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Sensors 2018, 18(4), 977; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18040977

Multi-Aperture-Based Probabilistic Noise Reduction of Random Telegraph Signal Noise and Photon Shot Noise in Semi-Photon-Counting Complementary-Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Image Sensor

1
Department of Engineering, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1, Johoku, Nakaku, Hamamatu, Shizuoka 432-8011, Japan
2
Research Institute of Electronics, Shizuoka University, 3-5-1, Johoku, Nakaku, Hamamatu, Shizuoka 432-8011, Japan
3
Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Saitama University, 255 Shimo-Okubo, Sakura-ku, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

A probabilistic method to remove the random telegraph signal (RTS) noise and to increase the signal level is proposed, and was verified by simulation based on measured real sensor noise. Although semi-photon-counting-level (SPCL) ultra-low noise complementary-metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors (CISs) with high conversion gain pixels have emerged, they still suffer from huge RTS noise, which is inherent to the CISs. The proposed method utilizes a multi-aperture (MA) camera that is composed of multiple sets of an SPCL CIS and a moderately fast and compact imaging lens to emulate a very fast single lens. Due to the redundancy of the MA camera, the RTS noise is removed by the maximum likelihood estimation where noise characteristics are modeled by the probability density distribution. In the proposed method, the photon shot noise is also relatively reduced because of the averaging effect, where the pixel values of all the multiple apertures are considered. An extremely low-light condition that the maximum number of electrons per aperture was the only 2 e was simulated. PSNRs of a test image for simple averaging, selective averaging (our previous method), and the proposed method were 11.92 dB, 11.61 dB, and 13.14 dB, respectively. The selective averaging, which can remove RTS noise, was worse than the simple averaging because it ignores the pixels with RTS noise and photon shot noise was less improved. The simulation results showed that the proposed method provided the best noise reduction performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: semi-photon-counting-level CMOS image sensor; random telegraph signal noise; noise reduction; multi-aperture camera; maximum likelihood estimation semi-photon-counting-level CMOS image sensor; random telegraph signal noise; noise reduction; multi-aperture camera; maximum likelihood estimation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Ishida, H.; Kagawa, K.; Komuro, T.; Zhang, B.; Seo, M.-W.; Takasawa, T.; Yasutomi, K.; Kawahito, S. Multi-Aperture-Based Probabilistic Noise Reduction of Random Telegraph Signal Noise and Photon Shot Noise in Semi-Photon-Counting Complementary-Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor Image Sensor. Sensors 2018, 18, 977.

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