20 May 2016 NIRCA ASIC for the readout of focal plane arrays
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Abstract
This work is a continuation of our preliminary tests on NIRCA - the Near Infrared Readout and Controller ASIC [1]. The primary application for NIRCA is future astronomical science and Earth observation missions where NIRCA will be used with mercury cadmium telluride image sensors (HgCdTe, or MCT) [2], [3]. Recently we have completed the ASIC tests in the cryogenic environment down to 77 K. We have verified that NIRCA provides to the readout integrated circuit (ROIC) regulated power, bias voltages, and fully programmable digital sequences with sample control of the analogue to digital converters (ADC). Both analog and digital output from the ROIC can be acquired and image data is 8b/10bencoded and delivered via serial interface. The NIRCA also provides temperature measurement, and monitors several analog and digital input channels. The preliminary work confirms that NIRCA is latch-up immune and able to operate down to 77 K. We have tested the performance of the 12-bit ADC with pre-amplifier to have 10.8 equivalent number of bits (ENOB) at 1.4 Msps and maximum sampling speed at 2 Msps. The 1.8-V and 3.3-V output regulators and the 10-bit DACs show good linearity and work as expected. A programmable sequencer is implemented as a micro-controller with a custom instruction set. Here we describe the special operations of the sequencer with regards to the applications and a novel approach to parallel real-time hardware outputs. The test results of the working prototype ASIC show good functionality and performance from room temperature down to 77 K. The versatility of the chip makes the architecture a possible candidate for other research areas, defense or industrial applications that require analog and digital acquisition, voltage regulation, and digital signal generation.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Philip Påhlsson, Philip Påhlsson, David Steenari, David Steenari, Petter Øya, Petter Øya, Hans Kristian Otnes Berge, Hans Kristian Otnes Berge, Dirk Meier, Dirk Meier, Alf Olsen, Alf Olsen, Amir Hasanbegovic, Amir Hasanbegovic, Mehmet A. Altan, Mehmet A. Altan, Bahram Najafiuchevler, Bahram Najafiuchevler, Jahanzad Talebi, Jahanzad Talebi, Suleyman Azman, Suleyman Azman, Codin Gheorghe, Codin Gheorghe, Jörg Ackermann, Jörg Ackermann, Gunnar Mæhlum, Gunnar Mæhlum, Tor Magnus Johansen, Tor Magnus Johansen, Timo Stein, Timo Stein, } "NIRCA ASIC for the readout of focal plane arrays", Proc. SPIE 9819, Infrared Technology and Applications XLII, 98192C (20 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223619; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223619
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