Patent: Canon Stacked Image Sensor Technology

Canon Rumors Guy

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
7,687
343
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
HTML:
Keith over at Northlight has uncovered more sensor related patents.</p>
<p>The first patent uses a stacked sensor design to move AF and liveview data handling off the sensor part of the chip, to allow switching between them – faster and

lower power. [<a href="http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20170366776">USPTO</a>]</p>


<p>The second patent shows the use of a different MIS style (Metal/Insulator/<wbr />Semiconductor) light sensitive pixel elements, as opposed to the conventional photodiode setup. [<a href="http://pdfaiw.uspto.gov/.aiw?PageNum=0&docid=20170366775">USPTO</a>]</p>
<p><a href="http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/canon-camera-rumours-and-info/">Head over to Northlight</a> for more summaries are images.</p>
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Canon Rumors Guy

EOS 1D MK II
Jul 20, 2010
7,687
343
Canada
www.canonrumors.com
3kramd5 said:
I like how he adds his watermark to a canon patent ::)
He edits the images from the patent with color to give a better idea of what the patent is about. His watermark is also easily removable if someone wants to take the edited images and not include credit. He does not watermark images that he hasn't edited or added to.
 

RayValdez360

EOS 7D MK II
Jun 6, 2012
412
170
Sometimes I watermark the Canonrumors logo after I edit the red to be redder and less orange, when I post it.
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
Not being an sensor engineer I would like to understand the "so what" about this? What can this sensor do that other sensors can not?
 

keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
RGF said:
Not being an sensor engineer I would like to understand the "so what" about this? What can this sensor do that other sensors can not?
One of the issues of having on chip phase AF and needing the data for live view is that that there is a lot of switching going on and all that activity generates heat and slows things down.

Moving some of the functionality off the main sensor area make for amongst other things faster and cooler operation - some of this is outlined in the actual patent application, but is not an easy read.

The other patent is interesting got moving away from the normal photodiode design for the light sensitive elements. This could improve QE (no filter needed) and colour fidelity. Somer of the semiconductors mentioned in the patent are sensitive to longer IR wavelengths, so this technology might also be useful for automotive and surveillance imaging.

In of themselves not earth shattering, and no solace to the perpetual Canon whingers, but interesting developments when added to the many other patents and applications I've seen in 2017.
 

docsmith

EOS 6D MK II
Sep 17, 2010
859
236
keithcooper said:
RGF said:
Not being an sensor engineer I would like to understand the "so what" about this? What can this sensor do that other sensors can not?
One of the issues of having on chip phase AF and needing the data for live view is that that there is a lot of switching going on and all that activity generates heat and slows things down.

Moving some of the functionality off the main sensor area make for amongst other things faster and cooler operation - some of this is outlined in the actual patent application, but is not an easy read.

The other patent is interesting got moving away from the normal photodiode design for the light sensitive elements. This could improve QE (no filter needed) and colour fidelity. Somer of the semiconductors mentioned in the patent are sensitive to longer IR wavelengths, so this technology might also be useful for automotive and surveillance imaging.

In of themselves not earth shattering, and no solace to the perpetual Canon whingers, but interesting developments when added to the many other patents and applications I've seen in 2017.
The first actually seems very useful, just to speculate, if you were moving to a system that primarily used on sensor AF, say, mirrorless. ;)

The second, this could be a patent for the sake of patenting it. QE is already getting pretty high. Perhaps one of these would be less costly to manufacture? Or would lend itself better to a smaller fabrication unit?

Best case for photographers is that Canon has found different materials that have better sensitivities to different wavelengths of light, or result in different types of output. I could see that becoming something useful.
 

rrcphoto

EOS 5D MK IV
Jun 20, 2013
2,505
147
RGF said:
Not being an sensor engineer I would like to understand the "so what" about this? What can this sensor do that other sensors can not?
the main advantage is that it allows for the electronics that read and process the sensor data to be as close to the sensor as possible. this means it can run faster.

also depending on the pinouts from the image sensor side, you can have massively parallel operations take place for global shutter, AF, etc.

And finally - economics. Canon can continue to create the image sensor side on whatever fab they want, and use a high tech latest and greatest fab for the electronics part and simply assemble the sensor halfs together. Canon outsources DiGiC so it's not as if they are against the process ;)
 
Jan 6, 2016
3
0
A sensor that runs cooler, in theory, could have more processing overhead freed up for heat-generating activities such as:
Faster continuous drive speed
Higher video framerates
Higher video bitrates
And perhaps less chance of catching on fire.
 

infared

Kodak Brownie!
Jul 19, 2011
1,411
11
docsmith said:
keithcooper said:
RGF said:
Not being an sensor engineer I would like to understand the "so what" about this? What can this sensor do that other sensors can not?
One of the issues of having on chip phase AF and needing the data for live view is that that there is a lot of switching going on and all that activity generates heat and slows things down.

Moving some of the functionality off the main sensor area make for amongst other things faster and cooler operation - some of this is outlined in the actual patent application, but is not an easy read.

The other patent is interesting got moving away from the normal photodiode design for the light sensitive elements. This could improve QE (no filter needed) and colour fidelity. Somer of the semiconductors mentioned in the patent are sensitive to longer IR wavelengths, so this technology might also be useful for automotive and surveillance imaging.

