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programmed and the design group worked with TowerJazz which provided the stored in the sensor 120x145mm image sensors (each using an entire 200mm silicon before the start of a wafer for their production) based on its cutting-edge and high- new image acquisi- yield specialty 180/350-nanometer dual-gate cMOs image tion. sensor (cis) process technology. This cis technology process clearly, as the enables the customization of pixels, according to project needs overall end-appli- for many digital imaging applications, and offers excellent dark cation sensor is current, low noise and dynamic range performance character- stitched, it is fairly istics. importantly, the teams from the sTFc, Tanner/eDa solu- straightforward to tions and TowerJazz have managed to achieve a first-right-time generate a sensor design with no prerequisite for any initial prototype design. Test- with different num- ing and full characterisation of the sensor is now in progress. Fig. 2: A truly wafer-scale sensor, each unit requires a full 200mm wafer for its production. course, the image sensor can be further How can you get yournd ofa ber of pixels in either direction. redesigned with the modification of key parameters, depending on application idea to market fi rst? demands. Performance comparisons Typical conventional si-TFT (Thin-Film Transistor) is the current dominant technology used in digital-based X-ray imaging applications, which clearly has significantly fewer limitations in terms of panel size, but only offers limited perfor- mance characteristics including a frame rate of only a few frames per second maximum. also, in comparison to the sTFc sensor, other wafer-scale cMOs imagers currently being developed of- fer highly competitive readout perfor- mances, but in most cases do not come close in terms of frame rate. Overall, the STFC sensor offers a highly competitive combination of readout speed versus spatial resolution; both of these factors On the road to innovation, are crucial for digital tomosynthesis mammography. in addition to these speed wins. advantages, the sensor provides noise significantly below 100 e-rms, whereas Accelerate your R&D and beat the competition competitive imagers offer noise figures to market. Instant access to over 3 million of well above 100 e-rms, some deliver- ing more than 1000 e-rms. top-cited technology research documents can save hours—and keep your ideas in the fast lane. Analogue design and manufacturing For the design of the sensor, the sTFc group worked very closely with eDa IEEE Xplore® Digital Library solutions, the sole representative for Discover a smarter research experience Tanner eDa in europe. The designers used Tanner Tools Pro, in conjunction with Tanner’s hiPer Verify tool. The Tan- ner tools were extremely well suited for the complexity of the analogue archi- tecture in the design, and especially for the development of the innovative Request a Free Trial pixel-addressing iP, which was almost www.ieee.org/tryieeexplore entirely analogue circuitry with only a small amount of on-chip digital logic. concerning the sensor’s production, 11-PIM-0420i_Xplore_Market_5x7.875_Final.indd 1 8/26/11 10:46 AM www.electronics-eetimes.com Electronic Engineering Times Europe July/August 2012 29


EETE JULAUG 2012
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