Image sensor provides new capabilities for medical imaging

22nd September 2016
Posted By : Daisy Stapley-Bunten
Image sensor provides new capabilities for medical imaging

Driving energy efficient innovations, ON Semiconductor continues to strengthen its position in low-light imaging solutions for industrial markets with the introduction of new products based on Interline Transfer Electron Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device (IT-EMCCD) technology.

The new 8-megapixel KAE 08151 image sensor is the second device to use the company’s IT EMCCD technology, delivering the same sub-electron noise floor and imaging versatility as the existing 1080p resolution KAE 02150 image sensor. With a 22mm diagonal (4/3 optical format) that matches the imaging path of professional microscopes, the KAE 08151 directly targets high resolution microscopy and scientific imaging applications operating in lighting regimes that can range from sub-lux to bright-light imaging.

In addition, a new packaging option is available for both devices in this family which incorporates a Thermoelectric Cooler (TEC) directly into the package design. This integrated cooler simplifies development of a cooled camera that optimises the performance available from these devices.

“The compelling combination of performance and flexibility provided by IT EMCCD technology is providing significant benefits for low-light imaging across key industrial imaging applications,” stated Herb Erhardt, Vice President and General Manager, Industrial Solutions Division, Image Sensor Group at ON Semiconductor. “By expanding our product portfolio with a new resolution node and options that simplify the integration process for camera manufacturers, end customers will be presented with even more ways to leverage the advantages of this unique technology.”

IT EMCCD devices combine two established imaging technologies with a unique output structure to enable a new class of low-noise, high-dynamic range imaging. While interline transfer CCDs combine superior image quality and uniformity with a highly efficient electronic shutter, this technology is not always ideal for very low-light imaging because of the overall noise floor of their outputs.

Conversely, EMCCD image sensors excel at low-noise imaging, but historically have been available only as low resolution devices with limited dynamic range. Combining these technologies allows the low-noise architecture of EMCCD to be extended to multi-megapixel resolution image sensors for the first time, and an innovative output design allows both standard CCD (low-gain) and EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be utilised for a single image capture - extending scene detection from sunlight to starlight in a single image.

The KAE 08151 is sampling today in Monochrome and Bayer Color configurations in a CPGA-155 package, with samples incorporating an integrated TEC available in the first quarter of 2017. The KAE 02150, already in production, is now sampling in a CPGA-143 package that incorporates an integrated TEC. All package options are RoHS-compliant. Both devices will be demonstrated in ON Semiconductor’s booth (1C32) at the 2016 VISION trade fair, held November 8th-10th in Stuttgart, Germany.

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