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Canon Patent Application: More stacked sensor goodness
/ Categories: Canon Patents
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Canon Patent Application: More stacked sensor goodness

Canon has released a variety of stacked sensor patent applications this week dealing with various issues surrounding the manufacturing or use of stacked sensors.

In US Patent Application 2018-0233523, they discuss sealing to form a moisture proof barrier thus protecting the internal elements from water,etc.  This is another highly detailed sensor patent, with methods of manufacturing included, indicating that Canon is quite a ways into this research.

According to an aspect of the present invention, a solid-state imaging apparatus includes a plurality of pixels each of which includes a photoelectric conversion unit and a readout circuit configured to process a signal generated by the photoelectric conversion unit or configured to read the signal, and a peripheral circuit configured to read signals from the plurality of pixels. The plurality of photoelectric conversion units is disposed in a first member, and at least a part of the readout circuit and the peripheral circuit are disposed in a second member. The first member and the second member are bonded in such a way that a signal from the photoelectric conversion unit can be received by the readout circuit disposed in the second member. The solid-state imaging apparatus includes a sealing portion configured to reduce water invasion from an outside region of the solid-state imaging apparatus into the plurality of pixels and the peripheral circuit, wherein the sealing portion includes a first sealing portion disposed in the first member and a second sealing portion disposed in the second member, and a part of the first sealing portion is in contact with a part of the second sealing portion. 

Further, in US Patent Application 2018-0234605 they discuss using the second substrate to control exposure, thus having more flexibility including having sensors capable of extremely fast speeds, for example, up to 1000 fps.  The main goal is to offload the burden of micro aperture and gain adjustments as exposure changes and have that handled all by the sensor in a far more efficient manner.

The present invention provides an imaging element which controls exposure and an imaging apparatus which can reduce an amount of an exposure control process of an arithmetic processing unit using the imaging element. 

According to an aspect of the present invention, an image processing apparatus that outputs an image signal acquired by an imaging unit which has a plurality of pixel units is provided that includes a gain unit that sets gain with respect to an output signal of the imaging unit; a control unit that controls an accumulation time of the pixel units; and an arithmetic operation unit that receives a target luminance value and exposure control information, calculates the gain or the accumulation time by detecting a luminance value using an image signal read from the pixel units, and causes the gain unit or the control unit to perform exposure control of the imaging unit. 

 According to the present invention, an amount of an exposure control process of an arithmetic processing unit can be reduced by using an imaging element which controls exposure. 


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