Controller Integrated Circuit for Cryogenic Infrared Focal Planes and Hybrid Image Sensors


Die photograph

Technology abstract

The offer is an integrated circuit in die form or assembled on a circuit board for data acquisition and control of focal plane arrays and hybrid image sensors in cryogenic and radiation environments such as space. The IC may generally be used for any task requiring analog and digital data acquisition and control of sensors. By using a single integrated circuit great savings in mass, volume and power consumption are possible compared to board level discrete solutions.

Technology Description

The NIRCA ASIC is designed to replace large bulky acquisition and control board used when acquiring data from and controlling focal plane arrays and hybrid image sensors. It is designed for operation at large temperature range extending from 50degC to cryogenic operation at 77K. For operation in space the IC is single Event Latch-up immune and tolerant against other single event effects by use of triple redundant logic end error correcting memory. It has 5 on-chip ADCs for data acquisition, programmable analog and digital outputs, voltage references and low-dropout regulators for detector biasing and control. The NIRCA prototype ASIC is designed in Oslo, Norway and manufactured in Austria. It is offered by Integrated Detector Electronics AS, IDEAS, an SME.

Innovations & Advantages

Replacing conventional electronics boards with an integrated solution that can be placed in proximity to the focal plane array reduces mass, size and power consumption of the imaging instrument. This enables adding more imaging capabilities to smaller satellites reducing overall mission cost. To further reduce cost and improve availability the IC is manufactured in a conventional industrial process having radiation tolerance by design. The device is available to European entities without any US export restrictions.

Further Information

Programmable Sequencer
   Custom instruction set
   40× Digital waveform outputs
   8× Digital inputs
   256x32b wave vector table (ECC-RAM)
   8192 instructions (ECC-RAM)
   8 nested loops
   SPI programming interface
   SPI direct bridge to remote unit
   2×200 Mbps upstream LVDS (8b/10b)
   IRQ for exception, sequencer messages
Analog Acquisition
   4× 12-bit, 2 Msps SAR ADCs
   Programmable gain
   3× direct analog inputs, and
   4× muxed analog inputs
   Simultaneous ADC sampling
   Analog monitoring
   1× 12-bit, 2 Msps SAR ADC
   Programmable gain
   4x differential or
   8x single-ended inputs (muxed)
   Internal temperature sensor
   Ext. resistance measurement capability
Bias and supply generation
   16× ext. voltage output (16× 10-bit DACs)
   2× 1.8V LDO regulators for ext. use
   2× 3.3V LDO regulators for ext. use
   Temperature stable V & I reference
   SEL LET > 118 MeV
   Good SEU tolerance
      -196°C to +50°C

Current and Potential Domains of Application

Readout and control of focal plane arrays and hybrid image sensors in space and on ground. General mixed analog data acquisition and control.