Israeli pure-play foundry TowerJazz has introduced a new CMOS image sensor technology manufacturing process based on stacked deep photodiode, enabling chipmakers to achieve very high near infrared (NIR) sensitivity and low cross-talk.
TowerJazz says the CMOS image sensor technology will be used across its fabs worldwide, including its 12-inch facility in Uozu, Japan, its 110 nm fab in Arai, Japan, and its 180 nm fab in Migdal Haemek, Israel. Using this pixel structure, sensors manufactured will be able to perform well even in very low-light conditions. They will work in applications such as 3-D gesture recognition and gesture control for the consumer, security, automotive and industrial sensors markets, the foundry says.
Near infrared is becoming a more popular choice in 3-D gesture recognition applications and in automotive active vision applications in order to offer better visibility in harsh weather conditions. It allows each pixel to measure the time it takes for the light to exit an NIR laser as a light source, reach the object and reflect back to the sensor. TowerJazz says it is extremely difficult to achieve both high sensitivity and high resolution (low cross talk) using NIR.
Using a stacked deep photodiode process allows for very dark current values, even at elevated temperatures—something that is a necessity in the automotive market—compared to other current solutions that use thick epi on p-type substrate, which creates low resolution, the foundry says.
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