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PVS introduces SLIS image sensor at CeBIT 2001

PVS showed off the high speed capabilities of the SLIS image sensor family at CeBIT 2001, held in Hannover, Germany. The device features extreme speeds of up to 60 Mpixels/sec, with frame times of 40 microseconds! The device features on-chip CDS, 7 x 7 micron low dark current pixels, and full frame electronic shutter. This shutter allows the device to be read out while simultaneously integrating the next frame. The device also features non-destructive and adaptive exposure read out modes, and like our other products, only needs one power supply and a clock for minimum operation. See the PRODUCTS page for more information.

PVS adds Digital Imaging Solutions Group

PVS adds second facility in Rochester, NY where advanced development and implementation of digital imaging solutions is performed. Staffed by experts in the field, PVS can now offer advanced digital image processing solutions including compression, color interpolation and space conversion, various interfaces and busses, application specific algorithm implementation, and much more. PVS now can provide a complete imaging solution, not just the image sensor. Click here to learn more. PVS also provide Consultation for your imaging needs. Please visit the following web site for more information:

PVS to introduce new Linear Image Sensors

Building upon the success of PVS’s LIS imager family, PVS will introduce three new devices.

The ELIS, or Enhanced Linear Image Sensor extends the popular LIS family with Sample and Hold and allows pixel binning to resolutions of 1024, 512, 256, and 128 from a single device. Offered in PVS’s new PHOTO-SURF™ package, a surface mount version of the PHOTO-DIP™ package.

The SLIS, or Scanning Linear Image Sensor is a new device offering 7 micron square pixels, on chip CDS, PVS-BUS™ running at speeds to 90 Mhz, several read out modes, and much more. Ideal for applications like web inspection.

The TSLIS imager – a 400 DPI imager featuring performance features like the LIS family and additional features such as simultaneous integration and readout, multi-mode exposure control, and more.

More ACS Images in Original Bitmap Format!

We have more images from the ACS-I imager prototype, again proving the validity of our ACStechnology!!!! Ultra low Fixed Pattern Noise, directly off of the imager! No post processing needed when using our imagers! The images -- raw, unprocessed video captures directly from the analog port of a prototype 256x256 ACS-I imager -- are available for you to download.

The images were captured via a commercial 8 bit PCI bus frame grabber, and saved directly to disk as a Win bitmap file. The image files were then cropped and put onto the web site in our bitmap directory - again no video processing whatsoever! What you see is what the imager output.

Download the bitmap files now! Analyze them, beat them up, whatever you like - your comments are welcome. Please e-mail your comments and test results (if you would like to share them) to [email protected]. We look forward to hearing from you. Images will be added or changed over time, please check often, and your suggestions for images are welcome!

Photonics East Show was a Huge Success!

Our booth was among the most popular at the trade show, with many potential and current customers admiring our Active Column Sensortechnology demonstration as well as our linear imagers - the best overall general purpose linear imager on the planet! Look for us at Photonics West in January to see the ACS technolgy in action.

Now Available - Demonstration Kit for LIS Series of Imagers

The demo kit for the LIS series of imagers allows the user to select pixel read rate and integration time, and to set the imager for destructive or non-destructive read. BNC connectors and test points supplied for easy display of video and timing signals. For specs on Demonstration Kit visit our Download Specs page.

The NEW LIS product family

Searching for a TSL* replacement? Try our new LIS series of sensors, offering superior sensitivity, lower noise, lower dark current, two minute room temperature integration time, and outstanding Signal to Noise. A demonstration kit is now available. These sensors are the best choice for your linear imaging needs, whether modifying an existing product, or for a new product.

*TSL Series of Linears formerly produced by Texas Instruments

Photon Vision Systems Announces Imaging Breakthrough:
Offers First Single Chip CMOS Camera
to Equal CCD in Signal Quality

Thanks to innovative technology, new products to be released by Photon Vision Systems (PVS) offer single chip CMOS camera solutions. This breakthrough also allows PVS to offer the first single chip CMOS camera to equal Charge Couple Device (CCD) imagers in performance strength. Available now are four PVS linear imagers: 1x128, 1x256, 1x512, and 1x1024. See the Products page for details.

These imagers are available in chip form and an 8 pin PHOTO-DIP™ package. In quantities of 10,000, chip pricing will be under $3.00 each. Data sheets for these products can be found in our product section. Area array imagers using CIF and VGA resolution, due in the fourth quarter of 1999, will be under $20.00 for quantities of 10,000 in chip form.

All sensors will use a standard 0.5 micron CMOS process. In addition, all sensors are designed to operate from only a five volt supply. These highly integrated sensors will come complete with analog and digital outputs. The digital outputs will be a minimum of ten bits and as much as 16 bits.

Using proprietary Active Column Sensor™ (ACS Pat. Pend.) technology, PVS is able to utilize only one FET per pixel. This results in ultra high performance and low cost, one-chip camera solutions. Prior solutions from other companies utilized more than two to four FETs per pixel. The added complexity of the pixel reduced sensitivity and increased cost.

In the past, the quality of CMOS imager video has been inferior to Charge Couple Device (CCD) imagers. This has limited its ability to penetrate the imager market. In fact, due to the high quality video they provide, CCD imagers currently dominate over 95% of the imager market. On the downside, CCDs are expensive, consume large quantities of power, are inflexible in operation and need a whole host of supporting circuitry in order to function.

CMOS imagers that have all necessary on-chip electronics are, in effect, a single chip camera. Having a complete system on a single chip drastically reduces size and power requirements and enables video to go beyond where pricing, size, and power have been limitations in the past.

Previously, CMOS sensor active pixel technology required extreme measures to reduce the Fixed Pattern Noise (FPN). Corrective video processing techniques required as much, or more, silicon as the sensor itself to process the noisy video. The alternative was extensive post processing software. As a result, proponents have had to offer multichip solutions to complete a CMOS video camera.

FPN is caused by each pixel having a source follower to buffer the video. Each source follower has a slightly different threshold and therefore a slightly different gain. The resulting video appears as if you are looking through a dirty window. In other words, with the same amount of light input, individual pixels will output varying levels of video due to the different gains through their source followers.

Active Column Sensor™ (ACS) technology eliminates the problems of prior designs. In ACS™ technology, the source follower configuration has been eliminated by utilizing a unity gain amplifier for each pixel. With each pixel part of a unity gain amplifier, the gain variations are removed and only the amplifier offsets need to be corrected. Since offsets are a D.C. component, they are easily corrected on chip. Integrated test chips, with 25 micron pixels, have only 0.08% FPN and signal to noise greater than 86dB as measured on the output of the sensor. A VGA format array with ten micron pixels will have in excess of 70dB S/N at full video rates on the output of the sensor.

Photon Vision Systems was formed in 1997 by engineers Jeffrey Zarnowski and Matt Pace. Zarnowski and Pace have been designing CMOS sensors since 1990, and began working with MOS sensors in 1985 at General Electric.


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Photon Vision Systems, Inc.
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Cortland NY 13045
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