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Framos partners with French Pyxalis for true sensor customisation


FRAMOS as a leading global image sensor distributor including Sony, ON Semiconductor and e2v for a diverse standard portfolio and even some minor sensor adaptions, like cover-class removal, a partnership with Pyxalis was established. This partnership was created to provide customers’ with the service of fully customized sensors and to support architecture, design, prototyping and characterization.


Pyxalis specializes in design services and custom solution development for advanced CMOS image sensors. The team based near Grenoble provides strong technical experience and an emphasis on innovation with more than 30 filed patents and has an impressive track record of right-first-time advanced image sensor products.


New Standard Image Sensor Product: Low Noise, High Dynamic Range Sensor 3MP / 120dB


The newest innovation in off-the-shelf customization, Pyxalis offers is the HDPYX sensor. Integrating multiple HDR techniques to reach up to 120dB linear dynamic range. Linearity is key when color reconstruction is important or true intensity estimation is required. Combining a dual gain with charge conservation pixel allows the HDPYX sensor to capture image linearly up to 90dB. To reach 120dB, the HDPYX sensor uses two different integration times: one for odd lines and one for even lines. Both integration times end at the same moment, with the transfer of the data from the photodiode to the floating diffusions. Secondly, the unique feature is a true Dual-Core image sensor, running two 32bits micro-processors to operate the device. The frame management core takes care of every aspect linked to the operating mode of the sensor, such as shutter type, windowing, subsampling and integration time calculation. The line management core takes care of the black level correction, ADC driving, data formatting and HDR reconstruction.


The sensor platform was manufactured in Tower Jazz 180nm technology and characterized at Pyxalis lab. The sensor produces 20 bit HDR images and has been measured down to 2.4e- RMS, with recent optimization in pixel driving. A sequencer covers all the typical requirements of machine vision sensors like programmable shutter type, trigger mode, multiple dynamic regions of interests and programmable output types.


An innovative development strategy mixing the advantages of modulation and customization


Designed as a modular platform rather than a fully custom sensor, the device is made to adapt to various types of scientific and surveillance applications. Scalable in terms of number of spectral bands, dedicated grading filters can be deposited directly on the sensor if required. In terms of packaging, the basic package is BGA type but custom ceramic is also offered. The sensor can also be tuned in term of wavelength as Thick EPI for NIR, ultra-tick EPI for direct X-ray and backside illuminated versions are all currently envisaged. As it is designed to be modified, each derivation of the platform is much cheaper than full-custom version while maintaining unique performance parameters. The HDPYX detector is nominated for the VISION Award 2016. With a deep knowledge from sensor to system the FRAMOS industry and product experts provide additional services like consulting and logistics to support customers to get use of the new sensor series for their applications and projects.



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