Among the various new technologies able to detect SWIR wavelengths, InGaAs appears as a key technology. Initially developed for optical telecommunications, this material guaranties performances, stability and reliability and is compatible with attractive production capacity. Thanks to high quality material, very low dark current levels can be achieved at ambient temperature. Then uncooled operation can be set up, allowing compact and low power systems.
Since the recent transfer of InGaAs imaging activities from III-Vlab, Sofradir provides a framework for the production activity with the manufacturing of high performances products: CACTUS320 SW. The developments towards VGA format with 15μm pixel pitch, lead today to the industrialization of a new product: SNAKE. On one side, the InGaAs detection array presents high performances in terms of dark current and quantum efficiency. On the other side, the low noise ROIC has different additional functionalities. Then this 640x512 @ 15μm sensor appears as well suited to answer the needs of a wide range of applications.
In this paper, we will present the Sofradir InGaAs technology, the performances of our last product SNAKE and the perspectives of InGaAs new developments.