mode, and wherein a second digital control array, the counter array, and the logical control unit of the control circuit are configured to receive the at least one avalanche pulse from the each of the plurality of SPADs to determine a second distance between the detector array and the target in a second TOF mode. Disclosed is a time-of-flight sensing apparatus and method. In one embodiment, a system for time-of-flight (TOF) sensing, comprising: a detector array comprising a plurality of single-photon avalanche detectors (SPADs); and a control circuit comprising at least two digital ...More ...Less
5 US10670703B2
Device for detecting a laser spot
Publication/Patent Number: US10670703B2 Publication Date: 2020-06-02 Application Number: 16/079,690 Filing Date: 2017-02-24 Inventor: Martinez, Alain   Assignee: SAFRAN ELECTRONICS & DEFENSE   IPC: G01S7/4863 Abstract: Laser spot detecting device including a plurality of elementary optoelectronic detectors that are each connected to an elementary pulse detecting circuit, each elementary pulse detecting circuit including a comparator and a memory module that is connected to one output of the comparator, the memory modules being connected to a multiplexing circuit having an output forming a digital spatial output of the laser spot detecting device. The laser spot detecting device further more includes a global OR circuit having inputs connected to the outputs of the comparators and having an output forming a real-time digital temporal output of the laser spot detecting device. Method for detecting a laser spot implemented by such a detecting device. Laser spot detecting device including a plurality of elementary optoelectronic detectors that are each connected to an elementary pulse detecting circuit, each elementary pulse detecting circuit including a comparator and a memory module that is connected to one output of the ...More ...Less
6 US2020200881A1
OPTOELECTRONIC SENSOR, METHOD AND VEHICLE
Publication/Patent Number: US2020200881A1 Publication Date: 2020-06-25 Application Number: 16/715,165 Filing Date: 2019-12-16 Inventor: Maier, Daniel Aquino   Wichmann, Matthias   Kern, Oliver   Assignee: Robert Bosch GmbH   IPC: G01S7/4863 Abstract: An optoelectronic sensor, including a transmitting unit for transmitting a plurality of optical signals in each case to a plurality of segments of an object, and a receiving unit that includes a first multichannel analog-digital converter device, including: an analog-digital converter unit; a plurality of signal processing channels, the signal processing channels of the plurality of signal processing channels in each case including: a detection antenna for receiving optical signals; and a modulator for generating an individual signal encoding. Signals of the plurality of signal processing channels, with individual signal encoding, are transmittable together to the analog-digital converter unit, are converted, and may be associated once again with the corresponding signal processing channels due to the individual signal encoding via algorithms. An optoelectronic sensor, including a transmitting unit for transmitting a plurality of optical signals in each case to a plurality of segments of an object, and a receiving unit that includes a first multichannel analog-digital converter device, including: an analog-digital ...More ...Less
7 US10613202B2
Time-of-flight detection pixel
Publication/Patent Number: US10613202B2 Publication Date: 2020-04-07 Application Number: 16/194,985 Filing Date: 2018-11-19 Inventor: Roy, Francois   Goncalves, Boris Rodrigues   Guillon, Marie   Cazaux, Yvon   Giffard, Benoit   Assignee: STMicroelectronics (Crolles 2) SAS   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: A pixel is formed on a semiconductor substrate that includes a photosensitive area having a first doped layer and a charge collection area of a first conductivity type extending through at least part of the first doped layer. At least two charge storage areas, each including a well of the first conductivity type, are separated from the charge collection area at least by a first portion of the first layer. The first portion is covered by a first gate. Each charge storage area is laterally delimited by two insulated conductive electrodes. A second doped layer of the second conductivity type covers the charge collection area and the charge storage areas. A pixel is formed on a semiconductor substrate that includes a photosensitive area having a first doped layer and a charge collection area of a first conductivity type extending through at least part of the first doped layer. At least two charge storage areas, each including a ...More ...Less
8 US10641873B2
Method and apparatus for an adaptive ladar receiver
Publication/Patent Number: US10641873B2 Publication Date: 2020-05-05 Application Number: 15/935,720 Filing Date: 2018-03-26 Inventor: Dussan, Luis Carlos   Steinhardt, Allan   Cook, David   Assignee: AEYE, INC.   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: Disclosed herein are various embodiments of an adaptive ladar receiver and associated method whereby the active pixels in a photodetector array used for reception of ladar pulse returns can be adaptively controlled based at least in part on where the ladar pulses were targeted. Additional embodiments disclose improved imaging optics for use by the receiver and further adaptive control techniques for selecting which pixels of the photodetector array are used for sensing incident light. Disclosed herein are various embodiments of an adaptive ladar receiver and associated method whereby the active pixels in a photodetector array used for reception of ladar pulse returns can be adaptively controlled based at least in part on where the ladar pulses were targeted ...More ...Less
