Large sensor looks into space

Large sensor looks into space

On Semiconductor (Phoenix, AZ, USA) has collaborated with Teledyne Imaging Sensors (Camarillo, CA, USA) to manufacture an Extremely Large Stitched Read Out Integrated Circuit (ELS ROIC) for astronomy.

Designed by Teledyne, the development of the H4RG-15 image sensor was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Teledyne.

The 16Mpixel device, which consists of Teledyne’s HgCdTe detector and a CMOS readout circuit, is claimed to be the largest sensor ever produced for infrared astronomy. The imager was fabricated using On Semiconductor’s proprietary 180 nanometer fabrication process. The 63 mm x 63 mm device is so large that only four fit onto a 200 mm wafer.

The sensor has already been installed at the University of Hawaii’s observatory on Mauna Kea. "The resolution with which images can be captured using this new sensor system represents a major step forward in the progression of IR astronomy," says Dr. Donald Hall of the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii.

The H4RG-15 is the latest in the HxRG family of image sensors that Teledyne has developed and delivered to astronomical observatories on the ground and in space, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope.

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-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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