High Performance CMOS Range Imaging: Device Technology and Systems Considerations

Andreas Süss

May 27, 2018 by CRC Press
Reference - 262 Pages
ISBN 9781138612075 - CAT# K389225
Series: Devices, Circuits, and Systems

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  1. the state of the art of indirect time-of-flight (ToF) image sensors for snapshot or scanning LIDAR is presented
  2. describing the design of high-speed low-noise photodetectors and readout circuits for pulse-modulated ToF scheme suitable for harsh environmental conditions
  3. in depth discussion of relation and trade-offs of photodetector, readout circuit, timing, camera and scenery
  4. a survey through state of the art noise reduction schemes in CMOS APS is given and a novel low-noise readout structure is introduced
  5. the state of the art noise modeling is presented and a simplified algorithm for estimation of noise in switched circuits is given
  6. emphasis is put on accurate modeling; derivations are presented in detail


This work is dedicated to CMOS based imaging with the emphasis on the noise modeling, characterization and optimization in order to contribute to the design of high performance imagers in general and range imagers in particular. CMOS is known to be superior to CCD due to its flexibility in terms of integration capabilities, but typically has to be enhanced to compete at parameters as for instance noise, dynamic range or spectral response. Temporal noise is an important topic, since it is one of the most crucial parameters that ultimately limits the performance and cannot be corrected. This work gathers the widespread theory on noise and extends the theory by a non-rigorous but potentially computing efficient algorithm to estimate noise in time sampled systems. 
This work contributed to two generations of LDPD based ToF range image sensors and proposed a new approach to implement the MSI PM ToF principle. This was verified to yield a significantly faster charge transfer, better linearity, dark current and matching performance. A non-linear and time-variant model is provided that takes into account undesired phenomena such as finite charge transfer speed and a parasitic sensitivity to light when the shutters should remain OFF, to allow for investigations of largesignal characteristics, sensitivity and precision. It was demonstrated that the model converges to a standard photodetector model and properly resembles the measurements. Finally the impact of these undesired phenomena on the range measurement performance is demonstrated.


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