Tower Semiconductor chosen by JPL to manufacture airborne image sensors

APRIL 5--Tower Semiconductor (Migdal Haemek, Israel) has been chosen by the JPL (Pasadena, CA, USA) to manufacture a CMOS image sensor for use in its advanced multispectral polarimetric imager.

APRIL 5--Tower Semiconductor (Migdal Haemek, Israel; www.towersemi.com), an independent specialty foundry, has been chosen by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL; Pasadena, CA, USA; www.jpl.nasa.gov) to manufacture a CMOS image sensor for use in the development of its advanced multispectral polarimetric imager (MSPI). The device utilizes an image sensor process at Tower's Fab1 facility.

Through its airborne and planned space-borne implementation, the MSPI is intended for the study of atmospheric aerosols. Utilizing complex analog-to-digital (ADC) design techniques, the high-speed on-chip 50-Msamples/s ADC is 9-bit squareroot-encoded, resulting in the equivalent of 14-bit quantization at low signal levels. With high quantum efficiency and 10-electron read noise, the imager is ideal for JPL's latest scientific application that requires flexibility in addressing rows in the imager.

Tower Semiconductor is an independent specialty foundry established in 1993. The company manufactures integrated circuits with geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13-μm; it also provides complementary technical services and design support. In addition to digital CMOS process technology, Tower offers advanced nonvolatile memory solutions, mixed-signal & RF-CMOS, and CMOS image-sensor technologies.

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