- The ams AS5950 sensor chip combines a photosensor array and an ADC in a single chip
- This chip reduces the complexity of the sensor assembly in eight and 16-slice CT scanners
Computed tomography(CT) is not the most frequent radiologic imaging procedure. However, it is important in terms of clinical impact. CT is used extensively for emergencies, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological, orthopaedic and other applications. It is also regarded as the first and only imaging procedure needed for diagnosis.
Integrated sensor chip for CT scanners
Ams systems recently introduced a new integrated sensor chip for computer tomography. The AS5950 integrated sensor chip is designed to reduce the cost of computed tomography (CT) scanners. These scanners are used in X-ray detection techniques.
The product features an improved CT detector for more detailed imaging at a lower system cost. It also combines a high-sensitivity photodiode array and a 64-channel analogue-to-digital converter. This makes the AS5950 easier to mount in a CT detector module.
A recent official statement from ams said,
“Current CT scanner manufacturers need to assemble a discrete photodiode array on a complex PCB, connected via long traces to a discrete read-out chip. In 8- and 16-slice CT scanners, replacement of this complex PCB assembly with a single AS5950 chip dramatically reduces the image-noise performance and – importantly – manufacturers, materials and production costs.”
Customisable sensor height
According to the company, the AS5950 comes with a pixel size of 0.98 x 0.98 mm². This can be customized to meet an OEM’s specific needs. This customisation is helpful for rapid prototyping. This sensor can be directly assembled on a substrate using a wire bonding process. This process occurs during the manufacturing of CT modules.
The chip features a low input noise gain of up to 0.2 fC. It has a fast switching time below 200 microseconds. The power dissipated by the sensor has been reduced to 0.65 mW per channel. It offers high ADC( analogue to digital) linearity of up to 300 ppm of reading and up to 600 ppm while using the photodiode.
Supports 25-bit resolution
The sensor supports a resolution of 25-bit for accuracy and precision. The total sensor dimension in the Z-direction can be selected between 16 mm or 32 mm. This is possible due to a three-side buttable design. It is expandable in the z-direction.
Evaluation kit for calculating performance parameters
The AS5950 sensor IC is developed along with its evaluation kit. Also, the reference design is available for design engineers seeking Similiar sensor product. The evaluation kit contains a configured FPGA board. It can be used to measure all the performance and design parameters for the device.
Existing companies in this league
In the past few years, GE Healthcare, Philips, Siemens and Toshiba introduced new detector technology for their CT systems. These devices used microelectronic circuits. It reduced electronic noise and enabled sharper images. GE, Philips and Siemens also have introduced new detectors to enable dual-energy spectral imaging on their newest generation CT systems.