AMS sensor interface enables medical, industrial and security CT scanners to render sharper more detailed images
ams (SIX: AMS), a leading worldwide supplier of high performance sensor solutions, released the AS5900, a current-to-digital converter for use in Computed Tomography (CT) scanners which offers ultra-low noise, very high resolution and excellent linearity.
The outstanding analog performance of the AS5900 will enable new CT scanners to produce sharper, more detailed images. Medical CT scanners equipped with the AS5900 will feature an improved X-ray detector module, and will help physicians to produce more accurate diagnoses while subjecting patients to lower doses of radiation.
The AS5900 detector interface chip for CT X-ray scanners sets new performance benchmarks in crucial parameters:
- Ultra-low noise: As little as 3,200 electrons for a full-scale range at an input current of 1 µA and 30 pF input capacitance. The circuit’s very high signal-to-noise ratio allows the flexible use of any pixel size, enabling it to digitize extremely low-current outputs from the latest high-sensitivity photodiodes. As a result, the CT scanner can render more detailed images. Furthermore, low noise allows CT equipment to maintain high spatial resolution while reducing the X-ray dose to which the patient is exposed.
- Very low power dissipation: Power dissipation as low as 1mW per channel reduces the requirement for cooling capability in the CT scanner, lowering the overall system cost.
- High resolution: The 26-bit sigma delta ADC integrated in the AS5900 produces a richer grayscale palette for sharper and more detailed images.
- High linearity: ±250 ppm of Read inputs (±1 ppm of full-scale range) to give improved contrast, accurately rendering slight variations in image brightness.
The new ams detector chip provides detailed motion-free medical images while operating at very high acquisition rates: the adjustable integration time can be set as low as 50 µs.
The configurable design of the AS5900 gives it the flexibility required for integration into different types of end equipment that use a multiple-slice photodiode array. The chip is ideal for use not only in medical equipment, but also in industrial and security CT scanners. Equipment designers can configure or adjust:
- gain setting, to configure the input-current full-scale range and the noise floor
- power modes, to adapt power consumption to the detector requirements
- clock frequency, to balance the resolution with the required integration time
The AS5900 integrates all the functions of a current-input ADC to minimize the requirement for external components. It includes an internal reference voltage and temperature sensor. This reduces the bill of materials, thus lowering system cost. The AS5900 also provides a standard LVDS interface to a host FPGA, running at a data rate of up to 80 Mb/s for optimized power consumption.
“The ultra-low noise and high resolution of the AS5900 will enable CT scanner OEMs to produce better images at higher full scale ranges, allowing for flexible pixel sizing. Medical practitioners will see a marked difference in the quality and clarity of images from the next generation of CT scanners based on this new, high-performance current-to-digital converter. Its low-noise operation at high speed and low power consumption produces CT images free of motion artefacts even at the highest rotational speeds while exposing the patient to a lower dose of radiation”, said Josef Pertl, Product Marketing Manager at ams.
The AS5900 is available in a 10 x 10mm² BGA package for sampling now. Unit pricing is $1.00 per channel, or $128.00 for the 128-channel AS5900 in an order quantity of 1,000 units. An evaluation board is available on request from ams. For data sheet, sample-/eval board requests or for the fact sheet, please go to www.ams.com/Medical-Imaging/AS5900.
ams is a global leader in the design and manufacture of advanced sensor solutions. Our mission is to shape the world with sensor solutions by providing a seamless interface between humans and technology. ams’ high-performance sensor solutions drive applications requiring small form factor, low power, highest sensitivity and multi-sensor integration. Products include sensor solutions, sensor ICs, interfaces and related software for consumer, communications, industrial, medical, and automotive markets. With headquarters in Austria, ams employs over 5,800 people globally and serves more than 8,000 customers worldwide. ams is listed on the SIX Swiss stock exchange (ticker symbol: AMS). More information about ams can be found at www.ams.com .