Vizaar Vuman E3
CMOS Competitor To InGaAs SWIR Sensors
Imec has presented a prototype high-resolution short-wave-infrared (SWIR) image sensor with record small pixel pitch of 1.82 Ám. It is based on a thin-film photodetector that is monolithically integrated on a custom Si-CMOS readout circuit.

A fab-compatible process flow paves the way to high-throughput, wafer-level manufacturing. The presented technology largely exceeds the capabilities of today's InGaAs-based SWIR imagers in terms of pixel pitch and resolution, with disruptive cost and form factor potential. New applications are enabled even in cost-sensitive domains, such as in industrial machine vision, smart agriculture, automotive, surveillance, life sciences and consumer electronics. Imec will present these results at IEDM Conference 2020 in session 16.5.

Sensing in the short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) range (with wavelengths from around 1400 nm to above 2000 nm) offers advantages over the visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) range for some applications. SWIR image sensors can, for example, see through smoke or fog, or even through silicon - which is especially relevant for inspection and industrial machine vision applications.

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