Image Processing for Quanta Image Sensors

Omar A Elgendy
Since the birth of charge coupled devices (CCD) and the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensors, pixel pitch of digital image sensors has been continuously shrinking to meet the resolution and size requirements of the cameras. However, shrinking pixels reduces the maximum number of photons a sensor can hold, a phenomenon broadly known as the full-well capacity limit. The drop in full-well capacity causes drop in signal-to-noise ratio and dynamic range.The Quanta
more » ... Sensor (QIS) is a class of solid-state image sensors proposed by Eric Fossum in 2005 as a potential solution for the limited full-well capacity problem. QIS is envisioned to be the next generation image sensor after CCD and CMOS since it enables sub-diffraction-limit pixels without the inherited problems of pixel shrinking. Equipped with a massive number of detectors that have single-photon sensitivity, the sensor counts the incoming photons and triggers a binary response "1" if the photon count exceeds a threshold, or "0" otherwise. To acquire an image, the sensor oversamples the space and time to generate a sequence of binary bit maps. Because of this binary sensing mechanism, the full-well capacity, signal-to-noise ratio and the dynamic range can all be improved using an appropriate image reconstruction algorithm. The contribution of this thesis is to address three image processing problems in QIS: 1) Image reconstruction, 2) Threshold design and 3) Color filter array design.Part 1 of the thesis focuses on reconstructing the latent grayscale image from the QIS binary measurements. Image reconstruction is a necessary step for QIS because the raw binary measurements are not images. Previous methods in the literature use iterative algorithms which are computationally expensive. By modeling the QIS binary measurements as quantized Poisson random variables, a new non-iterative image reconstruction method based on the Transform-Denoise framework is proposed. Experimental results show that the new method produces bett [...]
doi:10.25394/pgs.8429048.v1 fatcat:zhod4upwvncdhbef23ve6ysgnu