ams to supply Siemens with ASIC

austriamicrosystems (ams) is to supply a highly-integrated application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that enables a Siemens' photo-detector module for computer tomography (CT) to deliver higher resolution images at lower X-ray dosages. The ams ASIC, which is part of Siemens’ new Stellar CT photo-detector module, captures and digitises images of a patient’s body. It combines a high-resolution photodiode with a low-noise analogue to digital converter (ADC) in a stacked-dice (3D-integrated) configuration.

The ASIC is the result of a collaboration with Siemens that began in 2005, which was aimed at producing a new generation of photo-detector module, offering radically improved performance in line with the demand from oncologists and other medical professionals.

The ASIC has delivered a breakthrough in analogue sensor performance, reducing noise in the sensitive analogue signal chain between the photo-diode and the ADC. In order to produce such a marked improvement in performance, the ASIC development project drew on a broad range of capabilities at ams. These include:

•Unique ams IP, a two-stage ADC eliminates the dead-time that is required in the operation of many ADCs and therefore, is able to sample the entire input signal;

•sophisticated gain and offset correction, supporting the production of highly accurate outputs across a wide dynamic range of optical inputs;

•fine-tuning of transistor behaviour to minimise noise; and

•application of new fabrication techniques to enable 3D integration of a mixed-signal device.

The improvements in linearity, noise reduction and speed in the ASIC are reflected in the substantial gains in performance of the new stellar photo-detector module over the previous-generation product. According to Siemens, the new stellar detector offers:

•20 per cent lower noise in low-dose scans compared with conventional detectors;

•image resolution as fine as 0.5mm, an improvement of 0.3mm over conventional detectors;

•extended dynamic range, supporting the wider use of low-dose scans; and

•typical power consumption reduced from 1,000W to 300W, this also reduces waste heat generation, further improving signal quality and image resolution.

This article is tagged to:
Sector: Medical Devices
Geography: Austria

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