ON Semiconductor expands breadth of options for low-light industrial imaging applications


ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON), driving energy efficient innovations, continues to strengthen its position in low-light imaging solutions for industrial markets with the introduction of new products based on interline transfer electron multiplying charge-coupled device (IT-EMCCD) technology.

The new 8-megapixel KAE‑08151 image sensor is the second device to use the company’s IT‑EMCCD technology, delivering the same sub-electron noise floor and imaging versatility as the existing 1080p resolution KAE‑02150 image sensor. With a 22 millimeter diagonal (4/3 optical format) that matches the imaging path of professional microscopes, the KAE‑08151 directly targets high resolution microscopy and scientific imaging applications operating in lighting regimes that can range from sub-lux to bright-light imaging. In addition, a new packaging option is available for both devices in this family which incorporates a thermoelectric cooler (TEC) directly into the package design. This integrated cooler simplifies development of a cooled camera that optimizes the performance available from these devices.

IT‑EMCCD devices combine two established imaging technologies with a unique output structure to enable a new class of low-noise, high-dynamic range imaging. While interline transfer CCDs combine superior image quality and uniformity with a highly efficient electronic shutter, this technology is not always ideal for very low-light imaging because of the overall noise floor of their outputs. Conversely, EMCCD image sensors excel at low-noise imaging, but historically have been available only as low resolution devices with limited dynamic range. Combining these technologies allows the low-noise architecture of EMCCD to be extended to multi-megapixel resolution image sensors for the first time, and an innovative output design allows both standard CCD (low-gain) and EMCCD (high-gain) outputs to be utilized for a single image capture – extending scene detection from sunlight to starlight in a single image.

The KAE‑08151 is sampling today in Monochrome and Bayer Color configurations in a CPGA-155 package, with samples incorporating an integrated TEC available in the first quarter of 2017. The KAE‑02150, already in production, is now sampling in a CPGA-143 package that incorporates an integrated TEC. All package options are RoHS-compliant.