New IT-EMCCD image sensors combine improved low-light and NIR sensitivity with simplified integration for camera manufacturers
ON Semiconductor is expanding its portfolio of Interline Transfer Electron Multiplication CCD (IT-EMCCD) image sensors with new options that target not only low-light industrial applications such as medical and scientific imaging, but also commercial and military applications for high-end surveillance.
The new 4 megapixel KAE-04471 uses larger 7.4 micron pixels than those found in existing IT‑EMCCD devices, doubling the light gathering capability of the new device and improving image quality under light starved conditions. The KAE-04471 is pin and package compatible with the existing 8 megapixel KAE‑08151, allowing camera manufacturers to easily leverage existing camera designs to support the new device.
The new KAE-02152 shares the same 1080p resolution and 2/3” optical format as the existing KAE‑02150, but incorporates an enhanced pixel design that increases sensitivity in near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths – an improvement that can be critical in applications such as surveillance, microscopy, and ophthalmology. The KAE-02152 is fully drop-in compatible with the existing KAE-02150, and both devices are available in packages that incorporate an integrated thermoelectric cooler, simplifying the work required by camera manufacturers to develop a cooled camera design.
“As the need for sub-lux imaging solutions expands in surveillance, medical, scientific, and defense markets, customers are looking for new options that provide the critical performance required in these applications,” said Herb Erhardt, Vice President and General Manager, Industrial Solutions Division, Image Sensor Group at ON Semiconductor. “The new products allow customers to choose from a variety of resolutions, pixel sizes, sensitivities, coluor configurations, and packaging options in our IT-EMCCD portfolio to meet their low-light imaging needs.”
Interline Transfer 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 provide excellent image quality and uniformity with a highly efficient electronic shutter, this technology is not always ideal for very low-light imaging. And while EMCCD image sensors excel under low-light conditions, they historically have only been available as low resolution devices with limited dynamic range. Combining these technologies allows the low-noise architecture of EMCCD to be extended to multi-megapixel resolutions, and an innovative output design allows both standard CCD (normal-gain) and EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be utilised for a single image capture – extending dynamic range and scene detection from sunlight to starlight in a single image.
Engineering grade versions of the KAE-04471 are now available, with production versions available in 2Q17. Engineering grade versions of the KAE-02152 in both a standard package as well as a package incorporating an integrated thermoelectric cooler are also available, with production versions of both configurations available in 3Q17. All IT‑EMCCD devices ship in ceramic micro-PGA packages, and are available in both Monochrome and Bayer Coluor configurations.
Evaluation kits for devices in the IT-EMCCD portfolio allow the full performance of this technology to be examined and reviewed under real-world conditions. Customers can purchase an evaluation kit, or enquire about an on-site demonstration of IT-EMCCD devices, by contacting their local ON Semiconductor sales representative.