Tower Semiconductor has been granted a patent for analog pixel circuitry that includes Sample and Hold circuitry, capacitors, and an amplifier to process analog pixel signals efficiently. The apparatus allows for processing analog samples of binning pixels and amplifying the output signal. GlobalData’s report on Tower Semiconductor gives a 360-degree view of the company including its patenting strategy. Buy the report here.

According to GlobalData’s company profile on Tower Semiconductor, Solid state memory was a key innovation area identified from patents. Tower Semiconductor's grant share as of April 2024 was 85%. Grant share is based on the ratio of number of grants to total number of patents.

Analog pixel processing circuitry with capacitors and amplifier

Source: United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Credit: Tower Semiconductor Ltd

A recently granted patent (Publication Number: US11962919B2) discloses an apparatus comprising analog pixel processing circuitry designed to process analog pixel signals. The circuitry includes Sample and Hold (SH) circuitry, capacitors, a switchable connector, and an amplifier. The SH circuitry provides an analog sample of the pixel, which is then processed through the capacitors connected in parallel between the input terminal and the common output terminal. The switchable connector allows for switching between connecting the capacitors in parallel and disconnecting them. The amplifier then provides an amplified analog signal based on the input.

Furthermore, the patent describes a device incorporating a sensor with a pixel array and analog pixel processing circuitry. The circuitry is switchable between different modes to provide either the analog signal based on the pixel sample or an analog binning signal based on binning of the pixel sample and samples of other binning pixels. The device also includes a processor to process sensor information and a memory to store processed information. Additionally, the analog pixel processing circuitry has a pixel sample output to provide the analog sample as a binning pixel to other circuitry, and a feedback capacitor connected to the amplifier to determine the gain based on capacitor capacities. The device can operate multiple analog pixel processing circuitries to process signals from different pixels and binning pixels, with a controller to manage the operation modes effectively.

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