I do not know what number of of you adopted me again on my older web site, however I used to be at all times speaking about Canon’s SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode) picture sensor patent functions – a lot in order that I assumed Canon was beginning to troll me. For sure with the discharge of the MS-500 I felt a bit of higher about issues and silently requested Canon for forgiveness for all these imply ideas previously.
This patent software is curious and I discover it fascinating as a result of it may open some thrilling imaging alternatives sooner or later.
One of many fundamental challenges of SPAD sensors has at all times been an excessive amount of of a very good factor is a nasty factor. SPAD sensors work by truly counting the photons that hit the floor of the detector. Every thing is okay till there are too many photons coming in too quick. The diode then will get fully overwhelmed and messes up its depend. Consider it as a conveyor belt, the extra gadgets on the belt the tougher it’s to precisely depend the gadgets.
CMOS nevertheless converts photons into voltage and the sunshine depth is measured by the amplitude of the voltage utilizing analog to digital convertors.
Secondly, one other drawback of a SPAD sensor is that it takes present to place the diode into “avalanche mode” so it might probably begin counting photons. This elevated present implies that the sensor itself requires extra energy than a standard CMOS sensor.
Typically talking, CMOS sensors (truly their analog to digital converters) are extra correct with extra mild and SPAD sensors are higher when it has an opportunity to depend each photon (low mild), so it stands to motive that the mix of those two sensors could also be the very best factor since sliced bread. It additionally means the picture may have a fully gob-smacking quantity of dynamic vary. A single picture of the total moon displaying the star subject within the background? No drawback.
The patent software goes right into a mind-numbing quantity of element discussing how Canon would do such a factor and varied means or strategies that Canon may use to change between a SPAD and a CMOS sensor based mostly upon variations in shutter velocity, video, and even energy draw. Additionally and most fascinating to me, is that with Determine 11 and associated instance, Canon discusses taking a picture with the SPAD picture sensor, and within the part the place the SPAD sensor is overwhelmed with an excessive amount of mild (for instance on this picture, the solar), changing that part of the picture with corresponding part from the CMOS sensor. Maybe much more fascinating, one of many best to think about use circumstances of a digicam of this type could be one smartphone, since you can have two picture sensors aspect by aspect.
As with all patent functions, this will by no means find yourself in an precise product, however it serves as a glimpse into what Canon is researching.
Supply: Japan Patent Software 2023-123474
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