A 360×226 Pixel CMOS Imager Chip Optimized for Automotive Vision Applications 2001-01-0317
Multiple automotive systems are now being developed which require an imager or vision chip to provide information regarding vehicle surroundings, vehicle performance, and vehicle passenger compartment status. Applications include lane departure, lane tracking, collision avoidance, as well as occupant position, impaired driver, and occupant identification. These applications share many requirements, including robust design, tolerance for the automotive environment, built in self-test, wide dynamic range, and low cost. In addition, each application has unique requirements for resolution, sensitivity, imager aspect ratio, and output format. In many cases, output will go directly to vehicle systems for processing, without ever being displayed to the driver. Commercial imager chips do not address this wide spectrum of requirements. A CMOS imager chip has been designed to address these unique automotive requirements. An automotive grade, 1.2 micrometer minimum feature size process, which offers proven automotive environmental durability, has been used to fabricate two prototype imager chips. Results for both 128×128 pixel array chips and 360×226 pixel array chips are documented. Both chips incorporate capabilities for enhanced dynamic range, near infrared light sensitivity, and support for on-chip vision processing functions. Chip images are documented using LabVIEW®.