Services in the Field of Image Sensors

CMOS Image Sensors

The department Integrated Circuits and Systems at Fraunhofer IIS develops CMOS image sensors in close collaboration with other IIS departments. One focus lies on CMOS image sensors with special form factors. The R&D range spans ultra small image sensors (< 0.8 mm edge length) as well as image sensors for industrial imaging applications with high resolutions and high frame rates (1000 fps and beyond). We work closely with semiconductor manufacturers, who, by extending standard CMOS processes, enable increased light sensitivity and lower dark currents. Using pinned photodiodes allows for designing ultra low-noise sensors.

CMOS Image Sensors for Endoscopy

© Photo Fraunhofer IIS

We develop the sensors small enough for applications with extremely restricted installation space, like endoscopy. To achieve high resolution images we employ a shared pixel architecture where the readout transistors are used by several photodiodes.

Image Sensors for Industrial Imaging

© Photo Fraunhofer IIS

Image sensors are widely used as measurement devices in industrial imaging applications. Capturing motion artefact-free images through the simultaneous exposure of all pixels is therefore essential and can be achieved with global shutter pixels. Exemplified by our image sensor with the following data:

  • 2880 x 1620 pixels in checkerboard pattern (Fraunhofer IIS patent)
  • global shutter
  • 1000 fps full screen
  • further speed increase through free selectable readout region64 differential analog outputs with 40 MPix/s
  • low power

Image Sensors for Polarization

Along with intensity and color, polarization is a characteristic of light. The patterning of metals allows for designing polarization sensitive pixels. Since these metals are available in standard CMOS polarization images of moving objects can be taken very cost-effectively.

X-Ray Imaging

In close cooperation with the Fraunhofer IIS department "Development Center for X-Ray Technology" image sensors for x-ray imaging are developed. Research is done on radiation hardened photodiodes and read-out electronics.

Research Fields

  • Analog/Digital Converters for Image Sensors
  • Image Sensors for Radiation Imaging