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Yet another stacked sensor patent from Canon
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Yet another stacked sensor patent from Canon

The massive amount of patent applications this year from Canon in regards to stacked sensors, seems to indicate to me at least that the next generation sensors from Canon should be stacked.

This helps Canon in several ways - they can outsource the processing side of the chip to founderies with smaller design rules than they currently have in house while designing and producing the image sensor themselves.  It also allows them to relax the image sensor design rules because the image sensor substrate only has to worry about having pixels on it.  It also allows Canon to make smaller sensors (ie: 1" sensors) with thier current equipment.

It would also make it possible for global shutter sensors to have a wider dynamic range, as the charge store could occur on the non-sensor substrate.

In other words, as Sony has shown with it's A9 sensor - and it's 1" senseors, there's most likely a stacked sensor in our future.

I have personally lost count to how many patent applications I have seen that either have a stacked sensor illustrated, or are about the nature of the stacking itself, as far as sensor design, it's a topic that Canon is investing alot of research into.  And given how sophisticated the illustrations are; there's a good change that they have made it past the prototype stage with stacked sensors.

As with all patent applications that we show, this is a patent application.  This illustrates to us what Canon is looking at in their research labs.  It may or may not become a patent, and may or may not even after that be used in a camera system. 

Japan Patent Application JP2017-152723A

Edit:

We have also found another stacked sensor patent, and this one specifically dealing with high speed AF and dual pixel sensors.

This allows the camera to take a picture and at the same time, on the second part of the stacked chip, perform AF calculations.

This could lead into some incredibly fast AI servo applications for mirrorless that even surpass canon's discreet PDAF sensors located on their DSLR's.

Japan Patent Application JP2017-153105A


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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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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