Industrial Electronics

New Near-Infrared Technology for Machine and Night Vision Applications Developed

09 October 2017

OmniVision Technologies Inc. has introduced Nyxel™, a revolutionary near-infrared (NIR) technology that leverages novel silicon semiconductor architectures and processes to tackles challenges that plague existing approaches to NIR detection in image sensors. The result is an increased in quantum efficiency (QU), of up to 3x at 850nm and 5x at 940nm, when compared without legacy NIR-capable sensors.

OmniVision's new Nyxel™ technology boosts quantum efficiency up to 3x at 850nm and 5x at 940nm when compared with its legacy NIR-capable sensors (OmniVision)OmniVision's new Nyxel™ technology boosts quantum efficiency up to 3x at 850nm and 5x at 940nm when compared with its legacy NIR-capable sensors (OmniVision)

These improvements in NIR sensitivity enable the image sensor to see better and farther under the same amount of light, extending the image detection range. Conversely, to match the performance of the existing system, Nyxel technology-based camera systems require fewer LED lights, reducing overall power consumption. Because of these benefits, Nyxel technology is well-suited for a wide variety of applications, including surveillance, machine-vision, and automotive application.

Today’s machine and night vision camera applications rely on NIR technology because NIR light illuminates objects outside of the visible light spectrum, avoiding any interference with the surrounding environment.

The night sky contains more NIR photons than visible photons -- NIR technology allows for higher-resolution image capture with fewer power-hungry LEDs, making it an ideal solution for night-vision and battery-powered security camera applications.

Previous approaches to NIR detection have fallen short of the higher performance requirements of next-generation mobile and AR/VR products with embedded machine-vision applications, and automotive and security camera applications that require higher NIR sensitivity. Nyxel technology delivers the performance advancements over existing NIR technology to address the more stringent requirements of the next-generation application.

OmniVision’s approach to NIR imaging combines thick-silicon pixel architectures with careful management of wafer surface texture to improve QU and extended DTI to help retain MTF without affecting the sensor’s dark current. The result is a 3x QE improvement for 850nm sensitivity and a 5x QE improvement for 940nm sensitivity when compared to OmniVision’s legacy NIR capabilities. The result maintains all other image-quality metrics.

These NIR image-sensitivity improvements deliver unrivaled image-quality, extended image-detection range and a reduced light-source requirement, leading to lower power consumption.

OmniVision executives will be available to discuss the new Nyxel NIR technology and offer to produce demonstrations at the China Public Security Expo (CPSE) in China, October 29 to November 1, 2017.

To learn more about the new Nyxel technology, visit the OmniVision site here.

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