Leica M camera

Leica M Camera


Easics has modeled, implemented and verified proprietary digital pixel processing algorithms for CMOSIS ’ novel intelligent CMOS image sensor chip for the “Leica M” camera.

Easics’ model-based approach resulted in first time right silicon.


Our solution

Limited specification available for the data path of the CMOSIS “Leica MAX 24MP CMOS Sensor” chip
This model gradually precedes over the textual specification document, while iteratively refining it. It becomes a bit-true executable specification. Important executable use cases (main operational modes as well as corner case behavior) emerged naturally from this iterative refinement. They form the basis of the regression-based verification suite, and enable test-driven development. Easics used the model as reference for all verification. CMOSIS signed off on it, turning it into a formal decoupling point between the specification document and the detailed implementation.
Frequent specification changes
Frequent specification changes are part of the game in leading-edge mixed signal ASIC developments. In this development, they merely lead to iterations on the high-level model, rather than on detailed implementations (which would potentially cause major rework and schedule slips). The model-based approach is hence a key design productivity enabler, as the model is designed at the “right” level of abstraction for its purpose: right before converting the “what” into the “how”. It drastically improves the time-to-market and keeps the budget under control.
Proprietary digital noise cancellation and correlated double sampling algorithms
Easics further used the model as reference for the detailed implementation. It enabled continuous integration, as the model served as an initial version of the implementation. Implementation decisions such as mathematical operator implementation, pipelining and clockgating took into account performance, area and power constraints.
Need for a fast time-to-market and keep the budget under control.
A model is unambiguous and “richer” than a natural language specification. It is elegant thanks to its high abstraction level and the use of available libraries. It helps for fast and correct implementation from the start and provides an easy sign off for acceptance by the customer.


This model-based approach proved to be highly effective for CMOSIS ’ high dynamic range, 24 megapixel full-frame 35mm format CMOS image sensor chip development for Leica . Proprietary innovations in both digital and analog domains resulted in low temporal and spatial noise and non-uniformities. First-time right silicon success was achieved on time and in a tight schedule.

This approach is part of easics’ mixed-signal ASIC design toolbox. It is ideally suited for datapaths and signal processing, and is complemented with techniques such as SystemC and Verilog-AMS modeling and in-the-loop simulation. Easics creates the model in the high-level language that the customer prefers, such as C++ / SystemC, Matlab, Python, or Ruby. This fits nicely in easics’ vision of maximally using software techniques and high levels of abstraction for chip design and verification. Easics uses similar high-level modeling techniques for advanced FPGA development.

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