Award Winning KAE-02150 Image Sensor

by  Michael DeLuca  - 05-04-2016 

At The Vision Show held earlier this month in Boston, the KAE-02150 image sensor was named a Gold-level winner of the Vision Systems Design 2016 Innovators Award, which recognizes the most innovative products and services in the Vision and Image Processing industry. 


This is the second industry award won by the KAE-02150 this year, joining the 2015 Product of the Year award as named by the editors of Electronic Products magazine in January. 

The KAE-02150 is the first device to combine Interline Transfer CCD and EMCCD technologies, which allows a single camera to image continuously from very low light (down to moonlight, or moonless starlight) through bright daylight without the introduction of imaging artifacts. 

One of the keys to the performance provided by this device is an Intra-Scene Switchable Gain feature, which allows only the very low-light portions of a scene to be routed through the EMCCD output.  In this output architecture, charge from each pixel passes through a non-destructive sensing note (the gray box in the figure below), which can be read by camera control electronics to provide an initial measurement of the signal level for each pixel.  This information is used to drive a switch in the sensor (green) that routes charge packets to one of two outputs based on a camera-selected threshold.

Pixels with high charge levels (corresponding to bright parts of the image) are routed to a standard CCD output (blue) for conversion to voltage – they don’t need the extra amplification provided by the EMCCD register.  Pixels with low charge levels (corresponding to dark parts of the image) are sent to the EMCCD output (red) for additional amplification before conversion to voltage.  By merging these two datasets, a high dynamic range, low-light image is created that avoids the artifacts that would arise if bright pixels were sent to the EMCCD output (which would initiate an overflow cascade).

We’re excited about the possibilities this new Interline Transfer CCD architecture enables, and are working closely with camera manufacturers as they optimize and finalize their camera designs.  And as we look to leverage this technology into additional products, it’s good to see the recognition this unique architecture continues to receive.


Tags:CCD, CCD Image Sensor, Image Sensor, Industrial
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