Canon develops 1M SPAD image sensor

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Canon SPAD sensor

Canon reports that – Canon Inc. announced today that the company has developed the world’s first1 single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) image sensor with signal-amplifying pixels capable of capturing 1-megapixel images. SPAD image sensors are ideal for such applications as 2-dimensional cameras, which capture and develop still image and video in an extremely short span of time. These sensors also hold potential for use in 3-dimensional cameras due to their ability to obtain information about the distance between them and a subject as image data.

SPAD sensors have been around since the 1970’s, however the newer technology takes a singular photo and creates and ‘avalanche’ that results but with higher pixel counts. This technology helps speed up shutter speeds up to amazing 3.8 nanoseconds at a 24,000 Frame rate!

My key thoughts

  • SPAD sensors have always been limited by pixel limits. This new technology seems to have solved this.
  • Having faster shutter speeds helps all aspects of photography for 2 and 3d depth applications.
  • As the light capture is super fast, it can capture the resolution in 100 picoseconds (squared).
  • SPAD technology uses photo counting rather than measuring electrical currents. Photo counting eliminates electronic noise and helps accuracy.
  • SPAD technology can help measure Time of Flight. This is where time is measured from light emitted from light source, reflecting off the target object and returning to the sensor. This measurement can help with many applications.

More information

Canon press release – click here


Photo by Canon

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