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Another stacked sensor patent application from Canon
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Another stacked sensor patent application from Canon

Canon continues to request patents for stacked sensors.  We have lost count to how many Canon has applied for the past 6 months.  This amount of noise certainly would seem to indicate we are going to see something generational in Canon sensors sooner than later.

This patent revolves around having the ADC on the second underneath layer and only the photodiodes on the top layer and eleviating cross talk between pixels.  The underside layer is much larger than the sensor layer, whcih my assumption is that this lessons noise, heat and interferance between layers.

Stacked sensors can offer both dynamic range and noise benefits if done well, and also processing speed improvements.  They can also offer other benefits such as global shutter and high speed video applications.

The ADC layer is quite complex with it's own memory and buffering capablity similar to what we have seen in layer Sony designs.

Japan Patent Application 2018-7000


We have also discovered another stacked sensor patent application, Japan Patent Application 2018-7101 which deals with reducing the power consumption by a stacked sensor design.

As you can imagine, the more you stuff on the stacked sensor, the more power it consumes.  Power is changed to waste heat.  Heat is bad.  Bad makes for bad sensors. :) 

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How to view Japan Patent applications.

Unfortunately, there's no direct way of linking to the patent application (sad!) however, this is the easiest process to view a japan patent or application.

  1. Go to the Japan Patent Office search page.
  2. If it's a patent application (they are usually in the format of Year-Number ie: 2017-011300) then type the patent application number into the second field down from the top where it says publication of patent application. 
  3. Click on search.
  4. Then click on the patent application number link, and there's the patent application!

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