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Canon Patent Application: SPAD Sensor improvements
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Canon Patent Application: SPAD Sensor improvements

Canon has submitted a fair amount of patent applications on SPAD (Single Photon Avalance Diode) sensors.  These sensors differ from the normal CMOS sensors by instead of filling a diode well with electrons caused by light hitting the sensor, the sensor actually counts the photons. 

These types of sensors are usually used on ToF (Time of flight) sensors because of the insane sensitivity, and the ability to track the time between a light pulse and when the light bounces back off of an object.

One issue with these is the sensor being overwhelmed by photons coming in too fast to the sensor.  In this case, Canon is looking at increasing sensor stability, and also at the same time reduce power consumption.

It's unknown if this patent details was used in the sensor discussed by Canon here.

Japan Patent Application 2021-090230

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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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