If "A picture tells more than a thousand words", than imaging was and still is the language of the future.
In today's emerging markets of electronic equipment, imaging plays a very important role.
The art of Imaging and Image processing is working its way into the automotive scenes, wearables, IoT, and taking on environmental challenges. Solid-state Image Sensors are present in diverse professional application areas.
In the medical world, new surgery techniques become possible thanks to the powerful characteristics of the image sensors.
New developments in CMOS Semiconductor Technology, next to the outstanding imaging performance of solid-state imagers, open up new applications.
Automotive camera systems, improving image quality, and post-capture image processing techniques for digital video signals are important areas where extensive development progress is being made. It is just a matter of time before we will detect single photons with solid-state image sensors, enabling photon counting applications which enable quality images in extremely low light conditions.
The major objective of this course is to make the participants familiar and experienced with Solid-State Imaging and the relevant related topics.
It will give an in-depth view of the possibilities and limitations of the image capturing technology of today and tomorrow.
Practical sessions will form a strong backbone of the course, complemented by several tutorial lectures.
Participants will receive a comprehensive set of course notes, including digests of the lectures and detailed notes on the practical work. These notes are for participants only and are not for sale.
Bring your own calculator!
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
The course is aimed at engineers, scientists and managers with basic knowledge, either theoretical or hands-on, in engineering or physics.
No detailed knowledge of device physics is assumed.
The course is developed to give an in-depth understanding of image capturing to engineers and technicians who are active in the field, and to give those with a theoretical knowledge the opportunity to learn more about the practical issues of the subject.
Much of the course will be of interest also to camera designers through its practical approach.
The course will provide managers and research workers having related experience in industrial, governmental or academic institutions with a valuable update on the latest developments in this fast-moving imaging subject.
More experienced engineers should instead choose our course No 004 Hands-on Characterization of Solid State Image Sensors or course No 020 Advanced Course on Imaging Sensor Technology.
A large part of the first day will focus on the working principle of Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs). Emphasis will be on the output amplifiers, on charge transport on one-dimensional and two-dimensional image sensors.
By means of computer animations, the basic working principle of the various architectures will be demonstrated. A practical exercise will make the participants familiar with the timing of a 2D imager.
CMOS Image Sensors
The second major subject of the first day will be on CMOS image sensors. Passive as well as active imager configurations will be discussed.
Finally, various types of sensor architectures and technologies will be treated. The dark characteristics of the imagers will be discussed, i.e. dark current, its temperature dependence and dark fixed-pattern noise. An exercise will demonstrate these features.
The second day lectures will deal with all kinds of optical characteristics of the imagers.
- Absorption of Photons
- Light Sensitivity
- Fill Factor
- Quantum Efficiency
- Electronic Shuttering
The MTF or Modulation Transfer Function will be studied in more detail by means of a practical exercise.
Colour imaging is an important part of the course. We will focus on the following topics:
- Colour imaging by means of a filter wheel
- Colour imaging by means of a prism
- Colour imaging by means of stacked photodiodes
- Colour imaging by means of colour filters
The latter can come in mosaic and in stripe configuration, in primary and in complementary colours.
Colour imaging is more than just colour filters. Colour matrixing and colour de-mosaicing are important techniques that we will discuss. An exercise on colour interpolation will make these various issues more clear.
Noise and The Dynamic Range
The most challenging topic of the course, noise and dynamic range, will be treated on the fourth day. To make the subject of noise more clear, all noise sources will first be discussed separately.
- Reset or kTC Noise
- Thermal or Johnson Noise
- Dark and Photon Shot Noise
- Flicker or 1/f Noise
- Quantization Noise
- Fixed Pattern
- Noise in Dark and in Light Noise Perception
- The Use of Noise as a Measurement Tool
- The Overall Noise Problem, i.e. the real situation when all the various noise sources come together
Noise is a dominant factor in the definition of the dynamic range. This will be explained further and demonstrated by means of an exercise.
The Imager in Real Life
All topics we have treated so far in this course will be incorporated into two main problems:
- How to Measure the Various Parameters of a Sensor: Dark current, nonuniformities, MTF, conversion gain, sensitivity, quantum efficiency, etc.
- How to Analyse the Specifications of an Imager? Existing data sheets of imagers will be analyzed and discussed. You can also bring your own data sheet to be discussed.
Finally, a live demonstration with a camera will summarize what we have learnt. Various sensor parameters and artefacts will be illustrated.
Said about the course from previous participants:
"The course had a good balance between enough technical deepness and a wide range of subjects and hands-on exercises."
"Wide coverage of the topic and relation to practical work."
"Very interesting course, very motivated and enthusiastic teacher, fully satisfied!"
"Very practical and lively explanations."
"Many examples from real life."