Near-infrared (NIR) technology lets your machine see things that the human eye can’t see. That’s a necessary requirement in many applications, especially the now-popular machine-vision applications. To that end, OmniVision Technologies, has developed a technology called Nyxel, that leverages unique silicon semiconductor architectures and processes to get around challenges that appeared in existing NIR image sensors. The result is an increase in quantum efficiency (QE) of up to 3X at 850 nm and 5X at 940 nm. Applications that can benefit from these advances include surveillance, machine-vision, and automotive applications.
These improvements in NIR sensitivity enable the image sensor to see better and farther under the same amount of light, extending the image detection range. Conversely, to match the performance of existing systems, cameras equipped with Nyxel technology generally require fewer LEDs, thereby reducing power consumption.
Conventional approaches to NIR rely on thick silicon to improve NIR image-sensor sensitivity. However, this results in crosstalk and reduces the modulation transfer function (MTF). OmniVision has been able to overcome some of these challenges thanks to foundry improvements, specifically careful management of the wafer’s surface texture.
About the AuthorFollow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Rich Nass