imec develops next gen image sensor for space applications

Belgain research institute imec has created a time delay integration (TDI) image sensor, based on its proprietary embedded charge coupled device (CCD) in cmos technology.

Developed specifically for the French Space Agency, the prototype device combines a light sensitive, CCD based TDI pixel array with peripheral cmos readout electronics. The CCD pixel structure is optimised to deliver low noise TDI performance in the charge domain, while the cmos technology is said to enable low power, on-chip integration of fast and complex circuitry readouts, such as clock drivers and a/d converters. The image sensor was fabricated using imec's 130nm process with an additional CCD process module. A charge transfer efficiency of 99.9987 % has been recorded in the TDI array, which imec says ensures almost lossless transport of charges, as well as high image quality.