Canon Patent: Quad Pixel Dual Cross Autofocus

Drawing From The Patent Literature

For once a Canon patent application that is not for an RF mount lens. It’s for what could be a future generation of autofocus.

Canon patent application 2022-2383 (Japan) discusses methods and technology for a Quad Pixel Dual Cross autofocus system which one day might well be featured on a Canon mirrorless camera.

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To increase the division direction of a pupil region while suppressing variation in sensitivity of an image signal.

As one of the focus detection methods of an image pickup device, a so-called image pickup surface phase difference method, in which a pupil division signal is acquired by using a focus detection pixel formed in an image pickup device and focus detection is performed by a phase difference method, is used. Are known. As a focus detection pixel, a configuration in which one microlens and a plurality of sensitivity regions are formed in each pixel is known, and each of the plurality of sensitivity regions is light that has passed through different pupil regions of the photographing optical system. The pupil division signal can be acquired by receiving light.

The patent application was spotted by asobinet.com. More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Canon Patent: Quad Pixel Autofocus Imaging Sensor

Quad Pixel

Dual Pixel AF was true innovation when first launched by Canon on the EOS 70D. It’s just common sense to assume Canon will develop it further. Welcome Quad Pixel AF.

Here is a Canon patent for a Quad Pixel AF imaging sensor, and it is not the first we spotted. Canon patent application 2020-171060 (Japan) discusses the technology. It’s hard to say when we will see the first commercial Quad Pixel AF sensor. But we know it is coming.

More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production are these:

Is Quad Pixel Autofocus The Upcoming Evolution Of Dual Pixel AF?

Canon Patent

A recently spotted Canon patent application suggests Canon might be at works to design the technological evolution of its patented Dual Pixel Auto Focus (DPAF).

Canon patent application 2019-041178 (Japan) describes a technology where pixels are split in four parts. This should allow for a more precise AF in all possible directions.

From the patent literature:

Therefore, there is the object of this invention in providing the image sensor which can always perform focus detection by an image surface phase difference system with high precision, and the imaging device using this image sensor. 

In order to achieve the above-mentioned object, the image sensor by the present invention, A plurality of optical waveguides which a unit pixel part provided with a plurality of pixels is the image sensor arranged by two-dimensional matrix form, and draw light to said plurality of pixels, respectively, It has the segregant formed among said plurality of waveguides, the height and position of the aforementioned segregant are changed according to image height, and the pupil distance of said plurality of pixels is changed in each of the aforementioned unit pixel part. 

The patent literature seems to describe an APS-C sensor with a resolution around 20MP:

A unit pixel has the 1st focus detection pixel 201, the 2nd focus detection pixel 202, the 3rd focus detection pixel 203, and the 4th focus detection pixel 204, and these pixels are arranged by two lines x two rows. In the illustrated example, although the pixel structure of four lines x four rows is shown, the many pixel is actually arranged by two-dimensional matrix form. For example, the image sensor is 4 micrometers in the cycle P of a pixel, and is side [ of 5575 lines ] x [ 3725 rows ] long = about 20,750,000 pixels in the pixel number N. The image sensor is 2 micrometers in the line writing direction cycle PAF of a focus detection pixel, and is side [ of 11150 lines ] x [ 7450 rows ] long = about 83,060,000 pixels in the focus detection pixel number NAF. 

No idea if this patent describes a technology that might get into production soon. More Canon patent applications are listed here. Some particularly interesting patent applications we think might get into production in the next few years are these: