The detector readout for the Radiation-hard Electron Monitor (RADEM) aboard the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) uses a custom-made application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC, model: IDE3466) for the charge signal readout from silicon radiation sensors. RADEM measures the total ionizing dose and dose rate for protons (5 MeV to 250 MeV), electrons (0.3 MeV to 40 MeV) and ions. RADEM has in total three chips of the same design: one chip for the proton and ion detector, one for the electron detector, and one for the directional detector. The ASIC has 36 chargesensitive pre-amplifiers (CSA), 36 counters of 22-bits each, and one analogue output for multiplexing the pulse heights from all channels. The counters count pulses from charged particles in the silicon sensors depending on the charge magnitude and the coincidence trigger pattern from the 36 channels. We have designed the ASIC in 0.35-μm CMOS process and an ASIC wafer lot has been manufactured at AMS. This article presents the ASIC design specifications and design validation results. The preliminary results from tests with bare chips indicate that the design meets the technical requirements.
This work is a continuation of our preliminary tests on NIRCA - the Near Infrared Readout and Controller ASIC .
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) , . 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.
In this paper we present initial test results of the Near Infrared Readout and Controller ASIC (NIRCA), designed for large area image sensors under contract from the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Norwegian Space Center. The ASIC is designed to read out image sensors based on mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe, or MCT) operating down to 77 K. IDEAS has developed, designed and initiated testing of NIRCA with promising results, showing complete functionality of all ASIC sub-components. The ASIC generates programmable digital signals to clock out the contents of an image array and to amplify, digitize and transfer the resulting pixel charge. The digital signals can be programmed into the ASIC during run-time and allows for windowing and custom readout schemes. The clocked out voltages are amplified by programmable gain amplifiers and digitized by 12-bit, 3-Msps successive approximation register (SAR) analogue-to-digital converters (ADC). Digitized data is encoded using 8-bit to 10-bit encoding and transferred over LVDS to the readout system. The ASIC will give European researchers access to high spectral sensitivity, very low noise and radiation hardened readout electronics for astronomy and Earth observation missions operating at 77 K and room temperature. The versatility of the chip makes the architecture a possible candidate for other research areas, or defense or industrial applications that require analog and digital acquisition, voltage regulation, and digital signal generation.
The article describes the near infrared readout and controller ASIC (NIRCA) developed by Integrated Detector Electronics AS (IDEAS). The project aims at future astronomical science and Earth observation missions, where the ASIC will be used with image sensors based on mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe, or MCT). NIRCA is designed to operate from cryogenic temperatures (77 K) to higher than room temperature (328 K) and in a high radiation environment (LET > 60 MeVcm2/mg). The ASIC connects to the readout integrated circuit (ROIC) and delivers fully digitized data via serial digital output. The ASIC contains an analogue front-end (AFE) with 4 analogue-to-digital converters (ADCs) and programmable gain amplifiers with offset adjustment. The ADCs have a differential input swing of ±2 V, 12-bit resolution, and a maximum sample rate of 3 MSps. The ASIC contains a programmable sequencer (microcontroller) to generate up to 40 digital signals for the ROIC and to control the analogue front-end and DACs on the chip. The ASIC has two power supply voltage regulators that provide the ROIC with 1.8 V and 3.3 V, and programmable 10-bit DACs to generate 16 independent reference and bias voltages from 0.3 V to 3 V. In addition NIRCA allows one to read 8 external digital signals, and monitor external and internal analogue signals including onchip temperature. NIRCA can be programmed and controlled via SPI interface for all internal functions and allows data forwarding from and to the ROIC SPI interface.