In of themselves not earth shattering, and no solace to the perpetual Canon whingers, but interesting developments when added to the many other patents and applications I've seen in 2017.
The first actually seems very useful, just to speculate, if you were moving to a system that primarily used on sensor AF, say, mirrorless. ;)

The second, this could be a patent for the sake of patenting it. QE is already getting pretty high. Perhaps one of these would be less costly to manufacture? Or would lend itself better to a smaller fabrication unit?

Best case for photographers is that Canon has found different materials that have better sensitivities to different wavelengths of light, or result in different types of output. I could see that becoming something useful.
Yes...as the time comes for this full-frame mirrorless rumor to come to life...this possibly makes sense. 8)
 

3kramd5

EOS 5D MK IV
Mar 2, 2012
3,082
404
keithcooper said:
3kramd5 said:
I like how he adds his watermark to a canon patent ::)
Sure I do - when I annotate and combine images to try and make them a bit clearer ;-)

As Craig notes, if it annoys you that much and you want to use them, it's hardly difficult to remove...
To be clear, it doesn’t annoy me at all, I was just thinking about the legality of stamping one’s name on someone else’s IP. Are patent applications free from copyright (fair use) or available for derivative work?

Those are legitimate questions, not trolling.
 

keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
3kramd5 said:
keithcooper said:
3kramd5 said:
I like how he adds his watermark to a canon patent ::)
Sure I do - when I annotate and combine images to try and make them a bit clearer ;-)

As Craig notes, if it annoys you that much and you want to use them, it's hardly difficult to remove...
To be clear, it doesn’t annoy me at all, I was just thinking about the legality of stamping one’s name on someone else’s IP. Are patent applications free from copyright (fair use) or available for derivative work?

Those are legitimate questions, not trolling.
Have a read of https://www.uspto.gov/terms-use-uspto-websites

From my own POV, I make a point to provide links to the original patents/applications and only annotate stuff for editorial reasons - mainly because many people find patents extremely obscure to read ;-)
 

3kramd5

EOS 5D MK IV
Mar 2, 2012
3,082
404
keithcooper said:
3kramd5 said:
keithcooper said:
3kramd5 said:
I like how he adds his watermark to a canon patent ::)
Sure I do - when I annotate and combine images to try and make them a bit clearer ;-)

As Craig notes, if it annoys you that much and you want to use them, it's hardly difficult to remove...
To be clear, it doesn’t annoy me at all, I was just thinking about the legality of stamping one’s name on someone else’s IP. Are patent applications free from copyright (fair use) or available for derivative work?

Those are legitimate questions, not trolling.
Have a read of https://www.uspto.gov/terms-use-uspto-websites

From my own POV, I make a point to provide links to the original patents/applications and only annotate stuff for editorial reasons - mainly because many people find patents extremely obscure to read ;-)
This is what I’d be concerned with:

WARNING: Not all materials on the USPTO website are works of the U.S. government. When using USPTO websites, you may encounter documents, illustrations, photographs, or other informational resources contributed or licensed by private individuals, companies, or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use (link is external) as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

It’s a reasonable bet publishing the schematics is covered under fair use. Derivation I’d be less inclined to wager on.

That being said, I apologize for posting. It was an admittedly snide comment you don’t deserve. I agree you provide value and hope the content you host doesn’t run afoul of an IP attorney.
 

keithcooper

EOS 7D MK II
3kramd5 said:
This is what I’d be concerned with:

WARNING: Not all materials on the USPTO website are works of the U.S. government. When using USPTO websites, you may encounter documents, illustrations, photographs, or other informational resources contributed or licensed by private individuals, companies, or organizations that may be protected by U.S. and foreign copyright laws. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use (link is external) as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

It’s a reasonable bet publishing the schematics is covered under fair use. Derivation I’d be less inclined to wager on.

That being said, I apologize for posting. It was an admittedly snide comment you don’t deserve. I agree you provide value and hope the content you host doesn’t run afoul of an IP attorney.
Indeed, I do have a read through the whole document, but I'm fairly confident... unless I hear from Canon's UK lawyers that is ;-)
 

RGF

How you relate to the issue, is the issue.
Jul 13, 2012
2,816
35
keithcooper said:
RGF said:
Not being an sensor engineer I would like to understand the "so what" about this? What can this sensor do that other sensors can not?
One of the issues of having on chip phase AF and needing the data for live view is that that there is a lot of switching going on and all that activity generates heat and slows things down.

Moving some of the functionality off the main sensor area make for amongst other things faster and cooler operation - some of this is outlined in the actual patent application, but is not an easy read.

The other patent is interesting got moving away from the normal photodiode design for the light sensitive elements. This could improve QE (no filter needed) and colour fidelity. Somer of the semiconductors mentioned in the patent are sensitive to longer IR wavelengths, so this technology might also be useful for automotive and surveillance imaging.

In of themselves not earth shattering, and no solace to the perpetual Canon whingers, but interesting developments when added to the many other patents and applications I've seen in 2017.
Thanks Keith

this is helpful. Not will appease the whiners