8 Mpixel low-light cooled imager for industrial vision

September 22, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
ON Semiconductor’s latest 8-megapixel IT-EMCCD - interline transfer electron multiplying charge-coupled device - has an integrated cooler option and offers expanded capabilities for medical, scientific and surveillance imaging.

The 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 22 millimetre 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. 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.


IT-EMCCD devices combine two 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, toshiba says, allows the low-noise architecture of EMCCD to be extended to multi-megapixel resolution image sensors for the first time, and their output design allows both standard CCD (low-gain) and EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be utilized 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 Colour 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. Both devices will be demonstrated at the 2016 VISION trade fair, November 8 – 10, Stuttgart, Germany.


ON Semiconductor; www.onsemi.com