Quanta image sensors enable photon counting at room temperature

Quanta image sensors enable photon counting at room temperature

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Image sensor company Gigajot Technology has announced its first Quanta Image Sensor (QIS) products, which enable compact-form-factor photon counting cameras at room temperature.
By Rich Pell

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The CMOS-based QIS devices use the company’s patented sensor architecture and pixel design to achieve record low noise that enables accurate detection of individual photons of light. The new QIS products are offered as being capable of photon counting at room temperature while operating at full speed, and achieving high dynamic range – all in small pixel, high resolution formats.

With 5-10x read noise improvement over conventional small pixel image sensors, says the company, QIS enables imaging at ultra-low light levels not previously possible. The QIS products target high-performance imaging applications such as scientific, medical, defense, industrial, and space.

The 16-megapixel GJ01611 utilizes a 1.1-micron pixel to achieve room temperature 0.19 electron read noise and less than 0.09 electron/second/pixel dark current, while the 4-megapixel GJ00422 employs a 2.2-micron pixel and provides 0.27 electron read noise with single-exposure high dynamic range of 100 dB. Leveraging advanced stacked CMOS backside-illuminated (BSI) sensor process technology, the sensors are capable of photon counting at room temperature without elaborate cooling systems.

The company’s proprietary readout architecture enables photon counting cameras to operate at high speed and low power. Additionally, the single-exposure high dynamic range mitigates the motion artifacts that result from conventional multi-exposure HDR techniques.

GJ00422 and GJ01611 evaluation and camera development are supported by the company’s Camera Development Kit (QIS CDK). Available now, the QIS CDK has a SuperSpeed USB 3.0 interface and user-friendly software, in a small form factor. Capable of true photon counting out of the box, says the company, the QIS CDK can be setup in minutes for evaluation or incorporated directly in customer systems.

Gigajot Technology

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