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Sensors 2012, 12(8), 10067-10085; https://doi.org/10.3390/s120810067

Low-Voltage 96 dB Snapshot CMOS Image Sensor with 4.5 nW Power Dissipation per Pixel

1
The VLSI Systems Center, LPCAS, Ben-Gurion University, P.O.B. 653, Be’er-Sheva 84105, Israel
2
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB 13060, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 May 2012 / Revised: 12 July 2012 / Accepted: 13 July 2012 / Published: 25 July 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

Modern “smart” CMOS sensors have penetrated into various applications, such as surveillance systems, bio-medical applications, digital cameras, cellular phones and many others. Reducing the power of these sensors continuously challenges designers. In this paper, a low power global shutter CMOS image sensor with Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) ability is presented. This sensor features several power reduction techniques, including a dual voltage supply, a selective power down, transistors with different threshold voltages, a non-rationed logic, and a low voltage static memory. A combination of all these approaches has enabled the design of the low voltage “smart” image sensor, which is capable of reaching a remarkable dynamic range, while consuming very low power. The proposed power-saving solutions have allowed the maintenance of the standard architecture of the sensor, reducing both the time and the cost of the design. In order to maintain the image quality, a relation between the sensor performance and power has been analyzed and a mathematical model, describing the sensor Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) and Dynamic Range (DR) as a function of the power supplies, is proposed. The described sensor was implemented in a 0.18 um CMOS process and successfully tested in the laboratory. An SNR of 48 dB and DR of 96 dB were achieved with a power dissipation of 4.5 nW per pixel. View Full-Text
Keywords: CMOS; image sensor; low power; snapshot; SNR; strong inversion; sub-threshold; wide dynamic range CMOS; image sensor; low power; snapshot; SNR; strong inversion; sub-threshold; wide dynamic range
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Spivak, A.; Teman, A.; Belenky, A.; Yadid-Pecht, O.; Fish, A. Low-Voltage 96 dB Snapshot CMOS Image Sensor with 4.5 nW Power Dissipation per Pixel. Sensors 2012, 12, 10067-10085.

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