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Charge accumulating and splitting imaging device

外国特許コード F120006118
整理番号 S2008-0677
掲載日 2012年1月6日
出願国 アメリカ合衆国
出願番号 99591309
公報番号 20110090385
公報番号 8730382
出願日 平成21年6月4日(2009.6.4)
公報発行日 平成23年4月21日(2011.4.21)
公報発行日 平成26年5月20日(2014.5.20)
国際出願番号 JP2009002537
国際公開番号 WO2009147862
国際出願日 平成21年6月4日(2009.6.4)
国際公開日 平成21年12月10日(2009.12.10)
優先権データ
  • 特願2008-147308 (2008.6.4) JP
  • 2009JP002537 (2009.6.4) WO
発明の名称 (英語) Charge accumulating and splitting imaging device
発明の概要(英語) Charge generated in a photodiode is properly split for difference processing.
An imaging element is constituted by a semiconductor such that a charge accumulation portion is connected to a light receiving portion using a buried photodiode and charge is split from the charge accumulation portion by a plurality of gates and is accumulated.
An imaging device includes a control device performing control so as to accumulate charge that is generated by a photoelectric conversion at an exposure cycle synchronous with the light emission of a light source.
The exposure cycle includes a first period for receiving reflection light from a subject illuminated by light from the light source and a second period for receiving light from the subject illuminated by an environmental light not including the light from the light source.
The imaging device includes a charge accumulation region connected to each photoelectric conversion region, a first charge storage region for receiving charge generated in the photoelectric conversion regions during the first period via the charge accumulation portion, and a second charge storage region for receiving charge generated in the photoelectric conversion regions during the second period via the charge accumulation portion.
特許請求の範囲(英語) [claim1]
1. An imaging device including a light source emitting light at a given cycle, and a light receiving portion including at least one array of pixel units for performing photoelectric conversion of light in a view field, said imaging device further including a controller performing control so as to accumulate charge generated by photoelectric conversion at exposure cycle synchronous with the light emission of the light source,
wherein, said exposure cycle includes a first period for receiving reflection light from a subject illuminated by light from the light source, and a second period for receiving light from the subject illuminated by an environmental light not including the light from the light source,
each pixel unit of said imaging device further including a charge transfer portion connected to each of photoelectric conversion regions of the light receiving portion, a first charge storage region for receiving charge generated in said photoelectric conversion region during the first period via said charge transfer portion, and a second charge storage region for receiving charge generated in said photoelectric conversion region during the second period via said charge transfer portion,
wherein said charge transfer portion is formed by elongating the photoelectric conversion region and is underneath a blackout curtain that covers the top surface of the array of pixel units, said charge transfer portion being at lower potential than the photoelectric conversion region.
[claim2]
2. The imaging device of claim 1, wherein the first and second charge storage regions are configured to integrate charge generated in the photoelectric conversion regions during n times exposures, said imaging device further including a differential circuit for extracting charges in the first and the second charge storage regions, and for providing a differentiation between said charges, after n times exposures.
[claim3]
3. The imaging device of claim 2, further including means of generating an image not including influence by environmental light, based on said differentiation.
[claim4]
4. The imaging device of claim 2, further including means of calculating a distance to a subject based on phase difference between the signal obtained by the differentiation and the light source.
[claim5]
5. An imaging device including a light source for emitting light at a given cycle, and a light receiving portion including a pixel unit array for receiving light from view, said imaging device further including a controller performing control so as to accumulate charge generated by photoelectric conversion at an exposure cycle synchronous with the light emission of the light source,
wherein, said exposure cycle includes a first period for receiving reflection light from a subject illuminated by light from the light source, and a second period for receiving light from the subject illuminated by an environmental light not including the light from the light source,
each pixel unit of said imaging device further including a charge transfer portion connected to each of photoelectric conversion regions of the light receiving portion, a first charge storage region for receiving charge generated in said photoelectric conversion region during the first period via said charge transfer portion, and a second charge storage region for receiving charge generated in said photoelectric conversion region during the second period via said charge transfer portion,
wherein each of the pixel units of the light receiving portion is divided to plural small photoelectric conversion regions, said small photoelectric conversion regions of each of the pixel units are connected to said charge transfer portion in common such that the plural small photoelectric conversion regions compose a single pixel unit.
[claim6]
6. The imaging device of claim 5, wherein said first and second charge storage regions are in common among said small photoelectric conversion regions for each of the pixel units.
[claim7]
7. The imaging device of claim 1, wherein said charge transfer portion is connected to a drain electrode via a drain gate.
[claim8]
8. The imaging device of claim 7, wherein said device is configured to drain charge in said charge transfer portion by opening said drain gate during a rising edge and or a falling edge of the light source.
[claim9]
9. The imaging device of claim 1, wherein said photoelectric conversion region and said charge transfer portion are formed by a buried photo diode structure, each the photoelectric conversion region is connected to the charge transfer portion via the transfer gate.
[claim10]
10. The imaging device of claim 8, wherein said photoelectric conversion region, said charge transfer portion, and said first and second charge storage regions are formed by a buried photo diode structure.
[claim11]
11. The imaging device of claim 1, wherein a micro lens is provided in front of a receiving surface of the light receiving portion.
[claim12]
12. The imaging device of claim 1, wherein said charge storage region is formed by a MOS capacitor and is connected to said charge transfer portion via the transfer gate.
[claim13]
13. The imaging device of claim 1, wherein a read out charge storage region is provided adjacent to said charge storage region via a gate.
[claim14]
14. The imaging device of claim 1, further including a first and a second reset gates to cause each of the first and the second charge storage regions to be at reset potential, and, a shortage gate to establish electrical connection between the first and the second charge storage regions, wherein,
said shortage gate is turned on when the reset gates are turned on so that the first charge storage region and the second charge storage region are at a same potential.
[claim15]
15. The imaging device of claim 1, further including a common reset gate to render the first and the second charge storage regions to connect to a reset potential.
  • 発明者/出願人(英語)
  • AOYAMA CHIAKI
  • KAWAHITO SHOJI
  • HONDA MOTOR
  • SHIZUOKA UNIVERSITY
国際特許分類(IPC)
米国特許分類/主・副
  • 348/370
  • 348/229.1
  • 348/230.1
  • 348/316
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