9 US2020033456A1
TIME-RESOLVING IMAGE SENSOR FOR RANGE MEASUREMENT AND 2D GREYSCALE IMAGING
Publication/Patent Number: US2020033456A1 Publication Date: 2020-01-30 Application Number: 16/140,529 Filing Date: 2018-09-24 Inventor: Wang, Yibing Michelle   Shi, Lilong   Ovsiannikov, Ilia   Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: An image sensor includes a time-resolving sensor and a processor. The time-resolving sensor outputs a first signal and a second signal pair in response detecting one or more photons that have been reflected from an object. A first ratio of a magnitude of the first signal to a sum of the magnitude of the first signal and a magnitude of the second signal is proportional to a time of flight of the one or more detected photons. A second ratio of the magnitude of the second signal to the sum of the magnitude of the first signal and the magnitude of the second signal is proportional to the time of flight of the one or more detected photons. The processor determines a surface reflectance of the object where the light pulse has been reflected based on the first signal and the second signal pair and may generate a grayscale image. An image sensor includes a time-resolving sensor and a processor. The time-resolving sensor outputs a first signal and a second signal pair in response detecting one or more photons that have been reflected from an object. A first ratio of a magnitude of the first signal to a ...More ...Less
10 US2020018831A1
LIGHT DETECTOR
Publication/Patent Number: US2020018831A1 Publication Date: 2020-01-16 Application Number: 16/582,290 Filing Date: 2019-09-25 Inventor: Azuma, Kenta   Ozaki, Noriyuki   Kashiwada, Shinji   Kimura, Teiyu   Takai, Isamu   Matsubara, Hiroyuki   Assignee: DENSO CORPORATION   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: A light detector is provided to include a light receiving array having a plurality of light receivers respectively outputting pulse signals upon incidence of photons. A delay setting value is set which is used to adjust a time interval from when the pulse signals are output from the light receiving array to when a response number, which is a specified number of the light receivers outputting the pulse signals, is acquired. A light detector is provided to include a light receiving array having a plurality of light receivers respectively outputting pulse signals upon incidence of photons. A delay setting value is set which is used to adjust a time interval from when the pulse signals are output from ...More ...Less
11 US10677899B2
Aggregating non-imaging SPAD architecture for full digital monolithic, frame averaging receivers
Publication/Patent Number: US10677899B2 Publication Date: 2020-06-09 Application Number: 15/670,082 Filing Date: 2017-08-07 Inventor: Onal, Caner   Droz, Pierre-yves   Assignee: Waymo LLC   IPC: G01S7/48 Abstract: The present disclosure relates to systems and methods that include a monolithic, single-chip receiver. An example system includes a plurality of macropixels, each made up of an array of single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs). The system also includes a plurality of pipelined adders communicatively coupled to a respective portion of the plurality of macropixels. The system additionally includes a controller configured to carry out operations. The operations include during a listening period, receiving, at each pipelined adder of the plurality of pipelined adders, respective photosignals from the respective portion of the plurality of macropixels. The operations also include causing each pipelined adder of the plurality of pipelined adders to provide an output that includes a series of frames that provide an average number of SPADs of the respective portion of the plurality of macropixels that were triggered during a given listening period. The present disclosure relates to systems and methods that include a monolithic, single-chip receiver. An example system includes a plurality of macropixels, each made up of an array of single photon avalanche diodes (SPADs). The system also includes a plurality of pipelined ...More ...Less
12 US10545224B2
Time-resolving sensor using SPAD + PPD or capacitors in pixel for range measurement
Publication/Patent Number: US10545224B2 Publication Date: 2020-01-28 Application Number: 15/878,392 Filing Date: 2018-01-23 Inventor: Wang, Yibing Michelle   Assignee: SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD.   IPC: G01S7/486 Abstract: A time-resolving sensor includes a single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD), a logic circuit and differential time-to-charge converter (DTCC) circuit. The SPAD is responsive to a shutter signal to generate an output signal based on detecting an incident photon. The logic circuit generates first and second enable signals. The DTCC includes a capacitor device, first and second switching devices, and an output circuit. The first switching device is responsive to the first enable signal to transfer a charge on the capacitor device to the first floating diffusion. The second switching device is responsive to the second enable signal to transfer a remaining charge on the capacitor device to the second floating diffusion. The output circuit outputs a first voltage that is based on the first charge on the first floating diffusion and a second voltage that is based on the second charge on the second floating diffusion. A time-resolving sensor includes a single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD), a logic circuit and differential time-to-charge converter (DTCC) circuit. The SPAD is responsive to a shutter signal to generate an output signal based on detecting an incident photon. The logic circuit ...More ...Less