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24 August 2017 CMOS image sensor for extracting depth information using offset pixel aperture technique
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The 3-dimensional (3D) imaging is an important area which can be applied to face detection, gesture recognition, and 3D reconstruction. Many techniques have been reported for 3D imaging using various methods such as time of fight (TOF), stereo vision, and structured light. These methods have limitations such as use of light source, multi-camera, or complex camera system. In this paper, we propose the offset pixel aperture (OPA) technique which is implemented on a single chip so that the depth can be obtained without increasing hardware cost and adding extra light sources. 3 types of pixels including red (R), blue (B), and white (W) pixels were used for OPA technique. The aperture is located on the W pixel, which does not have a color filter. Depth performance can be increased with a higher sensitivity because we use white (W) pixels for OPA with red (R) and blue (B) pixels for imaging. The RB pixels produce a defocused image with blur, while W pixels produce a focused image. The focused image is used as a reference image to extract the depth information for 3D imaging. This image can be compared with the defocused image from RB pixels. Therefore, depth information can be extracted by comparing defocused image with focused image using the depth from defocus (DFD) method. Previously, we proposed the pixel aperture (PA) technique based on the depth from defocus (DFD). The OPA technique is expected to enable a higher depth resolution and range compared to the PA technique. The pixels with a right OPA and a left OPA are used to generate stereo image with a single chip. The pixel structure was designed and simulated. Optical performances of various offset pixel aperture structures were evaluated using optical simulation with finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method.
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Byoung-Soo Choi, Myunghan Bae, Sang-Hwan Kim, Jimin Lee, Chang-Woo Oh, Seunghyuk Chang, JongHo Park, Sang-Jin Lee, and Jang-Kyoo Shin "CMOS image sensor for extracting depth information using offset pixel aperture technique", Proc. SPIE 10376, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization XX, 103760Y (24 August 2017);

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