Microelectronics

A key element of the delivery of Detector Systems Solutions will be the integration and access to advanced microelectronics capability to deliver advanced systems with improved signal to noise ratio and data taking capability.

 
STEREO spacecraft
Credit:NASA

The focus is design of mixed signal integrated circuits for readout of sensitive detectors used throughout the world-wide science and research communities.

We specialise in design of high channel density, low power and low noise ASICs with the ability to survive harsh radiation environments. In particular our core activity is design of low noise analogue circuits required to amplify and process signals from detectors.

Complementing our analogue design capability is our development of high performance analogue to digital converters that can be embedded on the same ASIC, allowing us to offer a complete on-chip solution to front end readout. A good example is our video processing ASIC (CDS_ADC) developed for Space Science and currently in space on the STEREO mission, sending back impressive images of the Sun. To reduce both mass and power consumption for space instruments, highly integrated solutions are required. In this instance commercially available components would not have met the noise, power, and radiation requirements so a custom solution had to be implemented.

We have a legacy of designing ASICs for space missions, medical imaging, synchrotron instrumentation, particle and nuclear physics experiments, involving the readout of a variety of detector types from gas to solid state.

Our designs currently instrument applications varying in size from a few channels to millions of channels, such as in the Silicon Tracker part of the Compact Muon Solenoid experiment on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

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