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Control circuit for image array sensors

Imported: 23 Feb '17 | Published: 22 Oct '02

Jon H. Bechtel, Joseph S. Stam

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A control system for controlling an image array sensor and controlling communication between the image array sensor and a microcontroller by way of a serial communication interface. The control system is able to efficiently control various aspects of the image array sensor such as windowing, mode of operation, sensitivity as well as other parameters in order to reduce the data throughput. An important aspect of the invention relates to the fact that the control circuit can be rather easily and efficiently configured in CMOS with relatively few output pins which enables the control circuit to be rather easily and efficiently integrated with CMOS based image array sensors and even the microcontroller to reduce the part count and thus, the overall cost of the system.

Description

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects of the present invention will be readily understood with reference to the following Specification and attached drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top view illustrating the head lamp emission pattern of a conventional high beam head lamp.

FIG. 2 is a side cross sectional view of the optical system which forms a part of the present invention illustrating light rays incident at a vertical angle within the desired field of view.

FIG. 3 is similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the light rays incident at a vertical elevation angle beyond the desired field of view.

FIG. 4 is a top cross sectional view of the optical system illustrated in FIG. 1 illustrating the light rays at a horizontal angle within the desired field of view.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the automatic head light dimming system in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 6 is an overall flow diagram of the image processing in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a flow diagram illustrating the method for detecting tail lamps of vehicles within the desired field of view.

FIG. 8 is a flow diagram for detecting head lamps from other vehicles within the desired field of view.

FIG. 9 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary application of the control circuit in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 10

a-

10

c is a schematic diagram of the block diagram illustrated in FIG.

9.

FIGS. 11

a and

11

b are block diagrams of the registers and the logic used for a portion of the control circuit in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 12

a and

12

b is a top level diagram of the control circuit in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 12

c is a schematic diagram of the SerBlk portion of the control circuit in accordance with the present invention.

FIGS. 12

d-

12

g are schematic diagrams of the CanCtrl portion of the control circuit in accordance with the present invention.

Claims

1. An imaging system comprising:

2. An imaging system comprising:

3. An imaging system comprising:

4. The image sensor as defined in claim 3, wherein the array has a row input for a selecting row address and a column input for a selecting column address, and

5. The image sensor as defined in claim 3, wherein a value determined from a previously executed instruction is communicated from the control system to the controller via the serial bus.

6. The image sensor as defined in claim 3, wherein pixel data is communicated from the control system to the controller on the serial bus.

7. The image sensor as defined in claim 3, wherein the control system includes a control logic circuit coupled to the controller through the serial bus for receiving instructions from the controller.

8. The image sensor as defined in claim 7, wherein the control system further includes a programmable row-column and timing controller serial processor coupled to the control logic circuit and to the image sensor for controlling the image sensor in response to commands received from the control logic circuit.

9. The image sensor as defined in claim 8, wherein the control system further includes an amplifier for amplifying data read from the image sensor and an analog-to-digital converter for digitizing data read from the image sensor.

10. The image sensor as defined in claim 9, wherein the image sensor, the control logic circuit, the programmable row-column and timing controller serial processor, the amplifier, and the analog-to-digital converter are all provided in a common integrated circuit.

11. The image sensor as defined in claim 3, wherein the serial bus is a bi-directional serial bus and the control system supplies data read from the image sensor to the controller through the serial bus in response to instructions received from the controller over the serial bus.

12. An imaging system comprising:

13. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for controlling includes a programmable row-column and timing controller serial processor.

14. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for receiving and the bi-directional interface constitute portions of a control logic circuit.

15. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the control system further includes an amplifier for amplifying data read from the image sensor.

16. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the control system further includes an analog-to-digital converter for digitizing data read from the image sensor.

17. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the image sensor and the control system are provided in an integrated circuit.

18. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the control system supplies data read from the image sensor to the controller through the serial bus in response to instructions received from the controller over the serial bus.

19. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for controlling the sensor controls a mode of operation of the sensor in response to an instruction received from the controller by setting a window size of the sensor.

20. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for controlling the sensor controls a mode of operation of the sensor in response to an instruction received from the controller by setting the sensor in a single or dual window mode.

21. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for controlling the sensor controls a mode of operation of the sensor in response to an instruction received from the controller by setting the sensitivity of the sensor.

22. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for controlling the sensor controls a mode of operation of the sensor in response to an instruction received from the controller by setting the frame read repetition timing.

23. The imaging system as defined in claim 12, wherein the means for controlling the sensor controls a mode of operation of the sensor in response to an instruction received from the controller by setting the number of frames to be read.