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Three-Layer Integration Breakthrough for AI-Embedded Image Sensors

Three-Layer Integration Breakthrough for AI-Embedded Image Sensors

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga



…a new generation of CMOS image sensors (CIS) that can exploit all the image data to perceive a scene, understand the situation and intervene in it – capabilities that require embedding AI in the sensor

Demand for smart sensors is growing rapidly because of their high-performance imaging capabilities in smartphones, digital cameras, automobiles and medical devices. This demand for improved image quality and functionality enhanced by embedded AI has presented manufacturers with the challenge of improving sensor performance without increasing the device size.

“Stacking multiple dies to create 3D architectures, such as three-layer imagers, has led to a paradigm shift in sensor design,” said Renan Bouis, lead author of the paper, “Backside Thinning Process Development for High-Density TSV in a 3-Layer Integration”. 
“The communication between the different tiers requires advanced interconnection technologies, a requirement that hybrid bonding meets because of its very fine pitch in the micrometer & even sub-micrometer range,” he said. “High-density through silicon via (HD TSV) has a similar density that enables signal transmission through the middle tiers. Both technologies contribute to the reduction of wire length, a critical factor in enhancing the performance of 3D-stacked architectures.” 

“Combining hybrid bonding with HD TSVs in CMOS image sensors could facilitate the integration of various components, such as image sensor arrays, signal processing circuits and memory elements, with unparalleled precision and compactness,” said Stéphane Nicolas, lead author of the paper, “3-Layer Fine Pitch Cu-Cu Hybrid Bonding Demonstrator With High Density TSV For Advanced CMOS Image Sensor Applications,” which was chosen as one of the conference’s highlighted papers

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