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Imagers and Displays

Technologies for the entire image chain from capture to processing to display…


While imaging is now virtually ubiquitous in our day-to-day lives, developing new imager and display technologies capable of meeting increasingly stringent requirements is still a challenge. Whether it is for autonomous vehicles, medical diagnostics, or IoT devices for smart homes, CEA uses an integrated approach to the image chain, and can provide advanced technologies designed to work seamlessly together.

Published on 29 September 2023

Imaging sensors are so intriguing because—increasingly—they replicate the very rich human sense of sight’s ability to create a faithful representation of the world around us. Ideally, we would capture images everywhere! But there are a number of challenges to overcome first, not least of which is energy consumption. CEA’s near-sensor computing strategies can help consumer component and systems manufacturers lower the energy consumption of their smart building and other IoT products.

Displays are another key component of the image chain. CEA is leading the way in microLED technology for next-generation lighting and display components, from the very tiny (think smart glasses) to the very large. From smart lighting to automotive and XR displays, CEA’s display R&D spans materials, processes, devices, and systems to bring our partners more pixels, higher-quality images, and new features like transparent, foldable, and selfpowered displays.

Lighter-weight, brighter, smarter, more energy-efficient…
Smart image sensors are the future of the IoT. CEA’s, μWAI smart imager offerslow-power “always on” performance with smart wake-up capabilities. Its compact neural network reconstructs images with limited data. More complex algorithms can be integrated for smart building, automotive, and other applications.

CEA also develops wavefront imagers that can “see” through human tissue or focus a laser beam on tissue to destroy or stimulate it. Our adaptive imaging solutions can “correct” optical variations, eliminating the need for bulky, heavy mirrors in systems like ground telescopes.

Our 5M fps high-speed image sensor and 5.5k fps-85GOPS smart imager are two other examples of solutions we have developed to bring new levels of performance beyond the state of the art.

Head-up displays and head-mounted displays must be tiny or transparent or both! CEA’s GaN microLEDs are bringing pixel pitches towards 1 μm and pushing brightness to new heights.

We are uniquely positioned to bring you advanced technologies that can be manufactured at scale using our own process equipment, from epitaxy reactors to a full III-V semiconductor line, simulation and characterization equipment, and a LED die packaging line, to develop the solutions you need.

CEA offers a wide range of 2D and 3D, multicolor, and multi-energy imaging technologies with near-sensor computing capabilities that enable AI functions. Our microLED displays are miniaturized, transparent, or both, for integration into advanced systems. ​

CEA imaging and display technologies

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Readout Circuits
Signal Conditi​oning
Algo & Image processing
ICs for emissive & Photonic Devices
Light Sources
​• Low noise
• Multi-tap
• Multi spectral

​• Infrared

• Light shaping
& d​​emodulation
• X-ray
• THz imaging

​• Archi & for
• Low-power
• 3D imaging​

​• Display
• LiFi

​• GaN

“Imaging and display technologies are playing a growing role in systems that address everything from cars to smart homes to computerassisted surgery.”​

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                                                Vygintas Jankus, Partnerships Manager, Displays, CEA

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Success stories ​

SEEL: smart imager for ORIOMA's LOBX

The SEEL ultra-low-power sensor was developed at CEA and transferred to ORIOMA for its smart sensor LOBX, where it enabled a 10X to 100X gain in power efficiency. The sensor can produce useful data like the number of people in a room for power consumption of just 1 mW, making it ideal for smart building, smart city, and UAV/drone applications.​

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μW​​AI autonomous imager

This is the first-ever μW-class compact recognition engine in a smart image sensor. Developed with
STMicroelectronics, it can activate any device upon recognition of a specific pattern, such as capturing a face to unlock a phone. CEA can adapt this technology to numerous other use cases.

​​MicroLED array for head-up aeronautics displays and augmented reality systems​

CEA developed a microLED array for head-up aeronautics displays in research for the Clean Sky 2 JU H2020 Hilico project. An array with 1,750 x 1,200 pixels at a 9.5 μm pitch obtained a record brightness of 1,000,000 cd/m². CEA also demonstrated that a 1 μm pitch, essential for AR, is possible.