Posted in | Light / Image Sensor

ON Semiconductor Extends Leading Image Sensor Portfolio to Offer Improved Low-Light and NIR Sensitivity

Credit: ON Semiconductor

ON Semiconductor, a leader in energy efficient innovations, is escalating its range of Interline Transfer Electron Multiplication CCD (IT-EMCCD) image sensors with new options. They target not only low-light industrial applications such as scientific and medical imaging, but also military and commercial applications for high-end surveillance.

The new 4 MP KAE-04471 uses bigger 7.4 micron pixels than those present in current IT EMCCD devices, doubling the light gathering ability of the new device and enhancing image quality under light starved conditions. The KAE-04471 is pin and package well-matched with the current 8 MP KAE 08151, allowing camera manufacturers to effortlessly leverage current camera designs to support the new device.

The new KAE-02152s 1080p resolution and 2/3” optical format is the same as the contemporary KAE 02150, but with a better pixel design that boosts sensitivity in near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. It's an enhancement that can be vital in applications such as microscopy, surveillance, and ophthalmology. The KAE-02152 is completely drop-in compatible with the prevailing KAE-02150, and both devices are available in packages that have an in-built thermoelectric cooler. This streamlines the work required by camera manufacturers to create 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. The new products allow customers to choose from a variety of resolutions, pixel sizes, sensitivities, color configurations, and packaging options in our IT-EMCCD portfolio to meet their low-light imaging needs.

Herb Erhardt, Vice President and General Manager, Industrial Solutions Division, Image Sensor Group at ON Semiconductor

Interline Transfer EMCCD devices integrate two proven imaging technologies with a unique output structure to enable a unique class of low-noise, high-dynamic range imaging. Although Interline Transfer CCDs provide superior image quality and consistency with an efficient electronic shutter, this technology is not always suitable for low-light imaging. Although EMCCD image sensors thrive under low-light conditions, they traditionally have only been available as low resolution devices with narrow dynamic range. Integrating these technologies allows the low-noise architecture of EMCCD to be broadened to multi-megapixel resolutions. A state-of-the-art output design allows both standard CCD (normal-gain) and EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be used for a single image capture - increasing scene detection and dynamic range from sunlight to starlight in a single image.

Engineering grade versions of the KAE-04471 are currently available, with production versions obtainable in 2Q17. Likewise, engineering grade versions of the KAE-02152 in both regular packages, as well as a package integrating an in-built thermoelectric cooler, are available. Production versions of both configurations are available in 3Q17. All IT EMCCD devices are delivered in ceramic micro-PGA packages, and are available in both Bayer Color and Monochrome configurations.

Assessment kits for devices in the IT-EMCCD range allow the complete performance of this technology to be studied and reviewed under real-world conditions. Customers can buy an assessment kit, or enquire about an on-site demonstration of IT-EMCCD devices, by contacting their local ON Semiconductor sales representative.

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