JUNE 19, 2009--Researchers from three imaging companies announced development of an advanced imaging sensor--the Scientific CMOS (sCMOS)--during Laser World of Photonics (Munich, Germany; June 15-18). The new technology offers a number of useful features that operate simultaneously: extremely low noise, rapid frame rates, wide dynamic range, high quantum efficiency, high resolution, and a large field of view.
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The new CMOS sensor represents a cooperative effort among Andor Technology (Belfast, UK), Fairchild Imaging (Milpitas, CA, USA), and PCO (Kelheim, Germany), and has implications for numerous applications including biomedical research, astronomy, and security and defense.
The researchers said that its low cost combined with its promise to out-perform most scientific imaging devices currently on the market make sCMOS attractive as a scientific-grade CMOS image sensor technology.
Current scientific imaging technology standards suffer limitations in relation to a strong element of mutual exclusivity between performance parameters; i.e., one can be optimized at the expense of others. The researchers said that sCMOS can be considered unique in its ability to concurrently deliver on many key parameters, while eradicating the performance drawbacks that have traditionally been associated with conventional CMOS imagers.
Performance highlights of the first sCMOS technology sensor include:
+ Sensor format: 5.5 megapixels (2560(h) x 2160(v))
+ Read noise: < 2 e- rms @ 30 frames/s; < 3 e- rms @ 100 frames/s
+ Maximum frame rate: 100 frames/s
+ Pixel size: 6.5 mm
+ Dynamic range: > 16,000:1 (@ 30 frames/s)
+ QEmax.: 60%
+ Read out modes: Rolling and Global shutter (user selectable)
"This announcement is a great moment for all three companies, who have come together in a true spirit of commitment to reach a shared goal," said Fairchild Imaging's Colin Earle.
"We have reached a 'leap forward' point, where we can confidently claim that the next significant wave of advancement in high-performance scientific imaging capability has come from the CIS technology stable," added Colin Coates, Andor Technology.
Gerhard Holst, PCO, said, "sCMOS technology stands to gain widespread recognition across a broad gamut of demanding imaging applications, carrying an advanced set of performance features that renders it entirely suitable to high fidelity, quantitative scientific measurement."
For more information and a white paper, go to: http://www.scmos.com
-- Posted by Conard Holton, Vision Systems Design, www.vision-systems.com